Breitbart posted a story today about a recent audit of the University of California. During the time that she oversaw the University, University of California President and former Obama Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano raised tuition. That doesn’t seem all that unusual–tuition is raised all the time. However, there is more to the story.
The article reports the results of the audit:
The cover page for State Auditor Elaine Howle’s 167-page audit report states bluntly that the UC president’s office “Failed to Disclose Tens of Millions in Surplus Funds, and Its Budget Practices Are Misleading.”
The audit highlighted criticism in January from students and lawmakers after the UC regents approved President Napolitano’s 2.7 percent tuition increase for the 2017-18 year, given that UC tuition nearly doubled from $6,141 in 2006–07 to the current $12,192 this school year.
In addition, State Auditor Howle’s audit found the “Office of the President has amassed substantial reserve funds, used misleading budgeting practices, provided its employees with generous salaries and atypical benefits, and failed to satisfactorily justify its spending on systemwide initiatives.”
The article further explains that the Office of the President interfered in the audit process. The article includes a list of financial issues discovered in the audit. The problems were outlined in a cover letter sent to California Governor Jerry Brown with the audit. If you follow the link above to the article, the list is posted there.
The Democrats are on the record as stating that they want free college for everyone. Meanwhile, the actions of Ms. Napolitano cause me to question the sincerity of that desire. There is also Senator Elizabeth Warren who make $300,000 to $400,000 per year for teaching two or three college classes a week. Didn’t these people study economics? Where do they think the money to pay the teachers and keep the buildings in a reasonable state of repair is going to come from if college is free?
The rapid increase in tuition costs is largely due to the government involvement in student loans. The colleges have no incentive to cut costs–students can get government loans to pay outlandish tuition costs. The government has no incentive to look carefully at the students taking out the loans–it’s taxpayer money. And meanwhile the current student loan debt is larger than the current credit card debt in America. It is a bubble waiting to burst, and the taxpayers will be left holding the bag. The student loan program is another federal entity that needs to be put back into the hands of private banks who understand how and when to lend money. Meanwhile, colleges need to learn to control their spending. Tuition increases should be about level with the rate of inflation.
The following chart shows what has happened to college costs from 1985 to 2011. The chart is from a website called inflation data: