2018 in Press Releases
CSU's Stashing of Billions of Dollars Off the Books Gets a State Audit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Khanh Weinberg, (408) 921-0098
August 8, 2018
July's pay hikes for CSU executives point to need for more oversight, equity as students grapple with tuition costs and support staff struggle paycheck to paycheck
Sacramento, CA -- The California State University Employees Union (CSUEU) today praised the Joint Legislative Audit Committee's vote to audit accounts the University holds outside the state treasury, saying oversight of these "off the books" funds is long overdue and sorely needed.
"For far too long, CSU executives have operated on a 'trust-us' basis but evidence is accumulating that legislative and taxpayer oversight is sorely needed. There is simply no justification for increasing student tuition or implementing staff furloughs when records show a multi-billion reserve. There is no common sense in building parking structures and increasing parking fees when the state prioritizes alternative transportation. And there is no equality when executive compensation keeps skyrocketing while thousands of support staff that keep campuses operational are left to struggle paycheck to paycheck. We look forward to a thorough and eye-opening state audit of the CSU financial affairs," said Neil Jacklin, CSUEU President.
Based on the latest figures provided by the University, dated June 30, 2017, the CSU held more than $3.7 billion in student, taxpayer, and other funds outside the state treasury and outside of oversight from the Legislature or the public. Much of this sum is believed to have been accumulated as students faced steep tuition increases and the university staff faced layoffs. CSUEU requested the audit and it was authored by Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva.
"The state government needs to send a message on behalf of CSU employees that we demand transparency and accountability when it comes to university finances, if these funds are financed by California students, their families, and the taxpayer," Quirk-Silva said of today's vote to proceed with the audit. "Our state's public institutions have to do a better job for our taxpayers. We have to do better for California students, and employees."
Earlier this year, CSU Chancellor Timothy White withdrew his plan to hike tuition for CSU students by 4% for the academic year. But the University has refused to address the widening inequality between CSU executives and 16,000 frontline members of CSUEU. In July, the CSU Trustees approved increases of between 3 and 13% for executives including White.
Meanwhile, pay for university support staff including information technology, healthcare, clerical, administrative and academic support, campus operations, grounds and custodial workers has been stagnant.
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