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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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    CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro Resigns Amid Backlash Surrounding Sexual Misconduct Handling

    Photo+courtesy+of+the+California+State+University.

    Photo courtesy of the California State University.

    Dr. Joseph I. Castro, the eighth chancellor of the California State University, has officially resigned. Castro’s resignation comes after a USA Today investigative report claimed that he had mishandled several sexual misconduct complaints from 2013 to 2020 while he was president of Fresno State.
    “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,” said Castro.
    Castro was named chancellor of the CSU on Sept. 23, 2020. Thursday night’s resignation officially makes him the shortest tenured chancellor in the history of the state university system, lasting only 513 days. Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer, Steve Relyea, will serve as acting chancellor until an interim chancellor has been named.
    According to USA Today, Castro allegedly ignored complaints that Fresno State’s former vice president of student affairs, Frank Lamas, continuously harassed female coworkers. It wasn’t until complaints became public in 2020 that Lamas was let go from his position, but not before a discrete settlement between Castro and Lamas was agreed upon. This settlement included a $260,000 payment with full retirement benefits along with offers to write letters of recommendation for Lamas.
    In his statement, Castro continued to defend himself from many of the claims, but acknowledged that improvements must be made to the current Title IX policy and the CSU.
    “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,” he said.
    Board of Trustee Chair, Lillian Kimbell, who defended Castro days after the USA Today story was published, stated that the board is supportive of Castro’s decision to step down.
    “We appreciate Chancellor Castro’s cooperation with the Trustees and his decision to step down for the benefit of California State University system,” Kimbell said. 
    Prior to Castro’s resignation, the CSU Board of Trustees announced that they would welcome an independent investigation regarding the now-former chancellor’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints at Fresno State. The board explained that there would be a continued, comprehensive assessment of Title IX policy throughout the CSU system, beginning with the Fresno State campus.
    For Title IX information as it relates to the Stanislaus State campus, head to www.csustan.edu/compliance/title-ix-and-gender-equity.

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    CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro Resigns Amid Backlash Surrounding Sexual Misconduct Handling