Office of the President

October 22, 2020 - Presidential Task Force on University Policing Begins Work

To: Campus Community
From: President Gayle Hutchinson

I write to update you on the progress made with the Presidential Task Force to examine University Police policies and practices. As I stated in my September 15, 2020, presidential communication to campus, titled “Challenging and Changing the Status Quo,” Chico State is conducting an in-depth examination of our policing policies and practices in the wake of national social unrest regarding law enforcement. This examination is an opportunity to think creatively about ways that the University Police Department (UPD) can strengthen relationships and interactions with the campus community while striving to keep campus safe and secure. The process is not about defunding the University police. Rather, it is a chance to reimagine the work of UPD with a commitment to embrace anti-racism.

I have appointed members of the Steering Committee and they have held their first meeting with a nationally known facilitator, Reverend Dr. Jaime Washington. Dr. Washington is president and founder of the Washington Consulting Group, and president and co-founder of the Social Justice Training Institute. He will serve as the primary facilitator for both the Steering Committee and the larger Task Force as they engage in this important work. 

The Steering Committee members are:

  • Brooke Banks, Chief of Staff
  • Elizabeth (Betsy) Boyd, Academic Senate Chair
  • Tracy Butts, Interim Dean, College of Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Matt Dillon, UPD Interim Chief
  • Bre Holbert. Associated Students President
  • Michelle Morris, Faculty in Nutrition and Food Science
  • Rev. Robert Morton, Title IX/DHR Investigator
  • Sandy Parsons-Ellis, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Matt Thomas, Faculty in Political Science and Criminal Justice
  • Krystle Tonga, Associate Director of the Cross Cultural Leadership Center

The primary responsibility of the Steering Committee is to guide the work of the larger Task Force, help facilitate, compile relevant information for review and analysis, manage group work, and, based on the findings and recommendations of the Task Force, write a report.

The Steering Committee is currently finalizing the membership of the larger Task Force to include wide representation from across campus. A follow-up communication to campus will identify the Task Force membership. The Task Force is charged with examining existing policing and public safety policies and practices, and thinking creatively about the ways that the UPD can be fully integrated into the campus community. The Task Force also will analyze policing and public safety policies and practices for alignment with the University mission and strategic priorities.

Together with the Steering Committee, the Task Force will compile relevant information for review and determine a list of recommendations that will be included in a written report and submitted to me in April 2021. The report will be shared with the UPD and campus community, and recommended actions will be seriously considered. I will continue to update you as this important work progresses.