Janet Napolitano braces for showdown in Sacramento over UC ‘slush fund’

When former Arizona governor and then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was tapped to head the University of California nearly four years ago, supporters touted her political stature and experience running another unwieldy bureaucracy. Hiring a politician rather than an academic was a strategic choice: The powerhouse research university, with more than 230,000 students, needed to make inroads in Sacramento after losing $1 billion in state funding during a painful recession. But Napolitano’s bold plays for a greater share of the pie — most famously a threat to hike tuition unless the state ponied up the difference — rankled some Sacramento politicians. Now a blistering new state audit that found her office accumulated tens of millions of dollars in secret reserves and inappropriately interfered with the audit has brought simmering tensions to a boil.

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by Katy Murphy, The Mercury News.

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