Brief: Investigation Confirms UC State Audit Findings

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The independent investigation  of the state audit of the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) is expected to be released on Thursday. Former California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno conducted the 65 page report.

On April 25, state auditor Elaine Howle revealed $175 million unaccounted for within UCOP finances. During the auditing process, Howle asked each UC campus chancellor to submit a confidential survey regarding individual UCOP programs. The final audit report revealed UCOP executives instructed three of 10 campus chancellors to edit these surveys, including UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal.

Moreno’s investigation confirms the state audit’s findings that UCOP executives interfered with campus surveys, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. This contradicts UC President Janet Napolitano’s previous public comments in which she claimed her staff reached out to campus officials to clarify the survey questions. The UCOP responded to these most recent findings on behalf of Napolitano in the fact-finding report obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

“She said she regrets the allegation of interference because that was not the intent and it detracts from the fact that [the UCOP] accepted all of the state auditor’s recommendations in her audit report and has changed its procedures,” the report said.

The original 184-word audit survey Chancellor Blumenthal turned in to the UCOP was cut down to 72 words to reflect the UCOP more positively. Blumenthal’s office has not responded to Moreno’s report. UCSC director of news and media relations Scott Hernandez-Jason declined to comment until the official release of Moreno’s report.