Regents to discuss UCOP audit, approve budget

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The UC Board of Regents will meet Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at UCSF Mission Bay to approve the appointment of a new student regent, discuss UCOP audit and vote on the UCOP’s fiscal year 2017-18 budget.

This meeting will be the first for new board chair, Regent George Kieffer. Kieffer, a law partner, has been on the board since 2009, and was announced as the newest elected board chair July 5, though his election became effective July 1.

Kieffer replaces former board chair Monica Lozano, who was originally appointed as a regent in 2001.

Regent John A. Pérez, the former speaker of the California State Assembly, will serve as Kieffer’s vice chair.

On Tuesday, the board’s investments subcommittee will discuss several regents policies including an update on investment products and reviews on general endowment and return expenditure policy. The only action item included on Tuesday’s open session agenda regards benchmarks set in the general endowment pool investment policy.

If approved, the recommendations made by the Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Singh Bachher would alter the benchmarks for public equity, liquidity (income), absolute return (strategic opportunities) and real assets (includes real estate) by which the UC measures the performance of their investment portfolio.

Benchmarks are used to establish risk levels and in performance evaluation of investments.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the UCOP will present a 60-day status report to the compliance and audit committee on the implementation of recommendations from the California State audit of UCOP’s controversial administrative expenditures.

The status report was originally submitted on June 23.

The university is required to report its progress as part of the standard state audit follow-up process — the university is thereafter required to report back at six months, one year and annually.

UCOP is required to provide information for each recommendation including implementation status, estimated completion date and future plans for implementing recommendations.

Of the 33 recommendations given to UCOP by the state auditor, 33 have not been fully implemented. Of the seven recommendations given to the UC Regents, seven have not been fully implemented.

Later in the day on Wednesday the regents will vote to approve the fiscal year 2017-18 UCOP budget. New cost controls recommended in the budget include several restrictions on employee commendations.

The control recommendations include “restrictions on employee recognition awards (“STAR” and “Spot” awards),” elimination of the use of UCOP funds for retirement recognition events. Additionally the budget recommends cutting employee travel expenditures “at least ten percent.”

The first Executive Budget Committee meeting will convene August 11, 2017.

The regents will also vote on a new student regent Wednesday. If approved, UCLA graduate student Devon L. Graves will serve on the board from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019. Graves will also work with UCLA rising senior Rafael “Rafi” Sands, the first-ever regents student adviser. 

Audrey McNamara is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @McNamaraAud.