BREAKING: CSU Chancellor resigns following mishandling of sexual harassment complaints

USA TODAY report revealed Joseph Castro mishandled complaints against a former employee while President at Fresno State


Mercy Sosa

California State University Chancellor Joseph Castro addresses student reporters in a virtual press conference Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. Castro announced his resignation as CSU Chancellor after just 13 months following a report that revealed he mishandled sexual harrassment claims against a Fresno State employee during his time as president of the university.

California State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro submitted his resignation to the Board of Trustees on Thursday. Castro’s term as chancellor lasted just 13 months after taking over for former Chancellor Timothy White on Jan. 4, 2021. 

The board accepted Castro’s decision after a USA TODAY report revealed Castro’s mishandling sexual harassment complaints against a former employee during Castro’s time as president at Fresno State. 

“I have been honored to serve the California State University for more than eight years, including as its eighth chancellor, and the decision to resign is the most difficult of my professional life,” Castro said in a press release Thursday night.

“While I disagree with many aspects of recent media reports and the ensuing commentary, it has become clear to me that resigning at this time is necessary so that the CSU can maintain its focus squarely on its educational mission and the impactful work yet to be done,” Castro said in the press release.

The Board of Trustees is currently working on finding a replacement for Castro. Steve Relyea, the Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer, will be stepping in as Castro’s replacement until the new Chancellor is named.

Castro was the first California native and Mexican American appointed to be president of the CSU’s. He had spent 23 years serving in the UC system prior to his time at Fresno State, according to a press release from Cal State when he was first announced chancellor in September 2020.

Sac State mechanical engineering major Mussa Abbas said he’s interested to see the changes that are going to happen to the CSU system with the next chancellor

“Of course whoever is leading the system or the head of the system, you want [them] to be a better person, and be supportive of the system to help it get better, not worse,” Abbas said.

Some Sac State students said they were shocked about the news. One student saying it was surprising to not hear about the incident of Castro’s mishandling directly from Sac State.

“In my honest opinion I don’t think it’s something that should go unsaid especially because there are people out there who suffer from this [sexual harassment] and they’re not gonna get any sort of closure from it,” history major Emiliano Zaragoza said.

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.