ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras is resigning. He announced his resignation in a letter to the Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees.
This comes after several members of the New York State Assembly, including the Higher Education Committee Chair, called for his resignation after reports of disturbing text messages and emails sent by Malatras were made public last week.
The messages were a part of the New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into sexual harassment allegations against former Governor Andrew Cuomo. These included text messages to some of Cuomo’s aides and highest members of office about Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to the governor and first woman to publicly accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment allegations.
On Thursday, the SUNY Board of Trustees held a special meeting virtually. They showed appreciation for Malatras’s efforts, while the SUNY Student Assembly believes this was the best way to move forward.
“But, the recent events surrounding me over the past week have become a distraction over the important work that needs to be accomplished as SUNY emerges from COVID-19. I believe deeply in an individual’s ability to evolve, change, and grow, but I also believe deeply in SUNY and would never want to be an impediment to its success.”Jim Malatras
“We respect his decision and we wish him well,” said Dr. Merryl Tisch, Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees believes Malatras work speaks for itself and doesn’t reflect on his time at SUNY.
“It must of been a difficult decision because I know that he thinks of SUNY first and what’s good for SUNY,” said Cesar Perales, Vice Chairman of the SUNY Board of the Trustees.
Governor Kathy Hochul held a COVID-19 briefing in New York City on Thursday. She addressed how she spoke with Dr. Merryl Tisch, Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees on Wednesday night about the future of SUNY systems.
Gov. Hochul believes moving forward is what’s best.
“The position of the governor is not to stand out and make proclamations and statements I’m more inclined to work behind the scenes and focus on results,” said Gov. Hochul.
However, the SUNY Student Assembly President Bradley Hershenson believes the accusations against Malatras made him an ineffective leader. He looks forward to changes as well.
“We are the elected student leadership we have made our voices loud and clear. We are proud and glad to see Jim Malatras has resigned and taken action,” said he.
The SUNY Board of Trustees stood in support of Malatras after these messages came to light and amid the calls for his resignation. In light of his resignation, the trustees released this statement:
“We want to thank Dr. Jim Malatras for his extraordinary service to the entire SUNY system. The past two years have been among the most trying in SUNY’s history—and Jim’s leadership and collaboration with our faculty and staff have allowed our institution to continue to thrive and serve our nearly 400,000 students at 64 campuses across our state safely and in person. He has been a champion for our students, for access, for equity, and for deeper public investment in this great institution. The entire board expresses our gratitude for his dedication and leadership.”
Malatras’ last day as SUNY Chancellor is January 14, 2022.
You can read his resignation letter below:
Take a look at a special meeting of the SUNY Board of Trustees below: