As part of its Wednesday meeting, the UC Board of Regents discussed the university’s annual ethics compliance and audit services report for the 2022-23 fiscal year, as well as various financial issues.
The compliance and audit report was presented by the Office of Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services during the compliance and audit committee meeting.
According to the report, the office reviewed cybersecurity controls in place at UC-run heating and power plants and tested the vulnerability of “high-risk systems” within the UC Office of the President, or UCOP.
The internal report flagged cybersecurity as a major issue, alongside the need for improvements in workforce retention and recruitment and universitywide safety and welfare.
The Finance and Capital Strategies Committee also discussed revisions to the university budget that will accommodate a myriad of various new projects across university campuses, including medical education and animal care facilities at UCSF and UC Merced. The board also approved a proposed item to install more dorms at UCLA.
The regents also noted issues in university salary compensation. According to the committee agenda, latest available salary estimates show that UC faculty salaries remain 3.6% below market.
Attempts to overcome this salary gap will include a UC budget plan of $88.5 million for policy-covered faculty and academic employees, which is a 4.2% increase in salary expenditures. The report notes that this increase is not enough to fill the gap with comparison universities, but will “prevent further erosion of the University’s competitive position.”
After discussing and approving multiple revisions to the campus budget plan, Associate Vice President of Energy and Sustainability David Phillips and Executive Vice President of Finance Nathan Brostrom presented the annual update on the UC Capital Financial Plan for approval.
This included revised plans to support retirees and discussion around the UC pension fund and healthcare coverage for retired faculty.
In discussing the pension fund, the regents debated between employee contribution versus employer contribution to pension, noting that pensions and payroll are to be stabilized in order to keep up with increasing prices.
The board approved an increase in the university and employer contribution rate to the pension from 14% to 18%, with a 0.5% increase per year.
The committee also went over undergraduate enrollment growth; between 2021 and 2027, the university is projected to grow the undergraduate population by roughly 16,000.
They further discussed student budget priorities including full funding for the Cal Grant equity framework, as well as goals to expand the Cal Grant beyond the current four-year eligibility and establish ongoing funding for disability service providers.
The meeting finished with Brostrom responding to concerns from meeting attendants regarding disability services as well as the university’s ability to properly support the expanding student population.