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Former CSU Chancellor transferring to Cal Poly

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Posted at 10:23 AM, Oct 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-04 13:34:45-04

The former CSU chancellor accused of mishandling sexual misconduct claims is transferring to Cal Poly.

Joseph Castro will become a tenured professor at the College of Business in the spring quarter and the move is raising concern among some students.

Castro resigned as chancellor back in February following allegations that he mishandled sexual misconduct claims while he was president at Fresno State.

“I am absolutely very disappointed in that; I think it’s very sad,” said Cal Poly student Nicole Bass. "My immediate reaction was I saw it and all my girlfriends talked about it. I think specifically for women at Cal Poly, it’s just an issue that’s been ignored.”

Castro is transferring to Cal Poly as part of his retreat rights, a position that administration officials can fall back on after resignation.

In a statement, Cal Poly officials said they were notified of the transfer, adding that CSU policy mandates they honor Castro's retreat rights.

“That’s pretty disturbing to not want to acknowledge those allegations because those are pretty serious and just to not address them, especially to be that high of a position is pretty concerning overall,” said Cal Poly student Lauren Grooms-Lee.

The allegations surround Castro’s time as president of Fresno State.

A months-long CSU investigation found that Castro failed to properly deal with complaints against Frank Lamas because he allegedly had a "blind spot" for his friends.

Lamas was the vice president of student affairs at Fresno State. Between 2014 and 2019, the university received at least nine complaints that he inappropriately touched women and made sexist jokes. There were also reports that he harassed and retaliated against workers.

“Personally, it’s an issue that’s been ignored for me and I’ve contacted people about it and the fact that he is coming here and teaching is just heartbreaking,” Bass said.

Some students, meanwhile, say they are concerned about the message this sends.

“This is a pretty good school and I just think it puts a damper on the reputation and it affects so many things,” added Grooms-Lee.

Castro will become a Cal Poly employee on February 18 and will start teaching in the spring quarter.

He will be a tenured professor of leadership in public policy in management as well as human resources and information systems at the Orfalea College of Business.