The University Record, July 23, 1996

Matlock charges, grievance dropped

By Rebecca A. Doyle

Criminal misdemeanor charges against John H. Matlock, director of the Office of Academic and Multicultural Initiatives, and a formal grievance Matlock filed against two University police officers have been dropped.

The charges resulted from a Feb. 17 incident at the Central Campus Recreation Building.

Following a July 12 meeting between Matlock and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officers Pete Pressly and Michael Kelley, the officers requested by letter that criminal charges against Matlock be dropped. Matlock also wrote a letter asking that the case be dismissed.

Michael Vincent, attorney for the two DPS officers, said that his clients felt that the issue should have been resolved much earlier through discussion rather than as a court battle.

"All parties---the officers and myself---agreed that this was something that did not belong in criminal court," Matlock said. "I feel it should have been resolved months and months ago."

Matlock says he is glad to put the incident behind him in order to "focus on overall global issues that have been identified over the past five months."

A newly formed Task Force on Campus Safety and Security will look into a broad array of campus safety and campus climate issues. The task force will be chaired by Paul Boylan, dean of the School of Music and vice provost for the arts. Boylan also chaired a similar task force in 1989.

The task force will be asked "to consider whether the human climate on campus is as secure and as free as we would wish and, if it is not, to propose recommendations for improving it."

Members of the task force have yet to be named.