SUNY Chancellor hearing calls for resignation after controversial messages

Thomas Tedesco, Vice President

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras is facing harsh criticism following a report that uncovered controversial messages he sent to the first woman who publicly accused former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment.

Lindsey Boylan, former governor aide, first spoke about a toxic work environment with members of the governor’s executive chamber in a group text in May 2019, a little over a year before publicly accusing Cuomo and before Malatras was appointed as chancellor of SUNY.

Malatras and other members of the group began to engage in bullying behavior with Boylan and replied to her with a series of disparaging messages.

“Malatras to Boylan: Go f— yourself,” he said in response to a message from Boylan.

According to the Times Union, Malatras also said, “Let’s release some of her cray emails!” in response to another co-worker following Boylan’s initial messages.

These reports stem from the investigation done by the state attorney general’s office following multiple claims that Cuomo sexually harassed several female colleagues.

Students across SUNY are actively calling for the chancellor’s resignation.

United Students Government President Jimmy Speaker echoed these sentiments in a USG memo.

“Chancellor Malatras’ behavior is objectively unprofessional. Participation in the enabling of sexual harassment in the workplace is not only illegal, but reinforces the patriarchal systems of power which have long plagued public education and New York State government,” Speaker said.

In a statement from the SUNY Board of Trustees, they provided their support for the chancellor:

“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. 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.”

Malatras briefly commented on these messages saying, “The truth is, I’m not proud of the language that I used.”

He has also subsequently issued a letter to the SUNY community.

“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,” Malatras said.

The Record will continue to follow this story.