Student Assembly invites SUNY Executive Committee, student government leaders, and SUNY Community College Council Council Chancellor Jim Malatras (in the picture) to resign. Materials from the New York State Attorney’s Office clearly show behavior unbecoming of a SUNY chancellor. After Chancellor Malatras resigns, the SUNY Board of Trustees must conduct nationwide research with the professional and academic charisma worthy of a university chancellor that includes student and faculty input, engagement, and feedback. See the data below:
Statement from the Council of Community Colleges at State University of New York
The State University of New York is a model institution of higher learning, one that adheres to high standards of decency and ethics; A leader in joint governance. In August 2020, the SUNY Board of Trustees appointed Jim Malatras to the SUNY chancellor, without national research, against the objections of the Community College College Board.
A recent release of documents from the New York attorney general’s independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against former governor Cuomo has revealed disturbing text messages written by Chancellor Malatras less than two months before Malatras became president of SUNY Empire State College. Instead of following workplace harassment reporting protocols, Malatras, along with Governor Cuomo’s top aides, fostered a toxic work environment by engaging in a scheme to disparage a colleague’s reputation in order to undermine her own credibility.
This behavior is clearly not befitting a SUNY chancellor. As such, in order to stave off further embarrassment and damage to the reputation of SUNY, the Council of Community Colleges calls on the SUNY Board of Trustees to request the immediate resignation of Chancellor Malatras, the appointment of a temporary administrator-in-charge, and a national search for a Chancellor with the professional and academic charisma that Fitting for the State University of New York system.
Statement from the University Student Association
The Student Caucus of the State University of New York Executive Committee and student government leaders are calling on Chancellor Jim Malatras to resign
December 3, 2021 – Earlier this week, the New York State Attorney’s Office released documents, transcripts and other materials related to the sexual harassment investigation of former New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Some of these documents reveal conversations involving counselor Jim Malatras. His comments about a female co-worker, including the use of language such as, “Go on your own,” show a level of hostility and a lack of professionalism that is inappropriate and should be disqualified for the position of counsel. These comments and the actions they exhibit are reprehensible at best, and we find it necessary to demand the resignation and removal of Chancellor Malatras.
As the person responsible for overseeing the nation’s largest public institution of higher education, the Chancellor shall be in accordance with the highest standards of integrity. In response to allegations of a toxic work environment, the counselor’s condition worsened and she contributed to this by making other obscene comments. It is imperative, now more than ever, that we support women and mothers (the demographic that makes up a large part of the student body across our system) when they have concerns, and
The counselor showed an inability to do so. State and federal lawmakers have condemned the chancellor’s behavior and publicly called for his resignation. The SUNY system advisor must have the trust and credibility of all levels of government. This is especially true for Governor Cathy Hochhol and the New York State Legislature, which are responsible for allocating its budget to SUNY each year. SUNY students themselves should have complete confidence that whoever serves as an advisor has the ability to successfully obtain the resources necessary to support programs and services on our 64 campuses. As tuition-paying students, we have every right to expect that the university’s leadership will be committed to the highest level of excellence.
The purpose of the Student Association is to represent the interests of students at the highest level, and across the state we are seeing the same sentiment emerge: Decisive action must be taken. In addition to all of the specific reasons that have been reiterated thus far, many students are also concerned about how this will affect them personally. Allowing the chancellor to remain in place damages the reputation of the system, detracts from our education and devalues the degrees we all work for. Former Governor Andrew Cuomo quit, in his words, “Because I work for you, and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you.” We urge the Chancellor, a self-proclaimed pro-student advisor, to embody this mindset and do what is best not necessarily for him, but for the students he serves.
As we have consistently seen in all documents released, Chancellor Malatras is not against personal retaliation, and it is very likely that this will be made clear to us as elected student leaders because of this statement. Even before then, the system administration’s agenda has always constrained us financially, constraining our ability to act independently in order to maintain our advocacy priorities in line with management’s interests.
This financial throttling is likely to worsen in the wake of this statement, but we understand that this call is more important. Should the Chancellor choose not to do the right thing and resign, we call on the Board of Trustees to impeach him with a vote of no-confidence at their next meeting, based on the concerns raised in our statement as well as those contained in statements issued by many other organizations, policy makers and influential figures in higher education. general.
Chancellor Malatras was approved by the Board of Trustees based on the influence of former Governor Cuomo and despite the objections of both students and faculty, we have seen the negative outcome created by this “process”. Immediately after his resignation or dismissal, it is imperative that the SUNY Board of Trustees open a nationwide search for the next chancellor—a process that should include student and faculty representation, participation, feedback, and consideration of candidates from all backgrounds and all demographics.