Here we go again: Another scandal involving a state-funded entity hoarding a secret stockpile of money. This time, an investigation by California State Auditor Elaine Howle discovered $1.5 billion in surplus funds hidden in outside accounts controlled by the California State University system.
Yes, that’s billion with a “b.” While CSU was squirreling away this massive fortune, it was simultaneously raising tuition costs for students and begging the California State Legislature for more money.
“CSU put the money, which primarily came from student tuition, in outside accounts rather than in the state Treasury,” according to a story by The Sacramento Bee’s Sawsan Morrar.
We’ve seen this story before. In 2017, Howle’s office busted the University of California Chancellor’s Office for hiding a $175 million slush fund from public view – while also hiking tuition on students. And in 2012, California state parks Director Ruth Coleman was forced to step down when it became public that the parks department had been shielding $54 million in “hidden assets” from the state Department of Finance.
The University of Wisconsin also was found to have substantial reserves, amidst ongoing tuition, fee and spending increases.