Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Transparency" Bill Would Affect UC Campus Foundations

Bill aims to increase transparency at UC, CSU (excerpts from full article)

August 16, 2010, San Francisco Chronicle

(08-16) 17:29 PDT Sacramento, Calif. (AP) --

Foundations and auxiliary organizations linked to California's public colleges and universities would be subject to increased scrutiny under a bill approved Monday by the state Assembly.

Lawmakers voted unanimously to require those organizations to comply with the California Public Records Act. A loophole in the law previously has allowed the nonprofits to bypass the disclosure requirements that apply to higher education institutions.

In a 2001 case involving Fresno State University, a state appeals court ruled that auxiliary associations were not subject to the public records law because it offers only a limited definition of what constitutes a public body. However, the court expressed the opinion that those agencies should not be considered exceptions...

The 93 auxiliary bodies and foundations at California State University campuses control more than $1.3 billion, according to the CSU chancellor's office. The 10 UC campus foundations brought in a combined total of nearly $564 million in donations during the 2008-09 academic year, according to the UC Office of Institutional Advancement.

Earlier this year, the CSU Stanislaus Foundation came under fire for refusing to disclose the fee paid to former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for a June fundraising appearance. In July, the nonprofit revealed it had paid the former Alaska governor $75,000 for her 40-minute speech...

SB330 will return to the state Senate for a final floor vote before heading to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk.

The governor vetoed a similar bill last year, saying it could scare off donors and volunteers by compromising their privacy. SB330 aims to prevent another veto by exempting most volunteers and donors who wish to remain anonymous.

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