Report 2015-107 Recommendation 22 Responses

Report 2015-107: The University of California: Its Admissions and Financial Decisions Have Disadvantaged California Resident Students (Release Date: March 2016)

Recommendation #22 To: University of California

To ensure that its rebenching efforts lead to equalized per-student funding among the campuses, the university should adopt a methodology that it can use, at least every three to five years, to update its weighting system to ensure the weight factors take into account campuses' actual costs of instruction, using the cost study that we recommend in Chapter 1 and other revenue sources if necessary.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

The University will conduct this review by 2020 in consultation with the Academic Senate, campus leadership, students, and other interested stakeholders.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2020

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Pending


1-Year Agency Response

The University plans to review the weighting factors used for distributing State General Funds across the campuses on a per-student basis. This review will be conducted every five years.

Differences in the cost of providing instruction to different categories of students will be among the considerations used to evaluate the weighting factors. However, the methodology for distributing State funds across campuses will continue to take into account other relevant factors that were thoroughly debated as the methodology was being developed. For example, the methodology accounts for the fact that professional degree programs that charge Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition have access to resources that other programs do not have and thus a student in one of these programs is weighted the same as an undergraduate student, yet the cost of some of those programs is relatively high.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2020
  • Response Date: March 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken

The university did not indicate how or when it will conduct this review, therefore no action has been taken.


6-Month Agency Response

The University has agreed to review the weighting factors used for distributing State General Funds across the campuses on a per-student basis. This review will be conducted every five years.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2020
  • Response Date: August 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken

The university did not indicate how or when it will conduct this review, therefore no action has been taken.


60-Day Agency Response

The University has agreed to review the weighting factors used for distributing State General Funds across the campuses on a per-student basis. This review will be conducted every five years.

Differences in the cost of providing instruction to different categories of students will be among the considerations used to evaluate the weighting factors. However, the current methodology for distributing State funds across campuses will continue to take into account other factors that were thoroughly debated as the methodology was being developed. For example, the methodology accounts for the fact that professional degree programs that charge Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition have access to resources that other programs do not have and thus a student in one of these programs is weighted the same as an undergraduate student, yet the cost of some of those programs is relatively high. If weighting factors were based on cost alone, these programs would receive significantly more resources, which would be an unintended result.

Note that although this recommendation references "campuses' actual costs of instruction," incorporating campus-specific instructional costs into the weighting factor would be inconsistent with a key goal of rebenching, which is to provide the same level of State funding for the same type of student at every campus.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2020
  • Response Date: May 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

Until such time as the university adopts a methodology to update its weighting system, we conclude that the university has taken no action on this recommendation. In addition, our recommendation refers to the cost to instruct students across all campuses at the systemwide level, not the cost to instruct a student at a specific campus.


All Recommendations in 2015-107

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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