Regents Meeting Preview: State Audit Woes and Collective Bargaining

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Lorenzo Basilio | The Bottom Line File Photo

Arturo Samaniego
National Beat Reporter

The University Of California Board of Regents will meet next Tuesday through Thursday at UC San Francisco for their bi-monthly board meeting. The agenda includes the UC Office of the President’s implementation of recommendations from last year’s state audit report, as well as rescissions on UC policies concerning waiving tuition and fees and an order on matters relating to residency.

Although the regents were initially set to address in-state tuition increases at this week’s meeting, they recently decided to potentially postpone deliberation in favor of advocating for more state funding. Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that the state budget plan would include millions more in funding for the UC.

Another pressing concern on the table next week are the allegations from the state auditor’s office that UCOP failed to fully implement some recommendations from last year’s state audit, including overhauling budget presentations to Regents so that the board could be made aware of undisclosed funds.

Next Wednesday, the Compliance and Audit Committee will provide an update on the One-Year Status Report on Implementation of Recommendations from State Audit of UCOP Administrative Expenditures. The committee will also discuss a report on the independent assessment of audit implementation status.

Back in April of 2017, a state audit revealed that UCOP had withheld $175 million in budget reserve funds, failing to present the additional funds to the UC Regents. Earlier this month, the state auditor reported that UCOP had missed the April 30 deadline for implementing the audit’s recommendations, despite UC President Janet Napolitano promising to do so.

The Compliance and Audit Committee will also be recommending settlements for the UC Board to take up in two court cases, A. Roe v. Regents that involves medical malpractice at UCLA, and Regents v. Sasaki Associates involving affirmative claim recovery at UC Riverside. Additionally, the committee will discuss appellate, trial court developments, and updates on a multitude of cases ranging from student sexual misconduct at UCSB to constitutional claims regarding campus speakers at UC Berkeley.

On the same day, the Academic and Student Affairs Committee will take action on an amendment of Regents Policy 3105: Policy on Residency, as well as on a rescission of Regents Policy 3106: Policy on Waiver of Tuition and Fees and Standing Order 110.2: Matters Relating to Residency. What exactly these actions fully entail remains to be seen.

The Governance and Compensation Committee is set to discuss collective bargaining matters in a closed session. In recent weeks, collective bargaining has emerged as a topic of concern for the UC as contract negotiations broke down between the UC and AFSCME 3299, the University of California’s largest worker union. The breakdown in negotiations led to a three-day strike by AFSCME UC workers.

On the final day of the UC Regents meeting, the regents will vote on approving a variety of recommendations from committees, including approving settlements recommended by the Compliance and Audit Committee and an amendment and recessions of Regents policies recommended by the Academic and Student Affairs Committee.