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Cal State chancellor resigns over handling of sex misconduct

California State University Chancellor
Posted at 3:59 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 15:59:17-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The chancellor of California State University, the nation's most extensive public university system, has resigned after accusations of mishandling sexual misconduct allegations.

The CSU Board of Trustees says Joseph I. Castro resigned immediately on Thursday.

In a statement, Castro called it the most difficult decision of his professional life.

“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," Castro said in the statement.

The move comes amid reports that Castro, while president of Cal State Fresno, didn't properly follow up on years of complaints of sexual harassment and other accusations against a top official who was allowed to retire.

According to the Associated Press, complaints began being levied against former Fresno State vice president of student affairs Frank Lamas in 2014. He improperly touched women, made sexist comments, and harassed or retaliated against workers.

In 2020, Castro became the first Mexican-American and native Californian to lead the nation's most extensive four-year public university system when he was appointed chancellor.

He replaced Chancellor Timothy White, who retired.