Cuomo ally Jim Malatras appointed SUNY chancellor; faculty votes 'no confidence'
Aug 21, 2020 1:30 pm
The Times Union is reporting Jim Malatras, a close political ally of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, was appointed August 21, the new chancellor of the 64-campus State University of New York system by the SUNY Board of Trustees. Malatras will receive an annual salary of $450,000 and a $60,000 annual housing stipend. He will also keep his position as a tenured professor at Empire State College. Not long after the appointment was made, the faculty representatives for state's universities and community colleges announced a vote of "no confidence" in the board's decision to expedite the search process and do without a national search for the job. Representatives of the student body joined the faculty in a no confidence statement. The vote of no confidence applied to the 15 trustees appointed by Cuomo, with the exception of Cary Staller, who supported a broader search to fill the position. The political appointees on the board stressed that Malatras is preeminently qualified, and the crisis facing SUNY during the pandemic is so extraordinarily dire that it forced their hand to “act and act quickly,” Trustee Stanley Litow said, “or we would be derelict in our duties as trustees.” Merryl Tisch, the board chair, said the experience that made Malatras the top candidate include his professional background as president of SUNY’s Empire State College; as former president of SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute, which studies public policy, and his extensive political connections within the state. Malatras began working for Cuomo as his aide when the governor served as the state attorney general. Malatras rose through the ranks to the position of operations director in the governor's office. Read the full story in the Times Union.