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SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announces resignation

Malatras had faced calls to resign over documents that revealed he mocked one of former governor Andrew Cuomo's accusers.

ALBANY, N.Y. — After days of mounting calls for his resignation or removal, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announced Thursday that he will step down effective January 14th.

Malatras made that announcement a letter to the SUNY board of trustees, saying that "recent events surrounding me over the last week have become a distraction."

Documents released by New York State Attorney General Letitia James as part of the investigation of former governor Andrew Cuomo showed that Malatras mocked Cuomo accuser Lindsey Boylan to colleagues, harassed her on Twitter, and suggested releasing her emails.

Malatras apologized last week, an apology that the Board of Trustees said it accepted. But the calls grew for his resignation, including from several state assembly members including Western New York representatives Monica Wallace and Karen McMahon.

It will be up to the board to appoint a new chancellor.

The SUNY Board of Trustees released the following statement following Malatras resignation: 

“We want to thank Dr. Jim Malatras for his extraordinary service to the entire SUNY system. The past two years have been among the most trying in SUNY’s history—and Jim’s leadership and collaboration with our faculty and staff have allowed our institution to continue to thrive and serve our nearly 400,000 students at 64 campuses across our state safely and in person. He has been a champion for our students, for access, for equity, and for deeper public investment in this great institution. The entire board expresses our gratitude for his dedication and leadership.”

Student Assembly Statement released the following statement:

"The voices of SUNY students have been heard. We are proud to stand alongside our faculty, community leaders, legislators, and others who support us as women, mothers, and tuition paying students. It is time for a new beginning at SUNY with enhanced investment in the programs and services critical to our education. We look forward to working with the Board of Trustees to provide student input within a national search for the position of Chancellor. A search that allows for all qualified candidates to be considered. Together we will move forward and continue to advocate for the investment needed to strengthen academic excellence and student success at SUNY and across public higher education."

United University Professions President Fred Kowal released the following statement on the resignation:

“Today’s announcement by Chancellor Malatras will allow us to move forward. Despite the turmoil of the last couple of weeks, UUP’s focus remains on delivering resources and support for our members, our students, and our patients across New York. We thank Chancellor Malatras for his work over the last year and a half, especially leading SUNY’s COVID response. We hope the Board of Trustees will maintain a collaborative partnership and join us in advocating for the SUNY system as we move into a crucial legislative session. As UUP did in the summer of 2020, we call on the Board of Trustees and Gov. Hochul to conduct a nationwide search for a new chancellor. This search must put a priority on candidates of diversity.

"Finally, the time is now for the SUNY Board of Trustees to work with UUP and the other unions representing SUNY employees to develop a systemwide, enforceable workplace civility policy to better ensure that our members can work in environments free from toxic and bullying behavior."

Full letter of resignation: