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Education

Trustees stand by SUNY chancellor amid calls for his resignation

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, wearing a blue suit and tie, stands at a podium with media microphones.
File Photo
/
WBFO News
The SUNY chancellor speaking in Binghamton in 2020.

Leaders of New York's public college system are standing behind Chancellor James Malatras.

"Dr. Jim Malatras has been an outstanding leader of SUNY through one of the most trying times in our history and has the support of the SUNY Board of Trustees," began a statement from the SUNY Board of Trustees Friday. "He's acknowledged he made a mistake, taken full responsibility for it, and apologized appropriately. He is fully focused on the critical work of keeping our facilities open and our students and faculty safe through the ongoing pandemic....We have challenging days ahead and believe Jim Malatras, as Chancellor of the State University of New York, remains the right leader to help us meet that challenge."

Malatras is facing calls to resign after the release of text messages showing he mocked one of the women who later accused former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment. Malatras' text messages have prompted calls for his resignation from the SUNY Student Assembly and others.

Malatras issued an apology Friday, which was accepted by the State University of New York Board of Trustees.

"Earlier this week private text messages of mine from 2019 were made public in which I made disparaging and disrespectful remarks about a former colleague I served with in government prior to my time at SUNY," the letter said. "While my remarks were made more than a year before this colleague spoke out about the harassment she had been subjected to by the former Governor and were unrelated to those issues — that is not an excuse — my words were inappropriate, disrespectful and wrong. I not only owe Ms. Boylan an apology for my conduct, I owe an apology to the broader SUNY community for failing to live up to the standard that leadership of this institution entails and demands....I know in this instance I fell short, but I am committed to doing the work to regain your trust and continuing on the path of ensuring a brighter future for SUNY."

The woman who was the subject of the exchange, Lindsey Boylan, tweeted late Friday that she's received no apology. On Monday morning, Boylan issued this tweet: