SUNY University Faculty Senate calls for an investigation of Chancellor Jim Malatras

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WETM) – The SUNY University Faculty Senate is calling on the Board of Trustees to authorize an independent investigation into Chancellor Jim Malatras.

The UFS Executive Committee is not calling for Malatras’ resignation or removal just yet. In a statement Tuesday night, UFS expressed concerns about Malatras’ effectiveness as a leader and called for an investigation of his leadership.

“We call on the Board of Trustees to in the immediate term, authorize an independent investigation of the Chancellor’s leadership at the Rockefeller Institute, Empire State College, and System Administration into workplace culture; hiring procedures and qualifications of those hired; transparency; collaboration with faculty and student organizations; and effectiveness of advocacy.”

Statement by SUNY University Faculty Senate

This comes as reports of disturbing text messages and emails sent by Malatras were made public last week as part of the New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into sexual harassment allegations against former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

In the statement, SUNY UFS condemned workplace harassment and described the Chancellor’s behavior as unacceptable.

The SUNY Board of Trustees had issued a statement last week, strongly supporting Malatras to remain in office, citing his work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But members of UFS weren’t convinced, saying the Board, “failed to adequately explain why they retain confidence that he can effectively lead and advocate for SUNY going forward,” in the statement.

There have been growing calls for Malatras to resign over the weekend, and Monday, Chair of the Higher Education Committee, Assemblymember Deborah Glick joined the list of people in favor of the Chancellor being removed from office.

The SUNY UFS has said they will continue to monitor the situation and are “prepared to take further action as warranted.” UFS consists of representatives from all 33 SUNY colleges.

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