Report 2019-114 Recommendations
When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.
Recommendations in Report 2019-114: California State University: The Mandatory Fees Its Campuses Charge Receive Little Oversight Yet They Represent an Increasing Financial Burden to Students (Release Date: May 2020)
|Recommendations to Legislature|
To ensure that all funding that students and the Legislature provide to the CSU system to pay for its core functions receives the same oversight, the Legislature should do the following:
- Direct the Chancellor's Office to review mandatory fee expenditures across all 23 campuses and, by December 2020, report to the Legislature how much campuses spent of those fees on faculty and academic support staff, classroom and laboratory improvements, educational equipment and software, student trips and events, instruction-related facility improvements, and athletics in fiscal year 2018-19. The Chancellor's Office should also report the proportions and dollar amounts of these fee expenditures that directly support the CSU's core functions—namely, instructing and graduating students who are prepared to succeed.
- Using this information, determine and implement the most effective centralized way to fund the core functions for which mandatory fees currently pay.
- Upon implementing the new funding approach, prohibit CSU campuses from charging and using revenue from mandatory fees—including student success fees; instructionally related activities fees; and materials, services, and facilitates fees—to pay for any of the identified core functions. This prohibition should also apply to any mandatory fees campuses create in the future.
To ensure that CSU students have a strong voice regarding the mandatory fees they must pay, the Legislature should amend state law to require campuses to hold binding student votes when seeking to establish or increase any mandatory fee. The Legislature should require the Chancellor's Office to verify the results of all student votes before the chancellor approves fee changes.
|Recommendations to University, California State|
To ensure that CSU campuses adequately identify the need for their proposed mandatory fee amounts, the Chancellor's Office should revise its fee policy to require campuses to justify amounts for new or increasing fees by providing supporting documentation demonstrating the need for the fees, how they calculated the fee amounts, and how they determined that no other source of funding could pay for the needed services.
To ensure that CSU campuses adequately identify the need for their proposed mandatory fee amounts, the Chancellor's Office should extend its review responsibilities to include increases to existing mandatory fees.
To ensure that CSU campuses adequately identify the need for their proposed mandatory fee amounts, the Chancellor's Office should increase the rigor of its fee proposal review and approval process to better ensure that it detects campuses' violations of the fee policy.