Something appears to be a little odd about funding at the University of California system. Larry Gordon of the Los Angeles Times reports that:

The state auditor Thursday called on the University of California to be more transparent about how it distributes money among its campuses and asked why four campuses with high proportions of black, Latino and Native American students receive lower per-capita funding than some other UC schools.

The auditor’s report also criticized UCLA for “wrongfully” using $5 million from a student activities fund to construct a student center and for plans, since abandoned, to tap the fund further to renovate the Pauley Pavilion basketball arena. UCLA contends that it had the right to use the student fee money.

Apparently four UC schools with a higher-than-average proportion of black and Hispanic students, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, had lower per-pupil spending that other schools, despite the fact that students at all UC schools pay the same tuition, $12,192 a year for California students.

University of California President Mark Yudof said there was no reason to connect per-pupil spending to the race of the students: “There is absolutely no basis — statistically, historically, or ethically — for drawing such a connection,” he said.

Yudof said that legislators should “provide more evidence of malfeasance than innuendo.”

Why? Isn’t it a problem that some schools spend more on students than others even if no one does it on purpose?

View the audit here.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer