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Student Association Calls for Repealment of ex-SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras’ Severance Pay

By: Calvin Dimmig | February 14, 2022

The Student Association passed a motion to support the reinvestment of Jim Malatras’ severance pay on Feb. 2. This motion has taken stride in the Times Union and SUNY Student Assembly.

Jim Malatras announced his resignation from his position as SUNY Chancellor in December 2021 and resigned Jan. 14. The reasons for calling upon Malatras’ resignation include outbursts, the creation of a toxic work environment, and, most notably, his relation to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. For specific information, refer to our previously published article on Malatras’ resignation here.

The Times Union published an article on Feb. 3, the day following the Student Association’s motion. Rachel Silberstein, a writer of education and state politics, wrote, “Malatras…is set to receive a year of paid leave at a salary of $450,000 followed by a tenured faculty appointment at Empire State College with a starting annual salary of $186,600, according to the finalized separation agreement.” The Times Union delves into the finalized separation agreement here, written by Pete DeMola and Rachel Silberstein.

The SUNY Student Assembly—comprising 64 students (one from each of SUNY’s 64 campuses)—serves as a forum for consultation and the exchange of information between University students, the Chancellor, and the University Board of Trustees on matters of a University, according to SUNYSA’s about us page.

Bradley Hershenson serves as the President of the SUNYSA and is a doctoral student in the university’s College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cyber Security.

“Our focus is not on any one person in particular, but on investing in students across SUNY,” said Hershenson. “The investment must be made in our students this spring to enhance our programs and services such as mental health counseling, childcare facilities, and disability services.”

University at Albany Professor José E. Cruz, wrote a letter to an editor at the Times Union stating, “I was enraged after reading ‘Pay for a year, a job for life,’ Jan. 13, on the payout to disgraced former SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras.”

Professor Cruz concludes on a point of immorality regarding the ex-chancellor’s severance. “The paid leave after a year and a half is close to what some faculty members accumulate in their retirement accounts over a lifetime of service.” To read Cruz’s full letter, click here.

Professor Cruz has not made a comment to the Albany Student Press at this time.


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