CSU Chancellor Resigns Over Mishandling Sexual Misconduct Complaints Two Weeks After Investigation

Written by Sasha Reva

This Tuesday, Joseph I. Castro, who was the chancellor of California State University, resigned due t the mishandling of  sexual allegations.

Based on the investigation by USA TODAY published on Feb. 3, he was questioned about handling of sexual assault complaints against Frank Lamas.

Lamas was former vice president of student affairs at Fresno State University and was alleged for touching women, making sexist comments and harassing.

There were officially no actions against him until the formal complaint, which was filed in 2019. From a CBS LA report, Lamas offered one of the employees a promotion for the sexual favors. In 2020, he officially retired and as part of a settlement agreement, he received a $260,000 payment and while he was barred from ever working at CSU again.

Joseph Castro offered to help Lamas to find a job somewhere else and wrote him a letter of recommendation. After all, he regretted doing that and he wrote a letter to the CSU community and apologized for “any additional hurt and understandable frustration brought about by aspects of the mediated settlement agreement.”

Castro wrote, “We must do more – and we will do more. I am fully committed to working with our campus presidents and the CSU Board of Trustees on these critically important issues, and I pledge to continue to do so until the California State University becomes a national model for the prevention and redress of sexual misconduct in all its forms.”

As of right now, Castro’s position will be taken by Steve Relyea, CSU’s executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer, who will be current chancellor until an interim chancellor has been named.

“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,” Castro said in a statement. “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.”

Photo Cred: Gary Kazanjian / AP file