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The administration of the University of California system pays top workers salaries significantly higher than that of similar state employees, has provided millions of dollars in benefits not typical to the public sector and failed to disclose to the Board of Regents and the public that it had $175 million in budget reserve funds, a state audit found Tuesday.

University of California President Janet Napolitano is presented with a T-shirt after having lunch with a group of students at UCLA Oct. 11, 2013, in Westwood. (Credit: Francine Orr-Pool/Getty Images)

The audit triggered a dispute with UC President Janet Napolitano, who said charges of hidden funds were false, while two members of the UC Board of Regents charged recommendations to give the Legislature budget authority over the Office of the President encroached on UC’s constitutional powers.

Among the sticking points, the auditors believe the regents should contract with an independent third party that can assist the regents in monitoring a three-year corrective action plan.

The audit of the Office of the President also found that it failed to satisfactorily justify its spending on system-wide initiatives and “inappropriately” screened surveys submitted by auditors to campus officials.

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