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University of California Will No Longer Pay for Regents’ Dinners and Parties

The University of California will no longer pick up the tab for dinners and parties thrown by the university’s Board of Regents, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The change in policy came hours after a report that the university had reimbursed regents to the tune of more than $225,000 for such events since 2012.

The regents threw parties and dinners at lavish hotels, the report said, and some of them were “poorly timed.” A recent event, which cost $270 a person on May 17, was held immediately after students shut down a board meeting in a protest against a tuition increase and revelations that the president’s office had been maintaining a secret fund. The newspaper’s report led to near-immediate outcry from all directions.

Richard Blum, a former chair of the Board of Regents, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he had recommended the change in policy to Janet Napolitano, president of the university system. “I said, ‘Janet, it’s not worth the aggravation. Let’s have the regents pay for their own dinners,’” he said.

Ms. Napolitano and Monica Lozano, chair of the Board of Regents, announced the change in a statement on Sunday night. “Up to now, board dinners have been paid for with monies from the Searles Fund, a private endowment that the donor designated for university business costs not covered by state or tuition funds,” they wrote. “However, to avoid any question over use of university or university-associated funds, regents will absorb their costs for board dinners from this point forward.”

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