Backlash is rising to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s granting of a instructing place to former Cal State chancellor Joseph Castro, who resigned within the wake of allegations he mishandled sexual harassment complaints in opposition to one other administrator.
The controversy over the appointment of Castro as a professor of management and public coverage on the college’s Orfalea Faculty of Enterprise revolves round a provision in some Cal State executives’ contracts that enables them to ‘retreat’ into the college as soon as they depart their roles. These ‘retreat rights’ have come beneath elevated scrutiny since figuring in a February USA At the moment investigation that documented the sexual harassment allegations in opposition to former Fresno State administrator Frank Lamas and Castro’s response. The college’s board of trustees final week handed the second of two measures limiting their use.
Castro plans to start out work at Cal Poly within the spring of 2023. On Nov. 8, the college’s Tutorial Senate, which represents its college, printed a decision calling on Castro to show down his appointment as professor, arguing that his presence at Cal Poly “will generate a chilling impact on our campus and classroom local weather.”
“It makes individuals very nervous about having somebody who has a possible historical past of not managing Title IX points very nicely now put into the classroom as a mandated reporter,” stated Tutorial Senate chair Thomas Gutierrez, referring to the federal legislation governing campuses’ dealing with of sexual harassment claims.
In line with the USA At the moment investigation, whereas appearing because the campus president of Fresno State College, Castro was conscious of a minimum of seven complaints of sexual harassment in opposition to Frank Lamas, then-head of campus scholar affairs – together with that he “stared at ladies’s breasts, touched ladies inappropriately, made sexist remarks, and berated, belittled, and retaliated in opposition to staff.”
But he reached a settlement with Lamas permitting him to depart the college with $260,000 and a letter of advice, later telling USA At the moment he was afraid Lamas would train the retreat rights provision in his contract if he didn’t accomplish that. In selecting to show at Cal Poly SLO, Castro is now utilizing that very same profit.
A CSU-commissioned overview of the Fresno State case by lawyer Mary Lee Wegner concluded in September that Castro had allowed Lamas’ misconduct to proceed by not taking extra aggressive and constant motion. The college’s systemwide college union cited the report in a Nov. 14 assertion questioning Castro’s health to show management and public coverage.
“Castro is poaching a place he doesn’t have a terminal diploma in…presumably displacing present lecturers with confirmed tutorial data,” the California College Affiliation assertion added.
In a written response, Castro stated that he agreed that Cal State’s Title IX insurance policies wanted systemic reform, however that the lawyer’s overview and media experiences in regards to the Fresno State case had unfairly emphasised his function.
“I offered Ms. Wegner with important documentation that I adopted CSU insurance policies and practices and the recommendation of authorized and Title IX coverage specialists in dealing with the Lamas matter,” Castro wrote.
He added that it is common for students with doctoral levels in numerous disciplines to show in enterprise faculties. (Castro holds a Ph.D in greater schooling coverage and management from Stanford College, in response to his biography of him.)
On Wednesday, the Cal State board of trustees amended its retreat rights coverage, giving the college’s management discretion over whether or not to delay a call on a former administrator’s retreat rights whereas there’s a pending investigation that might end in a discovering in opposition to them. Trustees initially handed the coverage in July, making directors who had been fired from their jobs or left beneath the phrases of a settlement ineligible for retreat rights. The coverage additionally permits Cal State to analyze and take motion in opposition to a former administrator accused of misconduct, even when that particular person has already exercised retreat rights.
The brand new coverage “is supposed to be forward-looking and wouldn’t influence Dr. Castro’s alternative to train his retreat rights,” stated Cal State spokesperson Mike Uhlenkamp.
That is not sufficient for Grace Schweitzer, a third-year psychology scholar at Cal Poly.
She stated she’s involved that Castro has a “historical past of ignoring sexual assault and sexual misconduct allegations in opposition to different college members.”
“With all the pieces taking place in our nation, we wish our voices to be heard,” Schweitzer stated. “We need to really feel protected. We need to know that the college and administration at Cal Poly are going to listen to us and never let our voices be hidden when one thing happens.”
The California College Affiliation is pushing for retreat rights to be abolished for executives who do not have prior instructing expertise within the division, calling them “golden parachutes.”
“Retreat rights are actually imagined to be for a college member at an establishment who strikes into administration, however who has been via the method of retention, tenure and promotion in a division that they’ve already been instructing in,” stated California College Affiliation secretary Diane Blair.
“For an government who would not have any historical past in that division, who’s by no means gone via the tenure monitor course of, to have the ability to simply turn out to be a tenured full professor within the division — that appears unfair to me.”
Taylor is a fellow with the CalMatters Faculty Journalism Community, a collaboration between CalMatters and scholar journalists from throughout California. Community editor Felicia Mello contributed reporting. This story and different greater schooling protection are supported by the Faculty Futures Basis.