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2018 Audit: CSU Concealed $1.5 Billion in “Excess student tuition”



Unfortunately, the state auditor has again uncovered violations and waste that occur when we allow the CSU to operate its campuses without adequate state oversight or accountability.

- Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva who authored the audit request."


The CSU system has been claiming "poverty" and citing a supposed looming budget disaster (which actually didn't happen - subject of a future post) to justify such things as cutting staff positions, implementing an Early Exit Program (which is allowing experienced staff and faculty to retire early) and implementing hiring freezes, though not for administration.


So it comes as somewhat of a surprise (NOT) that an audit from 2018 shows that the CSU has been hording excess student tuition and putting it in some kind of secret account.


Here is the Audit:


https://www.auditor.ca.gov/reports/2018-127/summary.html


And check out these links and associated media stories:


https://www.csueu.org/news/archive/state-audit-csu-xxx#.YAMe1ySIbYU

https://www.csueu.org/news/archive/csu-outside-accounts-get-a-state-audit#.YAMghiSIbYU https://www.csueu.org/news/archive/media-coverage-of-csu-2019-audit#.YAMguCSIbYU


This is really scandalous stuff. The CSU kept raising tuition and the students got nothing in return. In fact, the faculty and staff numbers dropped and fees for everything increased (parking!). No wait, maybe we did get something after all. Yes, I remember: The CSU increased executive salaries multiple times:


https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/CSU-trustees-approve-pay-raises-for-executives-13102274.php


And the new chancellor got a 31% salary increase and a housing supplement of >$7000/month:


https://www.presstelegram.com/2020/09/23/castro-named-california-state-university-chancellor-first-person-of-color-to-hold-post/


I feel better already.

 

Lowlights


The following comes from the first link above and news articles: https://www.csueu.org/news/archive/state-audit-csu-xxx#.YAMe1ySIbYU:


Some key findings from the audit include:

• CSU used excess student tuition and salary savings to build a $1.5 billion surplus in its operating fund from 2008-9 through 2017-18.

• The annual cost of tuition for a full-time CSU undergraduate student increased by about 80 percent, from roughly $3,000 in fiscal year 2008–09 to almost $5,500 in fiscal year 2011–12. Meanwhile, CSU’s operating fund surplus grew by more than 400 percent over the last decade.

• Campuses often pass the resulting building and maintenance costs on to students, many of whom pay increased sums for parking permits but experience little or no improvement in parking availability.

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