Press Release Transparency

Public Information about Monies Held by CSU and Cash Reserves



The following information was compiled in response to the June 20, 2019 California state audit report on the California State University’s parking program and outside accounts. Read the CSU Chancellor’s statement responding to the report.
Over the past 10 years (the period audited), as well as the decades before, the California State University has publicly presented detailed information about investment balances and net assets dozens of times. That information, which was presented to the state auditor​, can be viewed here.
  • ​Among these reports are audited financial statements published by the CSU, one of the few state agencies to publish externally audited financial statements. Read the most recent systemwide audited financial statement: June 30, 2018 CSU Financial Statements (PDF). Investments are reported on pages 8 and 9, net position is reported on page 17, the statement of net position (including cash and cash equivalents) is stated on page 29 and cash, cash equivalents and investments are reported on page 46. Audited financial statements dating back to 1996-97 are available on the CSU Financial Services Website.
  • The CSU also provides annual investment reports to the Board of Trustees, which are made available to the public, and include information about investment balances and performance. In addition, the CSU investment committee—comprised of members of the Board of Trustees and a representative from the Office of the State Treasurer—meets quarterly to review CSU investments and performance.
  • The CSU also annually reports the value of all investments held outside the state treasury to both the State Treasurer and the State Controller’s Office in the Report of Accounts Outside the State Treasury (aka “Report 14”), a report that is required of all state agencies.
  • The State Controller’s Office submits an annual report to the governor and members of the legislature—the Budgetary/Legal Basis Annual Report—that includes a detailed listing of CSU balances by fund. The report is addressed to the “Citizens, Governor and Members of the State of California” and the data is used by the Department of Finance to prepare the Governor’s Budget. Versions of this document, which includes the aforementioned CSU financial information, dating back to 2000, are available on the State Controller’s website.
  • During a September 2017 Board of Trustees meeting, the CSU specifically presented information about designated reserves and the university policies related to reserves. That meeting was attended by Governor Newsom (Lt. Governor at the time) and other legislative staff, both CSU student trustees and news media.
  • In August 2017 and April 2018, the CSU sent letters to state legislators providing specific details about monies held by the CSU outside of the state treasury and how those revenues are used. These communications provided both policy details and exact balances. The latter communication provides the exact information identified in area 6 (A) of the audit scope and objectives.
  • In keeping with the CSU’s long-standing commitment to transparency and accountability, the university has established a Financial Transparency Portal​ featuring financial reports and interactive, easy-to-understand visualizations. Five years of actual revenues and expenses are available and can be viewed by year, campus and fund. The site also provides the public the opportunity to comment on the information presented, provide recommendations for improvement of website user experience, or pose additional questions. 
  • The Public Policy Institute of California recently lauded the CSU for the portal in an update titled CSU’s Prudent Saving Strategy. Regarding the CSU’s designated reserves, the update states, “The growth in capital reserves is promising and helps to safeguard the CSU’s ability to meet the needs of its future students. Similarly, building operating reserves is key to preserving access and maintaining strong student outcomes during the next recession.​​​"

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 52,000 faculty and staff and 481,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 125,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.7 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​