Documents Show UC Regents Spent Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars On Parties

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The University of California Board of Regents spent tens of thousands of dollars on parties, including a $17,600 banquet the night before they voted in January to raise student tuition, according to a newspaper report Sunday.

The office of UC President Janet Napolitano has reimbursed the regents for more than $225,000 in dinner parties since 2012, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. During that period, the regents held four to six gatherings a year for themselves, their spouses and other guests.

Two weeks ago, on May 17, the regents threw a $15,199 party at San Francisco’s elegant Palace Hotel for 59 people — a $258-a-head event also billed to the university. Hours earlier, angry students shut down the regents meeting, shouting “greedy” in protest of the tuition increase and revelations by State Auditor Elaine Howle that the university president’s office kept $175 million in secret funds. The day after the party, regents defended Napolitano after Howle presented her audit — but agreed to her recommendations.

Regents’ dinners are a tradition going back decades using private funds bequeathed to the university, UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein said. But even some regents say the cost should be borne by those attending, not by a university system that demands more money from students and the state.

“These things are unnecessary,” said Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a regent who did not attend the January or May dinners. When told the January dinner cost $17,600, Newsom said it was “inappropriate.”

Gov. Jerry Brown, also a regent, did not attend the January or May dinners, according to his office, which said he was unavailable for comment.

Among the dinners documented by the Chronicle was a $8,800 party in November 2014 as the regents considered raising tuition by up to 28 percent over five years. The regents approved the tuition increase, which was later rescinded following negotiations between Napolitano and the governor.

A $15,600 feast in March 2013 came as former UC President Mark Yudof said at that month’s meeting that UC was “working to weather the financial crisis.”

One government watchdog said the Jan. 25, 2017, party on the eve of the tuition increase creates the impression of a conflict of interest.

“These types of dinner events look really, really bad, and they give the appearance that (Napolitano) is buying the support of the regents,” said Jamie Court, president of the good-government advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. He called the dinner parties outrageous.

These parties also raise questions about the effectiveness of the regents’ spending policy, the newspaper said. UC policy prohibits reimbursements for “entertainment expenses that are lavish or extravagant” and limits dinners to $81 a person.

The Chronicle first identified the high-priced regents dinners in documents obtained from the state auditor after Napolitano’s office came under fire last month for keeping secret funds and paying executives salaries much higher than similar positions at other universities or in government work.

That audit questioned how well the 22 regents were doing their job overseeing Napolitano’s $686 million office, headquarters for the university system. Howle recommended that the Legislature take over the job, suggesting that would increase accountability.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

Comments

One Comment

  1. Jerry Cason says:

    THAT IS HOW LIBERALS WORK,THEY LIKE TO SPEND OTHER PEOPLES MONEY

  2. Since he didn’t go but knew about it and NO comment the corrupt BS justs keeps continuing. And more taxes will be wasted and the corrupt POS will continue his agenda of more taxes .

  3. U.C. = Unlimited Corruption.

  4. re: “The University of California Board of Regents spent tens of thousands of dollars on parties…The office of UC President Janet Napolitano has reimbursed the regents for more than $225,000 in dinner parties since 2012”

    That means ***both*** the Board and the UC President are guilty. The Board is supposed to watch the UC President. Instead, they’re both banging each other in bed.
    The UC system is totally dysfunctional, and ROTTEN TO THE CORE.

    Remember the corruption and wasteful spending of UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi?
    Linda was simply copying what her boss does…

    The budgets of both the Regents and the UC President should be audited, line-by-line.
    And put on a zero-based budgeting: a method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period. Every fiscal year, Zero-based budgeting starts from a “zero base,” and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs.

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