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Jeffrey Krinsk, a member of the California State University Board of Trustees, resigned his position Friday amid a furor over his behavior toward fellow trustees and staff.
It is the first time in recent memory a trustee has resigned over conduct, although others have left voluntarily, CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said.
Krinsk, a San Diego-based attorney who is active in Democratic politics, was appointed to the 25-member board by Gov. Gavin Newsom last August and had yet to be confirmed by the state Senate. After appointment, trustees may begin their terms but must be confirmed within a year.
Krinsk faced a possible vote of censure by his colleagues on the board at its next meeting on Tuesday for violation of their code of conduct, which says, among other things, that a trustee should use designated institutional channels when conducting board business and refrain from actions that may prove embarrassing to the CSU.
“I resigned because of the censure and the belief that it took place … without my knowledge or ability to respond,” Krinsk said in an interview by phone Friday. “It was a kangaroo court.”
He said also that while serving as a trustee he lacked meaningful opportunity to dissent from his colleagues or Chancellor Timothy White, whom he described as “extremely capable.”
White accepted Krink’s resignation Friday afternoon. He declined to comment. Lillian Kimbell, chair of the board, said in a statement: “We appreciate his service as a trustee and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting said Kimbell would present information “regarding misconduct by a member of the Board of Trustees which [she] has determined to be a breach of the Trustees’ Code of Conduct” and recommend a vote of censure. The agenda item did not name Krinsk.
Uhlenkamp said the agenda item related to “several instances” of misconduct by a member of the board toward fellow trustees and staff, in both public and private meetings.
During a committee session at the May board of trustees meeting, which was held remotely, Krinsk repeatedly questioned whether and when notice of a previous meeting had been sent out. When Andrew Jones, the CSU’s general counsel and secretary of the board, responded that it had been sent at least 10 days prior to the meeting, as required by law, Krinsk pressed him further.
“Could you send me some confirmation of that?” he asked. “I doubt that’s the case.”
After then-board Chair Adam Day and other trustees confirmed the date of the notice, Krinsk acknowledged the error was his. “I apologize if I inferred otherwise,” he said.
“I would appreciate in the future … to refrain from impugning the character of our hardworking staff,” Day said.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Krinsk responded.
The members of the committee recessed for a break. When they returned, White spoke first.
“When anybody attacks the integrity of the chair of the board of trustees they attack the integrity of the entire board, and I will not, for one, stand for that,” he said.
Krinsk said Friday he may have offended some people but “the idea of acting politely is secondary to my belief that accomplishment and meaningful consideration of alternatives is important to a university as important as the CSU.”
Krinsk’s resignation is effective immediately. Newsom will decide his replacement. The governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.