UC Regents Plan to Scrutinize President Janet Napolitano’s Budget After State Audit Found Financial Problems

University of California President Janet Napolitano speaks on the 150th anniversary of the UC system in this undated photo. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

University of California President Janet Napolitano speaks on the 150th anniversary of the UC system in this undated photo. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

University of California regents this week plan to scrutinize the budget of President Janet Napolitano, whose office came under political fire last year for questionable spending and murky accounting.

Regents will vote on the proposed $876.4-million budget for 2018-19 during their two-day meeting, which starts Wednesday, at UC San Francisco. They also will discuss state funding, financial aid, online education and transfer student policies.

Board Chairman George Kieffer said regents are stepping up to exert stronger oversight of the president’s office after a blistering state audit last year found financial problems including an unreported $175 million budget reserve.

Kieffer and other UC officials disputed the characterization of that money as hidden funds, saying it had been allocated to various university programs. But they acknowledged a need for more transparent reporting, which Kieffer said could be found in this year’s budget.

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