The California State University board of trustees will pay former Chancellor Joseph I. Castro more than $400,000 as part of a settlement agreement following his resignation last month, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The settlement comes two weeks after Castro stepped down from his position amid accusations that he had mishandled years of sexual harassment, bullying, and retaliation complaints against a top administrator while he was president of CSU Fresno. More than 200 Cal State Long Beach faculty and staff members signed a petition in mid-February calling for him to resign.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Castro will receive $401,364 until February 2023 and will be classified as an advisor to the board for one year, according to the Times. Castro’s salary, which will be paid by the chancellor’s office on behalf of the Board of Trustees, is the midpoint between his final salary as chancellor and the maximum of the salary range for a full-time professor.
The settlement also retains a previous agreement for “retreat rights,” which grants Castro the ability to become a tenured professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He will be able to exercise that right when his one-year transition program ends in Feb. 2023, USA Today reports.
Castro will also receive sick leave, benefits, and a six-month housing stipend under the terms of the agreement.
Castro resigned on Feb. 17 after an investigation by USA Today revealed that he’d provided a hefty payout, retirement package, as well as a glowing letter of recommendation for Frank Lamas, Fresno State’s former vice president of student affairs. Lamas’ settlement was approved despite an internal investigation finding that he was responsible for sexually harassing a subordinate and engaging in abusive workplace behavior. The settlement allowed him to leave the university with a clean record.
Less than a month later, Castro was promoted to chancellor for Cal State University.
According to the Times, records indicate that Lamas’ settlement—which Castro said was drafted in consultation from then-Chancellor Timothy P. White—was brokered on behalf of the CSU Board of Trustees. However, former board members said they were not informed of the settlement.
Castro told the Times that he did not tell the trustees about the investigation and settlement during the chancellor search because he thought White would have relayed the information if he’d deemed it necessary.
Following Castro’s resignation, the Board of Trustees said it would initiate external investigations into how Fresno State administrators handled the allegations against Lamas and review how Title IX complaints are managed at each of the campuses.
The trustees will discuss both reviews at their regularly scheduled meeting later this month, the Times reports.
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