Calif. Legislature Turns Up Heat on Universities

May 27, 2009

As legislators in California took steps to toughen their regulation of one of the state's two major university systems, they are poised to strengthen their ability to regulate the other, according to newspapers in the state. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that leading lawmakers plan to introduce legislation today that would strip the University of California of its cherished immunity from regulation by the Legislature, saying they have had enough of controversies over salaries and perks paid to top administrators and what they describe as the resistance to public disclosure and accountability. UC leaders have been acting "absolutely above the law," State Sen. Leland Yee told the newspaper. The proposed amendment to the Constitution would, if passed by the Legislature, require approval of a majority of the state's voters. The California State University System is already subject to the Legislature's actions, and on Tuesday the state Senate -- as if as a signal to the University of California -- approved a bill that would bar Cal State trustees from raising top administrators' salaries or giving them bonuses in years when state funds for the institutions have been cut, the Associated Press reported.

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