Head of nation’s largest university system resigns under fire


The allegations : When Castro was president of Fresno State, USA Today reported, Castro failed to punish administrator Frank Lamas despite internal campus investigations that found Lamas responsible for sexual harassment, according to the report. . Instead, Castro praised Lamas in the performance reviews and endorsed him for a lifetime achievement award.

Campus administration received at least 12 complaints during the six years Lamas worked on campuses, directing student affairs and managing enrollment, according to the report.

Three weeks before Castro was named chancellor in September 2020, Castro and Lamas reached a settlement agreement barring Lamas from working for CSU. In return, Lamas was guaranteed $260,000, full benefits and a letter of recommendation from Castro for any other college jobs Lamas applied for, USA Today reported.

Castro apologized in an open letter to Cal State students and faculty, saying he regretted offering the letter of recommendation to Lamas. He added that Lamas was expelled from campus immediately after a formal Title IX complaint was filed against Lamas in 2019.

The outcry: A growing number of professors and state lawmakers had called for an investigation, outraged by the report.

Such behavior happens “all the time,” CFA North Associate Vice President Meghan O’Donnell said in an interview Thursday. “It’s important for us to recognize that it’s systemic,” she said, “and part of the problem is the fact that we have very little transparency or public input in hiring these administrators. high level.”

And after: The directors have accepted Castro’s resignation and the board is finalizing a succession plan. Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Steve Relyea will become acting chancellor until the trustees determine an acting chancellor.

CSU also announced that it would launch an initiative to “bring CSU to the forefront of Title IX innovation, accountability, and response.”


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