State Audit Reveals CSU’s Lack of Transparency and Accountability

California Taxpayers and the CSU Community Left in the Dark on Outside Accounts and Parking Mismanagement

(Sacramento, CA) The California State Auditor released a report today finding that the California State University system channeled more than a billion dollars to discretionary outside accounts and failed to disclose this information to the Legislature and the CSU community. The auditor also found that the Chancellor’s Office failed to ensure that campuses explore alternatives to costly parking structures even as they charged exorbitant parking permit fees.

“Our Skilled Trades Teamsters at CSU are extremely concerned that the CSU may have been earning and saving public funds while understaffing and underpaying dedicated workers,” said Drew Scott, Teamsters Local 2010 Skilled Trades Director and Fresno State Facilities Control Specialist. “CSU administration has not been transparent with their financial matters and must be held accountable.”

According to the audit, the amount held in these outside accounts results in a surplus of more than $1.5 billion, which Teamsters 2010 members say could have been used to ensure adequate staffing, address the CSU’s more than $3.7 billion deferred maintenance backlog, and give staff fair compensation. Instead, CSU has withheld this information even as it nearly doubled the cost of student tuition and sought more and more public funding. The report also found that campuses and the Chancellor’s Office recorded millions of dollars in savings on salaries that could contribute to this surplus.

This is yet another critical audit concerning CSU’s leadership in recent years. In 2018, the state auditor found that the CSU had not properly ensured the safety of students and staff working with or near hazardous materials. In 2017, another audit found that growth in management positions and executive salaries was unjustified and needed to be reined in.

“Today’s audit shows that the Legislature needs to strengthen the accountability of CSU,” said Jason Rabinowitz, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 2010. “The public deserves a university system that responsibly uses public funds to educate students, strengthen California and create good jobs in our communities.”

Teamsters Local 2010 represents approximately 12,000 administrative support workers, including Early Childcare Teachers, at the University of California and approximately 2,400 skilled trades workers in the UC and Cal State systems.