Leaders of New York’s public university system back Chancellor James Malatras, who faced calls to resign after posting text messages showing he mocked one of the women who later accused former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of harassment. sexual.
“He acknowledged that he made a mistake, took full responsibility for it and apologized appropriately,” the New York State University Board of Trustees said in a statement Friday night, following a written apology from Malatras. “He is fully focused on the critical work of keeping our facilities open and our students and faculty safe during the ongoing pandemic.”
Malatras, Cuomo’s former senior adviser, came under fire after Attorney General Letitia James released transcripts and evidence from a month-long investigation of sexual harassment allegations that forced Cuomo to leave office. Cuomo has denied harassing anyone.
A text exchange involving Malatras and other Cuomo allies showed them mocking Lindsey Boylan, a former economic development official who was the first woman to publicly accuse Cuomo. Boylan, after leaving the administration, tweeted in 2019 that working in politics had been “a toxic and demoralizing experience.”
He had not yet made his allegations of sexual harassment against the governor public.
“We’re going to post some of your crazy emails,” Malatras texted, using crazy slang.
After Boylan called him in a series of tweets, Malatras texted the group with bad language against Boylan.
The SUNY Student Assembly on Friday asked the trustees to remove Malatras with a vote of no confidence.
“Allowing the chancellor to remain in place damages the reputation of the system, detracting from our education and devaluing the degrees that we are all working for,” said the group, which represents students in the governance of SUNY.
In a statement Friday, Malatras said he owed Boylan and the SUNY community an apology.
“Leadership in public service is a privilege and comes with an immense responsibility to uphold the values of professionalism, decency and respect. I take that responsibility very seriously and in recent days it has become clear that I have fallen short, “he wrote, calling his comments” inappropriate, disrespectful and wrong. “
Boylan later tweeted that he had received no apology from Malatras.
“I’m glad he doesn’t apologize because according to his email, he’s still lying,” he said.
The trustees ‘statement praised Malatras’ leadership in the 64 campus system during the pandemic since his appointment in August 2020.
“We have challenging days ahead of us and we believe that Jim Malatras, as Chancellor of the State University of New York, remains the right leader to help us meet that challenge,” the statement said.
The New York State Federation of Public Employees and United University ProfessionsUnions representing SUNY faculty and staff also released statements expressing their support for Malatras.