California State University (CSU) issued a statement from Chancellor Timothy P. White on the Parking Program and Outside Accounts Audit Report. The California State Auditor conducted an audit of the CSU’s accounts held outside the state treasury, including designated reserve funds and its parking programs. The audit covers a period of 10 years from fiscal years 2008-09 through 2017-18.
The audit report focuses on how CSU reports its fund balances and its policy for maintaining economic reserves. It mischaracterizes CSU Reserve Policy as “discretionary surplus,” which misrepresents the role reserve funds play. According to CSU, reserve funds are “monies associated with campus operations that are held by the campus for specific, designated purposes” used to pay for one-time expenses or to protect against economic uncertainties, not ongoing expenses.
The audit report fails to make clear that CSU’s fund management process aligns with standard industry practice. CSU’s reserves as it stands today would support operations for only two-and-a-half (2.5) months.
CSU has a long-standing commitment to transparency and accountability in its financial operations. In keeping with this commitment, CSU’s financial transparency portal provides the public with the opportunity to view five years of actual revenues and expenses—by year, campus and fund.