The UC Board of Regents filed an appeal with the First Appellate District in San Francisco to overturn an earlier ruling mandating the university to disclose information on its investment returns, according to a statement released Thursday.
In the earlier ruling made in February, the Alameda County Superior Court mandated the UC to comply with public records requests for its investments, some of which were made with public money. Reuters America filed the suit against the UC system last year in response to the university’s failure to comply with a public records request.
According to a statement by Charles Robinson, general counsel of the UC, the lower court ruling favors commercial interests by forcing the disclosure of information that may be used for financial gain.
“This attempt to ‘reach through’ government to obtain records from private parties – so that Reuters can advance its own commercial interests – contradicts both the (California Public Records Act) and the legislative statute that created specific exemptions from disclosure so that public pension funds may invest in private equity funds,” Robinson said in the statement. “Such funds have proven extremely profitable to the University and as such, greatly benefited our students, faculty, employees and retirees.”
According to The San Jose Mercury News, the UC system has invested a total of $7 million from its general endowment and $52 million from its retirement savings program with venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.