Costly effort to cut UC employees’ paychecks

UCPath was originally budgeted at $156 million but has already cost $327 million, and it’s expected to cost as much as $504 million before it’s finally completed. Announced in 2011 as part of the university’s “Working Smarter” initiative, the project was expected to save $100 million per year by replacing a collection of separate 30-year-old payroll systems for 10 campuses, five medical centers and UC central administration… What’s unsustainable is Californians’ confidence that the UC system is being efficiently run for the benefit of Californians. The UCPath project is proceeding with a blank check and no accountability. The problem may not be limited to payroll computers.

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by The Editorial Board, The Orange County Register.

California State University cannot justify administrative growth, manager raises, audit says

California State Auditor Elaine Howle called out CSU for failing to adequately explain the number of new management personnel, such as campus vice presidents, deans, supervisors and head coaches, as well as salary increases that far outstripped faculty and support staff… Total compensation for managers also grew by almost a quarter over those nine years, nearly double the rate of increase for other employees… “(I)t is important to recognize the CSU’s management staffing levels and administrative costs are lower than other similar higher education institutions both within California and nationally,” White wrote.

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by Alexei Koseff, The Sacramento Bee.

Cal State’s Growth in Hiring of Managers Exceeds Other Staff, Audit Finds

The California State University system has increased its hiring of managers at a steeper rate than its hiring of other employees over the past 10 years, according to a new state audit. And in a report on the audit released on Thursday, the state auditor, Elaine M. Howle, wrote that the system could not sufficiently explain why it needed all the new managers, including deans, head coaches, and vice presidents, among other positions.

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by Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz, The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Illinois and Everyone Else

State and local support for higher education in Illinois plunged as the state’s lawmakers and governor were unable to reach a budget agreement and instead passed severely pared-down stopgap funding. Educational appropriations per full-time equivalent student in the state skidded 80 percent year over year, from $10,986 to $2,196. Enrollment in public institutions dropped by 11 percent, or 46,000 students. That situation proved to be enough of an outlier that it weighed down several key markers in the 2016 State Higher Education Finance report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers association, which is being released today.

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by Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed.

Audit to examine questions on Peralta College district spending

Millions of dollars of parcel tax money intended for faculty salaries in the Peralta Community College District may have been misspent on salaries, vacation, sick leave and other fringe benefits for nonacademic staff, says a public watchdog group that has pushed for an independent audit of the spending… Members of the oversight committee have expressed concern that the district may be using Measure B money to pay for staff normally covered by the general fund in order to free up money there to pay for new consultants and administrators. During the period that Peralta district officials appear to be using voter-approved parcel tax money for nonacademic purposes, they have also increased the number of highly paid administrators paid from the general fund.

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by Ted Andersen, The San Francisco Chronicle.

Cost triples, delays mount for UC computer system upgrade

The timeline for a massive upgrade to the University of California’s payroll and personnel system was extended again twice in the past two months, further delaying a project now expected to cost more than three times its original budget… Michael Krigsman, an IT industry analyst at, said it’s better for UC to delay the payroll system than be stuck unable to issue paychecks for months. But he questioned how the university had gotten so far off track and what it would do in the future to avoid repeating those mistakes. “A project that is three times its original size either rests on very shaky foundation or they changed the plan along the way, which indicates a poor understanding of the problem it was trying to solve,” he said.

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by Alexei Koseff, The Sacramento Bee.

Why tuition-free college keeps getting attention

Glantz, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco and president of the Council of UC Faculty Association, said such a move would have been unthinkable just two years ago. “The politics and the public awareness around this issue have dramatically shifted since last year,” Glantz said. Before that, he said, “You couldn’t even get politicians to talk about it.” But he called the New York plan “too complicated. It would just be a lot simpler to get rid of tuition,” he said. Some critics say even that is not enough. The problem, they say, is there are a few other costs when it comes to college.

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by Mark Muckenfuss, The Press-Enterprise.

UC: Locals vs. the out-of-staters

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, says he hears that complaint from constituents “all the time – at Trader Joe’s, at soccer fields and walking down the street.” Instead of getting accepted to UC Berkeley or UCLA, many highly qualified students are referred to less popular campuses like UC Merced and UC Riverside. Meanwhile, nonresidents get their first choice at the most sought-after schools. He and other legislators asked UC last year to address the problem and are irritated that the university is proposing a 20 percent cap on nonresidents at most campuses, which is higher than the current system-wide percentage – 16.5 percent of UC’s 210,170 undergraduates.

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by Lisa Renner, Capitol Weekly.

CSU students rally with faculty to push for 5% raise

A group of California State University students, including some from Sac State, rallied Monday morning in support of faculty seeking a 5 percent raise and threatening to walk off the job in April. In a report released Monday as part of a mandatory arbitration process, an independent fact-finder concluded that CSU should offer its teaching staff a 5 percent raise…

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by Lezlie Sterling, The Sacramento Bee.

Providing free college tuition in California is a good idea — but taxing millionaires to do it is a bad one

Eggman has introduced a bill to pile an additional 1% surcharge on those million-dollar earners, lifting the top rate to 14.3%. The roughly $2 billion collected would cover all the California resident tuition costs not already being funded by various grants and financial assistance to lower- and middle-income students at the public universities… If free tuition is good public policy — and it certainly was for my generation — then the broad public should pay for it, not just a few rich people… California provided tuition-free college for generations. It helped California achieve greatness by broadening the middle class and offering opportunities for upward mobility not available in other states. It was an economic engine.

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by George Skelton, The Los Angeles TImes.