Audit: Top CSU Official Wasted More Than $152,000

Employee Traveled Around The World, Report Says

A top official in the California State University system wasted more than $152,000, according to a report released Thursday by state Auditor Elaine Howle.

The official, who was not identified, worked in the Information Technology Services department of the chancellor's office from 1995 to July 2008.

"We consider this very serious," Howle said.

The report said the official received improper reimbursements "for unnecessary trips, meals that exceeded the university's limits, the official's commuter expenses between his home in Northern California and the university's headquarters in Long Beach, living allowances, home office expenses, duplicate payments, and overpayment of claims."

The report said the official was reimbursed for trips across the country and around the world "that appeared to offer few tangible benefits or advantages to the university." Such destinations included London, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Singapore and Melbourne, Australia.

Howle said the official stayed in hotels that cost more than $400 a night.

"It's exorbitant," she said.

The report recommends CSU try to recover some of the money from the official and change its travel and expense procedures.

Document: Audit Of Chancellor's Office

A staff member with the state auditor's office found the discrepancies while investigating another issue.

The report comes two weeks after CSU trustees warned that for the first time they might have to cap enrollment at the system's 23 campuses.

Because of state budget cuts, as many as 10,000 students who meet admission requirements may be turned away.The audit angered students protesting at Sacramento State over budget cuts."I am infuriated by it," said Robert Graham, one of the protesting students.

Graham said the report of waste is hard to take at a time when part-time faculty positions are being cut."When we have part-time faculty cut, that means our class offerings are reduced, and when our class offerings are reduced, that means that we have impacted classes," Graham said.

"And when students can't get their classes that they need for graduation, now we have delayed graduation rates." 

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