Palin dispute raises questions about university foundations

CSU Stanislaus president Hamid Shirvani said the Palin document had been taken from a recycling bin inside the office of a vice president who also serves on the foundation board. He has asked police to investigate the alleged theft.

University spokeswoman Eve Hightower said Shirvani has also asked the Washington Speakers Bureau, which arranges Palin’s speaking engagements, to reveal her speaking fee to help quell the controversy. The agency has not yet responded to the request, Hightower said, and it had not returned phone calls or eMail messages from the AP seeking comment as of press time.

Yee has sponsored legislation that would require campus foundations and auxiliary organizations to adhere to public-records requirements. The measure passed the Senate in January and awaits an Assembly hearing.

Yee has argued that there is often significant overlap between universities and their foundation arms, and that both should be subject to the same disclosure requirements.

“There is not a fine line or even a blurry line between the foundation and the public university; there is absolutely no line,” Yee said.

He added: “Our public university executives need to stop acting like they are running private country clubs and personal slush funds.”

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