It’s been a tough week for a couple of New York public university presidents. Both Alain Kaloyeros, president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Lisa Coico, the president of CUNY, quit amid unrelated investigations.
Alain E. Kaloyeros, an admired nanotechnology wiz and economic development leader, was president and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica from January 2015 until Tuesday morning. In September he was one of nine charged in the massive bribery and fraud scandal that quaked the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"I recognize that my continued leadership would pose a distraction from SUNY Poly continuing its good work," he wrote in his resignation letter.
Kaloyeros, who had already been suspended by the school without his $800,000 salary, pleaded not guilty on Sept. 23 to three felony charges that carry a maximum of 12 years in prison.
Lisa Coico, who was president of City College of New York since 2010 and who stood next to Michelle Obama as she delivered June’s commencement address, resigned on Friday.
Coico allegedly used money from the 21st Century Foundation which raises money for CUNY, reports by The New York Times revealed. The money, which is said to have been spent on housekeeping, furniture and food including organic glazed nuts, was in turn reimbursed by another foundation that controls research funds for the entire CUNY system, according to reports.
The Times had questioned the veracity of an internal memo about the reimbursements, as well as if Coico, 60, had paid back a $20,000 deposit on a rental home.
Federal prosecutors subpoenaed Coico in July.
The issues regarding Coico’s expenses are said to date back to 2011, when the college had begun to itemize more than $155,000 of her spending in three categories: College, personal, and “iffy,” the Times reported. CUNY’s general counsel ordered her to repay $51,000, which she did, but there are outstanding balances.