Malatras Insulted and Berated Employee, Documents Show | Inside Higher Ed

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Jim Malatras, chancellor of the State University of New York system, insulted and berated an employee while he was president of the Rockefeller Institute several years ago, the Albany Times Union reported.

“You have a f—ing bad attitude on everything, lady,” Malatras said in an audio recording obtained by the Times Union. “You’re goddamn impossible all the time … You drive people crazy!”

The employee alleged that Malatras’s verbal abuse was “continuous” in a complaint filed with human resources. The university system subsequently conducted an investigation into the reported verbal harassment and found that the employee’s claims were “unfounded.” The employee was later terminated.

In a statement about the exchange, Malatras said he should have been “more measured” during the conversation, according to the Times Union.

“This exchange occurred in the context of a conversation surrounding issues raised by multiple employees and became heated when this individual forcefully disputed the accounts from other employees made against her,” Malatras said. “The matter was reviewed through the established process by the prior SUNY Chancellor’s Human Resources Department which agreed with her ultimate termination and rejected any issues raised by the employee on how I handled the matter.”

The report follows a week of criticism lobbed at Malatras after the New York attorney general released text messages that show the chancellor mocking a former aide to Andrew Cuomo while he was president of Empire State College.

Several other anonymous former employees spoke to the Times Union about Malatras’s alleged “toxic management style” and the complaints they filed to human resources at the time. The SUNY Board of Trustees supposedly knew of these complaints when they hired Malatras for the chancellorship in August 2020.

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