Despite its claims last week of launching an “independent” investigation and hiring a company to conduct said review, this is nothing more than a sham procedure by the CSU Board of Trustees.
An investigation is not independent when Trustees hire and pay a company that specializes in risk management and liability deferment to review systemic and structural problems with its policies and procedures. The Trustees have also decided that the review would be limited to a review of Fresno State, rather than a review of the system in its entirety.
CFA maintains that any investigation should be genuinely independent of the CSU and should be conducted by appropriate Title IX experts.
Policy changes needed after Castro settlement package.
A Friday news drop confirmed reporting from weeks earlier that Castro would be receiving a massive payday, continued housing allowance for six months, and possible moving expenses if he “retreats” to Cal Poly.
Click here to view the CSU’s full settlement package for a chancellor who resigned for mishandling sexual harassment claims while president at Fresno State.
The CSU will do the following for the former chancellor:
- Pay him a total of $401,364 until February 2023
- Classify him as an “advisor to the board”
- Allow the right to “retreat” to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo next year as a tenured professor in the College of Business, a discipline that he does not hold a terminal degree in
- Provide sick leave and benefits
- Give six-month housing allowance; monthly allowance is $7,917, so additional $47,502 in housing allowance until August 2022
Add that to the settlement with Lamas, and this shows that CSU management rewards bad behavior of administrators rather than attempting to solve severe and systemic problems of abuse across the system.
As with our call for an independent legislative investigation, CFA members are also proposing two policy changes for the CSU.
All campus president and chancellor searches must be open. No more closed-door searches. This is not a CSU problem; this is a national issue unfolding that denies the university community access to information. This month, the State of Florida is moving toward closing executive searches. This is a threat to public higher education when faculty and staff are not part of a conversation of who is serving at the highest level of leadership.
In fact, on Tuesday, USA Today reported that Castro nominated Frank Lamas, the former Fresno State administrator accused of sexual harassment, to be president of CSU San Marcos, despite knowing of the serious Title IX allegations.
Closed-door hiring practices that deny public vetting of candidates for executive leadership positions in the CSU have failed our community. This secretive process has resulted in a lack of trust in the judgement of leadership.
Additionally, we are calling for the abolition of executive perks or golden parachute packages (mis)labeled as “retreat” rights.
CSU officials told the Los Angeles Times that their new policy would “prohibit those who engaged in sexual harassment or misconduct, for example, from utilizing the retreat option.”
The CSU should go further: Retreat rights as an executive perk should be eliminated. Executives with minimal classroom experience should not be able to parachute into the classroom and displace existing teachers with proven instructional records. Retreat rights must also include a process of shared governance and the ability to retreat must be based on accountability and proper and ethical conduct.
This moment offers an opportunity for truly addressing the systemic nature of sexual and gender violence and abuse of power. The CSU’s approach to handling Title IX-related incidents must be revolutionized to better protect survivors, and systemic changes of open executive searches and abolishing executive-level golden parachutes into the classroom should be a part of that process.