California's public colleges and universities are changing too many rules unilaterally and should be more accountable to the public, the state's independent Legislative Analyst's Office said in a report released last week.
California State University is setting its own rules for raising executive salaries; the University of California is shifting who is eligible to enroll; and community colleges are hoarding data that should be open to the public, say the higher education experts who advise the Legislature.
To fix the problem, the state should create a system for higher education oversight, according to the report, which points back to 1960 when the California Master Plan for Higher Education warned of the need to keep a watchful eye on the state's three higher-education systems.
For years there was such a body, the California Postsecondary Education Commission. But it was weak, bogged down by bureaucracy and never fulfilled its original function, according to the report from Mac Taylor, the legislative analyst.