On Nov. 30, 2022, the ASI Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of passing Resolution #23-02 calling on former California State University (CSU) Chancellor Joseph I. Castro to abandon the retreat rights that allow him to begin as a Cal Poly tenured faculty member in the spring of 2023.
The Board of Directors acts as the official voice of Cal Poly students and is comprised of student-elected representatives from each academic college. Their responsibilities range from oversight of ASI corporate activity to representing and advocating on behalf of students.
Earlier this year, former CSU Chancellor Castro resigned from his position in light of allegations that he mishandled sexual harassment complaints against a university administrator while he was president of California State University, Fresno.
As the former CSU Chancellor, Castro’s contract provided him with “retreat rights” after resigning from the position. Retreat right provisions in higher education allow administrators to retreat into a faculty position after leaving their post. As part of his contractual provision, Castro selected Cal Poly to exercise his retreat rights.
In Resolution #23-02, the ASI Board of Directors recommends that if Castro’s retreat rights are exercised as a tenured professor at Cal Poly, he should teach in a minimal capacity with the student body. The resolution also urges the courses taught by Castro to be considered “elective courses” and therefore not satisfy a major or support requirement for any student. Furthermore, the board pushed for greater transparency by having the instructor’s name and course titles properly displayed within the course registry process. Additionally, the board requested that the Cal Poly administration make a statement to the student body informing them of Castro’s decision to exercise his retreat rights.
As representatives of the Cal Poly student body, the board calls on former Chancellor Castro to abandon his retreat into tenured faculty at Cal Poly and for adequate action in response by the Cal Poly administration.
“Former Chancellor Castro’s commitment to retreat to Cal Poly will have a very negative impact on the campus community — especially [on] survivors of sexual and or power-based violence,” says ASI Board of Directors member Tyler Coari. “Not only does Resolution #23-02 call on former Chancellor Castro to reverse course but includes many important provisions that can provide our student body with more awareness of the situation at hand.”