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Accused Of Overlooking Sexual Harassment, Cal State Chancellor Likely To Face Investigation

A man in a black suit jacket and red tie speaks in front of a wall with diplomas and memorabilia items.
California State University Chancellor Joseph Castro on September 23, 2020.
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The chair of the California State University Board of Trustees is echoing calls for the board to conduct an independent investigation into Chancellor Joseph Castro.

Senator Connie Leyva, a democrat from Chino, first called for the investigation in response to a USA Today report detailing Castro's leadership while he was president of Fresno State.

According to the report, Castro received at least 12 complaints about Frank Lamas, the Vice President for Student Affairs. Those complaints include touching women inappropriately and making sexist remarks. Castro allegedly never formally disciplined Lamas and even endorsed him for an award.

In a statement, Castro said he welcomes an independent investigation, and that his "expectation is that an independent investigation will not only help" him in his "growth as a leader, but also strengthen the work of the entire Cal State system."

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CSU Board of Trustees chair Lillian Kimbell also issued a statement, saying that she appreciates "Chancellor Castro's receptivity and desire for an independent investigation."

Kimbell added that she plans to ask her colleagues on the board to support moving ahead with an investigation.

Assemblyman Jose Medina, a democrat from Riverside who chairs the State Assembly's Higher Education Committee, shared the call to action, along with Fresno State students and faculty.

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