California · Education

CSU exec harassment cases headlined by porn on work computers, demeaning employees

A vice president at California State University, Bakersfield, was fired for viewing pornography on his work computer; a dean at CSU Monterey Bay harassed and demeaned female employees, and an administrator at Sonoma State University “asserted his dominance” over a female co-worker and became violent when she rebuffed his advances, records of harassment cases the California State University system released Friday show.

Those revelations come as CSU, the country’s biggest public university system, grapples with the aftermath of the resignation of Chancellor Joseph I. Castro in February amid outcry over his failure to handle sexual harassment complaints against an administrator while Castro was president of Fresno State University between 2013 and 2020.

The system released records naming seven managers across six campuses in what was described as a first round of summaries. The summaries included allegations of sexual harassment against Frank Lamas, Fresno State’s former vice president of student affairs. Castro’s mishandling of his case led to Castro’s resignation as CSU chancellor.

Records show at CSU Bakersfield, Vice President for University Advancement David Melendez was found, after an investigation, that in 2016 he viewed “inappropriate websites of (a) sexual nature at work.”  A CSU news release announcing his hiring in Bakersfield stated that Melendez had previously worked at UCLA, CSU Northridge and Chapman University in Orange County. He could not be reached late Friday. He was paid $130,333 in salary and benefits in 2017, records show.

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.