• Matt Esnayra

CSU's chancellor resigns over handling of sex misconduct claims

California State University Chancellor Dr. Joseph I. Castro has resigned Thursday evening after receiving criticism over his handling of sexual assault and workplace harassment claims against a former colleague while serving as president of Fresno State University.

School's Out:

The controversy over Castro's mishandling of years of sexual harassment and retaliation claims stems from a USA Today investigation into former university administrator Frank Lamas. While as Fresno State's president, Castro knew as early as 2014 of Lamas' toxic behavior but didn't take action until 2019 after the university received a formal Title IX complaint against him.

  • USA Today's report revealed that Lamas created an abusive workplace environment and engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct towards employees.

  • Casto signed off on a $260,000 retirement plan and a letter of recommendation Lamas even after at least 12 complaints against him.

  • The investigation revealed that Castro never disciplined Lamas and would later praise him and recommend him for an award.

The latest:

After an hour-long closed-door meeting with the Board of Trustees, Castro made his resignation announcement.

  • Castro was chosen chancellor of CSU in 2020, the nation's largest public four-year institution, only weeks after approving the settlement deal.

  • More than 200 Long Beach State employees signed a petition demanding Castro's resignation.

  • Steve Relyea has been named as acting chancellor; Relyea is the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer until an interim chancellor is announced in a news release.

What he's saying:

Castro on his resignation: "I have been honored to serve the California State University for more than eight years, including as its eighth chancellor, and the decision to resign is the most difficult of my professional life." Mr.Castro would go on to say, "while I disagree with many aspects of recent media reports and the ensuing commentary, it has become clear to me that resigning at this time is necessary so that the CSU can maintain its focus squarely on its educational mission and the impactful work yet to be done."

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