SUNY officers referred to as for an impartial probe into embattled Chancellor James Malatras’ office historical past on Tuesday amid accusations he contributed to a toxic work atmosphere the place workers confronted abuse.
Malatras, as soon as a prime aide and confidante to ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is dealing with rising scrutiny after it was revealed he smeared former state employee Lindsay Boylan in textual content messages months earlier than she accused Cuomo of sexual harassment.
“Not solely did he not push again in opposition to the poisonous work atmosphere that we now know characterised that administration, he additionally contributed to its polarized, ‘take no prisoners’ tradition,” the Senate, SUNY’s school governance group, mentioned in its letter.
“This habits was, and is, unacceptable.”
The group is asking for a overview of Malatras’ time in management roles not solely at SUNY however on the Rockefeller Institute for Authorities and Empire State Faculty. The letter got here on the identical day, a 2017 audio recording surfaced the place Malatras is heard tearing right into a feminine worker at Rockefeller and calling her “girl.”
“You could have a f—king unhealthy perspective on the whole lot, girl,” Malatras is heard saying within the audio, obtained by the Occasions Union. “You’re goddamn inconceivable on a regular basis … you drive folks loopy.”
The recording was made by the worker, who taped Malatras on advisement of a United College Professions union consultant. The worker, who wasn’t named, had claimed she requested for a switch after Malatras verbally abused her however was denied.
A probe was launched into Malatras’ conduct and it decided the criticism was “unfounded” and he was discovered to have exceeded expectations in his efficiency evaluations, a spokesman advised the Occasions Union.
Malatras, in an announcement, mentioned he ought to have been “extra measured” in his dialogue with the employee however famous a overview beneath Rockefeller’s human assets coverage discovered the worker’s claims unfounded. She was in the end fired.
“This change occurred within the context of a dialog surrounding points raised by a number of workers and have become heated when this particular person forcefully disputed the accounts from different workers made in opposition to her,” Malatras mentioned in an announcement to the Occasions Union.
That recording adopted texts launched final week as a part of a bombshell doc dump associated to the harassment investigation into Cuomo by Legal professional Basic Letitia James. In a single textual content, from 2019, Malatras wrote to Cuomo aides because the administration clashed with Boyland over office points.
“Malatras to Boylan: Go f—okay your self,” he wrote.
In one other textual content, he mentioned of Boylan, “Let’s launch a few of her cray [crazy] emails!”
Malatras was appointed chancellor in summer season 2020 regardless of no nationwide search being performed for the place. Gov. Kathy Hochul has declined to name for Malatras’ ouster and the SUNY board of trustees issued an announcement backing the administrator.
The Senate mentioned in its letter that it was placing the board of trustees and chancellor “on discover” regardless of members of the manager committee wanting Malatras’ rapid resignation or elimination.
The group mentioned the SUNY board of trustees, in supporting Malatras, “did not adequately clarify why they keep confidence that he can successfully lead and advocate for SUNY going ahead.”