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ALBANY, N.Y. — Embattled New York state public university system Chancellor James Malatras says he will resign amid harsh criticism for his actions while a top aide to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Malatras said the furor around him has been a distraction.

His resignation is effective Jan. 14, 2022.

The resignation came after several members of the New York State Assembly, including the Higher Education Committee Chair, called for his resignation after reports of disturbing text messages and emails sent by Malatras were made public last week.

The messages were a part of the New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo. These included text messages to some of Cuomo’s aides and highest members of office about Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to the governor and first woman to publicly accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment allegations.

“But, the recent events surrounding me over the past week have become a distraction over the important work that needs to be accomplished as SUNY emerges from COVID-19. I believe deeply in an individual’s ability to evolve, change, and grow, but I also believe deeply in SUNY and would never want to be an impediment to its success.”

Jim Malatras

The SUNY Board of Trustees stood in support of Malatras after these messages came to light and amid the calls for his resignation. In light of his resignation, the trustees released this statement:

“We want to thank Dr. Jim Malatras for his extraordinary service to the entire SUNY system. The past two years have been among the most trying in SUNY’s history—and Jim’s leadership and collaboration with our faculty and staff have allowed our institution to continue to thrive and serve our nearly 400,000 students at 64 campuses across our state safely and in person. He has been a champion for our students, for access, for equity, and for deeper public investment in this great institution. The entire board expresses our gratitude for his dedication and leadership.”

The Times Union of Albany also reported this week that when Malatras led the SUNY Rockefeller Institute, he called a female employee “a misery” and “goddamn impossible.”

PIX11 sister station News10 contributed to this report.