CSU Chancellor resigns, effective immediately


Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include SF State President Lynn Mahoney’s comments.

California State University system Chancellor Joseph I. Castro stepped down on Thursday after having served a little over a year. 

Castro’s resignation — effective immediately — comes after being accused of failing to formally reprimand an administrator for sexual harassment claims against of another administrator — which university findings supported — during his time as president of Fresno State. 

Faculty members at Cal State Long Beach called for Castro’s resignation in a petition that garnered over 200 signatures, citing Castro’s negligence at allowing Former Fresno State Student Affairs and Enrollment Vice President Frank Lamas to resign quietly in a settlement agreement. Part of that agreement included Castro promising Lamas a letter of recommendation, should he pursue another higher education job. 

SF State President Lynn Mahoney said she looks forward to working with the next chancellor and said she thinks the board acted in the best interest of the system. 

“My thoughts are first and foremost with those affected at Fresno State,” Mahoney said. “I have every confidence that the CSU will take action to assess and strengthen Title IX policies and processes for our students and employees,” Mahoney said. 

Lamas has been the subject of dozens of complaints, seven of which Castro received personally, according to a USA TODAY investigation. His behavior was allegedly so egregious that a window was installed in his office so “he would not be alone with his employees.”

In a statement made by the CSU board of Trustees, Chair Lillian Kimbell said, “We appreciate Chancellor Castro’s cooperation with the Trustees and his decision to step down for the benefit of the California State University system.”

Castro called his resignation necessary and that this decision was the hardest of his life, but he disagrees with “many aspects of recent media reports and the ensuing commentary.”

Castro was the eighth chancellor and the first latino to hold the title of CSU Chancellor. 

Currently, the board of trustees is finalizing  a plan as to who will succeed Castro. Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Steve Relyea will serve as acting chancellor until an interim chancellor has been named.