Audit report alleges California State University system hid funds from lawmakers

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A yearlong investigation led to a billion dollar finding claiming the California University State system allegedly hid money from lawmakers.

A state auditor released a report finding the CSU system placed a total of 1.5 billion dollars into non-traditional outside accounts.

The accumulation ranged over a span of ten years - and happened during a time when tuition was raised from about three thousand dollars to nearly six thousand.

The news was frustrating for political science professor Dr. Thomas Holyoke who is currently chair of the academic senate at Fresno State.

"We are the entity that provides education to most of the middle and lower class students in the state one thing we should not be doing is raising tuition on them if that's at all possible," Holyoke said.

Second-year student Jasmine Mendez agrees.

"It's not about the money it's just not telling people and if you're going to hide that much money what are you doing with it," Mendez said.

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva requested the audit a little over a year ago - after the U-C audit disclosed more than 170 million dollars were not disclosed and kept hidden.

Quirk-Silva says for her, this is all about transparency.

"When the legislature is asked to invest more dollars because the emphasis is they don't have enough money and they raise tuition and you see there is actually a pretty healthy reserve slash surplus, I think we should be aware of that," she said

In a statement, CSU Chancellor Timothy White said the audit "overlooks dozens of presentations of publicly available reports that included information about these funds."

His spokesperson echoed those sentiments - adding the money was set aside to be part of a rainy day fund.
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