Embattled former CSU Chancellor can take a faculty position at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo – San Bernardino Sun

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Recently ousted California State University Chancellor Joseph Castro will receive a $401,000 salary while participating in a one-year bridging program that allows him to become a professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he holds.

Under his settlement agreement with the CSU system, released by the chancellor’s office on Friday, Castro will also continue to receive a housing allowance for the next six months worth $47,002, the spokesman said. the CSU, Michael Uhlenkamp.

Additionally, Castro can cash out any unused vacation during the 17 months he served as chancellor of the 23-campus system, as well as any vacation he accrues while in the executive transition program. ‘a year. He will also receive sick leave and other benefits during this time.

Uhlenkamp on Friday that it is too early to determine what the monetary value of Castro’s unused vacation and sick time would be.

“It will only be calculated and paid when he leaves CSU. Since he’s in the transition program for a year, we won’t have that until he determines if he’s going to go back to college,” said Uhlenkamp, ​​who added that Castro doesn’t hadn’t yet decided to take the professorship at San Luis Obispo. .

If Castro takes the job, CSU will reimburse him for moving expenses from Long Beach, where the chancellor’s office is located, to San Luis Obispo, according to the settlement agreement.

The executive transition program available to CSU administrators — chancellor, vice chancellor, university presidents — allows the system to benefit from each individual’s accumulated experience upon resignation, Uhlenkamp said.

Urged to resign

Castro resigned on February 17 amid reports that he failed to properly handle complaints of sexual harassment and bullying against Frank Lamas, the former vice president of student affairs at the State University of Fresno, when Castro was president there.

In November 2019, Fresno State commissioned two investigations into Lamas in response to more than a dozen complaints of sexual harassment and promoting a hostile work environment that spanned his five-year college career. .

An alleged victim of Lamas claims he touched her in the shoulder, lower back, knee and thigh, put his arm around her, grabbed and massaged her arm and adjusted the suspender out of her bra, even after she told him she didn’t like being touched. . He often looked at his body parts, as well as those of other women, and told sexually explicit stories, determined by the investigations.

Instead of properly investigating the complaints piling up against Lamas, Castro instead allowed him to quietly retire in 2020 with a $260,000 severance package, retirement benefits and a glowing letter of recommendation, according to a deal from settlement signed by Lamas on August 31, 2020. Less than a month later, Castro left Fresno State for the top job with the CSU system.

Lamas denied doing anything wrong, calling the allegations against him “illegitimate and false”. He said the university ignored information he and his supporters provided during investigations in 2019. Despite what he claimed was a positive record at Fresno State, he decided to resign to avoid a ” prolonged legal situation”.

Pension rights

Castro has “retirement rights” at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he serves as a full professor of leadership and public policy in management, human resources, and information systems at the Orfalea College of Business.

Retirement rights allow former faculty members who rise to the ranks of administrators within the CSU system to fall back or “retire” to their former faculty positions if their administrative positions are not working.

On Tuesday, March 1, the CSU Board of Trustees, under pressure from Senator Connie Leyva, D-Chino, Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, and university senates from several colleges in the CSU system , announced that he would commission an independent investigation into Castro and other administrators’ handling of Lamas’ complaints, which spanned from 2014 to 2019.

The board also announced Tuesday that CSU will review its practice allowing administrators to step back into faculty positions, and that the chancellor’s office is preparing to release a policy that will bring system-wide consistency to a process that has always been handled individually by the 23 CSU campuses. .

Uhlenkamp could not say on Friday whether Castro’s pension rights, which were included in his employment contract with CSU when he took over as chancellor, will be waived once the new policy takes effect.

“This is a very important and complex issue and why CSU is developing a system-wide policy to create clarity and consistency for retirement opportunities,” he said.

Additionally, CSU has no findings of misconduct related to Castro, other than what has been reported in the media. “Any misbehavior was specific to Lamas,” Uhlenkamp said.

He said the university’s independent investigation would provide a deeper understanding of the circumstances in Fresno State during Castro’s tenure as president.

“Scandalous and irresponsible”

Irene Matz, an associate professor at Cal State Fullerton and chair of the California State University Academic Senate faculty affairs committee, said in an email Friday that it was an insult to the integrity of CSU to allow Castro to teach.

“Castro was not guilty of sexual harassment, but he condoned it by doing nothing until there was a formal complaint,” she said. “As far as compensation for salary, housing, and moving expenses, this is another insult to hard-working faculty and others at CSU.”

The California Faculty Association, which represents more than 29,000 faculty and tenured teaching staff across the CSU system, also weighed in on the settlement, issuing a statement calling it “outrageous and irresponsible.”

“This sends a message that the CSU Board of Directors approves of rewarding bad behavior as it relates to our directors,” the statement read. “Administrators are more interested in the status quo and damage control than in addressing serious and systemic harassment and abuse across CSU.”

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