Lawmakers furious after University of California audit reveals hidden $175 million surplus


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Following the news that the UC Board of Regents voted to increase tuition and fees $336 for next academic year, lawmakers are upset after a state audit discovered a $175 million surplus that was hidden from the public. During a hearing on Tuesday, President Janet Napolitano apologized for how her office handled the investigations, but took issue with several of the audit's findings. 

At a hearing on Tuesday, State Auditor Elaine Howle say she faced an unprecedented lack of cooperation from Napolitano's officer while it was being audited. One example she gave to lawmakers at a hearing on Tuesday was how the president's officer would edit responses from UC campuses to survey questions. 

"We felt that the surveys didn't reflect an independent voice from those campuses," Howle said.

Napolitano disagreed with the characterization saying that her team made the decision to work with UC campuses to understand the purpose of the audit. 

"I am sorry that we did it this way because it has created the wrong impression and detracted from the important fact that we accept the recommendations in the audit report."

Lawmakers didn't buy it. Assembly man Jose Medina says he thinks the Howle's description of interference by Napolitano's office concerning. 

"To interfere in that process, to me, is undefendable," the Democrat from Riverside told the AP. "I am extremely bothered that there was tampering."

According to the audit released last week, UC administrators squirreled away $175 million over four years - even as the university system raised tuition and asked the state for more funding. 

Lawmakers are vowing to put Napolitano's officer under greater scrutiny and some even called for a reversal in the tuition hike made in January in the wake of the $175 million discovery. 


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