CA Judge Orders UC Venture Capital Data Release

July 30, 2003 ( - An employees' union trying to force the release of information about the venture capital investments of the University of California's (UC) pension funds was a legal victory with a ruling that the sought after data must be made public.

State Superior Court Judge James Richman in Oakland, California ruled that UC must release information on the performance of its venture capital investments, including $34 billion in retirement assets for 173,343 employees, according to the Alameda (California) Times-Star. A UC attorney said officials are considering an appeal.


The lawsuit prompting the latest ruling,  filed in April by the Coalition of University Employees and the San Jose Mercury News, argued that UC is required to disclose the information under state public records laws.   UC attorneys, meanwhile, say the information is a trade secret of the private consultants who calculated the investments and that making the information public would violate confidentiality agreements.

But the judge rejected that argument. “The public interest in disclosure of the (investment returns) clearly outweighs the claimed need to keep them secret,” Richman ruled.

The judge also ruled that UC had improperly withheld minutes of closed-session meetings in 2000 and 2002 where changes to the investment strategy were discussed.