Students pay the price

CAITLYN SAMPLEY / AGGIE

UC fails to meet deadline, noncompliance could result in tuition hike

A 2017 audit outlined that the University of California had not disclosed $175 million to the public — an amount the University of California Office of the President says is incorrect — showing that UCOP exercised misleading budget practices while continuing to request more funds from the government. The news came in the midst of a battle between students and the Regents surrounding a possible tuition increase — a possibility that has yet to be knocked off the table.

Based on the audit, the California State Auditor issued 33 “recommendations” that are to be met in increments until 2020. It was recently revealed that the UCOP has not fully implemented four of the 10 recommendations due by April 2018.

In other words, UCOP has turned in a late assignment that had a year-long deadline. If this is unacceptable in the classroom, it’s surely unacceptable from the UC’s highest officials.

The UC Board of Regents has discussed a potential tuition hike in the event that the Legislature does not approve a 3 percent budget increase for the public school system. The increase in the budget, however, is influenced by UCOP meeting the one-year response by the State Auditor, to which the Regents and UCOP previously agreed. The apparent carelessness of UCOP in addressing the recommendations has left students vulnerable to a tuition hike while the UC expects the government to act like a professor who extends the deadline.

The Editorial Board is perplexed and frustrated at the UC jeopardizing the financial well-being of its students — an issue that could increase student debt and prevent some students from attending a UC.

The mission of the UC is “to serve society as a center of higher learning.” But in this case, the UC has shown that we must hold it accountable as it continues to demonstrate poor judgement and insufficient consideration of the society it is serving.

The office of UC President Janet Napolitano, who receives an annual base salary of $570,000, failed to act on the recommendation that they should “restructure salary ranges […] to make certain the ranges encourage employee development and ensure pay equity.”

With a possible tuition hike on the horizon, the Editorial Board asks Napolitano whether she understands the gravity of the situation. We ask if she is willing to reassess the allocation of funds between student services and salaries of top UC officials.

As the UC faces an April 2019 deadline, the Editorial Board asks UCOP to simply look at the syllabus and do the assigned work. We, the nearly 240,000 students of 10 UCs, are paying the price for an institutional mistake made by the 26 Regents and the president herself.

 

 

Written by: The Editorial Board