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California State U did not investigate claims against president

California State University officials did nothing to investigate allegations that California State University, Fullerton, president Framroze Virjee inappropriately touched students on several occasions, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Three reports obtained by the Times, spanning the years 2019 to 2021, indicate that Virjee had made students feel uncomfortable by touching them in unwanted ways, including kissing one on the forehead. CSU officials were made aware of those reports, submitted by campus employees, but did not investigate them, according to the newspaper. The students involved did not file formal complaints.

A campus official who assessed the employee reports found that “the alleged conduct at face value did not violate university policy,” according to a CSU statement to the Times. However, outside experts told the newspaper that the employee reports should have been investigated.

Virjee, who is retiring in July, has denied any wrongdoing.

Various claims of sexual misconduct have forced other leadership changes across the 23-campus CSU system in recent years, including at the very top: former chancellor Joseph L. Castro resigned in early 2022 over his past handling of sexual misconduct allegations against a subordinate when he was the president of California State University, Fresno. Castro told the Times that he was not made aware of the claims against Virjee and would have launched an investigation if he’d known.

More recently, Judy Sakaki resigned as president of Sonoma State University last June amid allegations that her husband, Patrick McCallum, had sexually harassed campus employees. Sakaki was accused of retaliating against a complainant, leading to a $600,000 payout from the CSU system, which reportedly did not conduct a formal investigation of the harassment claims.

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