Former California State University Chancellor Joseph Castro, who resigned last month amid allegations that he failed to deal with sexual harassment complaints at Fresno State, will receive a salary of just over $400,000 for the next year and can exercise his right to become a professor at the system’s Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus.
Those details are included in a settlement agreement between Castro and CSU released Friday. Castro resigned Feb. 17 as chancellor of the 23-campus system amid criticisms that he mishandled allegations of sexual harassment against a top administrator at Fresno State University while Castro served as president of that campus.
Effective with his resignation, Castro was assigned to CSU’s executive transition program, where he will receive a $401,364 salary, according to the settlement agreement. His title will be adviser to the board. While in that role, Castro’s responsibilities are to prepare for a return to teaching and remain available to CSU’s board of trustees and executives.
CSU determined Castro’s salary in the transition program by calculating the midpoint between his salary as chancellor and the maximum salary for a full professor at CSU.
As CSU’s chancellor, Castro received a salary of $625,000. He also received a monthly auto allowance of $1,000 and a $7,917 monthly housing allowance. Under the terms of his settlement agreement, he will no longer receive the auto allowance but will continue to receive the housing allowance through this August.
When Castro finishes the transition program next February, he will have the option of becoming a tenured professor of leadership and public policy at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Orfalea College of Business. If he decides to take that position, CSU will reimburse Castro for any moving expenses up to the amount that he was reimbursed for his move from Fresno to Long Beach when he took his position as chancellor in 2020.
Castro’s retreat rights at Cal Poly were approved in September 2020, shortly after he became chancellor, by tenured faculty in the business college and by Jeffrey Armstrong, president of that campus.
Castro has not yet confirmed whether he will exercise his right to join the faculty, but if he decides to do so, he must “inform the campus in a timely fashion,” wrote Lillian Kimbell, chair of CSU’s board of trustees, in a letter to Castro.
“If you seek to move your retreat rights for a faculty appointment to another CSU campus, you will need to negotiate directly with the campus interested in securing your appointment,” Kimbell added.
Under the settlement agreement, Castro must fully cooperate in any investigations, depositions, hearings, trials or other proceedings related to his role as CSU chancellor or Fresno State president. Castro also waives his right to file any claims, complaints or damages against the system under the agreement.
By March 18, Castro also must complete a Form 700, a form for public officials to disclose their personal financial interests.
Earlier this week, CSU’s chancellor’s office announced that it is launching an independent investigation into how officials at Fresno State handled sexual harassment allegations between 2014 and 2019. During that period, Frank Lamas, then the vice president for student affairs at the campus, was accused at least a dozen times of sexual harassment, according to a USA Today investigation published last month.
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