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Malatras issues apology, SUNY Board of Trustees stands by chancellor amid calls for his resignation

Jim Malatras
Pat Bradley/WAMC
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras (WAMC file photo)

The State University of New York Board of Trustees is standing by Chancellor Jim Malatrasfollowing the publication of text messages from 2019 when the longtime aide to former Governor Andrew Cuomo used profanity to smear a woman who would go on to accuse the former governor of sexual harassment.

As part of a probe that led to Cuomo’s resignation, State Attorney General Tish James released materials on Monday that show Malatras sent a series of charged messages as Cuomo’s inner circle worked to counter wrongdoing claims leveled by Lindsay Boylan. Boylan first publicly accused Cuomo of past instances of sexual harassment in December of 2020.

Malatras issued an apology Friday eveningamid calls to resign from student government groups and others. The SUNY Chancellor who has served in the role since August 2020 wrote in part:

“I not only owe Ms. Boylan an apology for my conduct, I owe an apology to the broader SUNY community for failing to live up to the standard that leadership of this institution entails and demands.”

The SUNY Board of Trustees issued an official statement Friday night calling Malatras “an outstanding leader." It reads in in part:

“He’s acknowledged he made a mistake, taken full responsibility for it, and apologized appropriately. He is fully focused on the critical work of keeping our facilities open and our students and faculty safe through the ongoing pandemic.”

Malatras also received letters of support from the Public Employees Federation and United University Professions faculty unions.