It’s back to the books for Vice Provost Jackson
Chico State University’s vice provost for academic affairs has resigned from that position, effective in August.

Byron Jackson, who came to Chico State in 1974 to teach political science, said he’s stepping down to return to a professor role. “I have interest in doing some scholarly work again,” he said. “And I think I have another book in me.”

Jackson, whose specialty is public policy, has already written or co-written three published books, including one on nuclear energy policy.

He said he doesn’t often ponder the fact that he is the only top-level administrator of color at the university but acknowledged that diversity has been an “ongoing issue” at Chico State. “My leaving certainly is a significant thing [in that] there will be one less African American in our administration,” he said, adding that, “I don’t think we’ve made great progress” in increasing the diversity of both administration and faculty. “That’s always going to be something I’d like to see in Chico.”

Before Jackson, who is a native of Harrisburg, Penn., and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, became interim and then vice provost four years ago, he served as associate dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Science.

At 54, Jackson said he’s “too young” in age and attitude to retire. He also won’t leave Chico.

Foul fuel case leaves Chico company in the clear
The general manager of Pacific Flight Services is “thrilled” after a Contra Costa County jury on March 1 found that the Chico company had no responsibility for contaminated fuel that damaged planes loading up at the Chico Municipal Airport.

Linda Patrick said she feels “vindicated.” More than two years ago, a driver for Diamond Trucking delivered a load of aviation fuel to the airport but didn’t disclose that the 8,000-gallon tank also had 1,000 gallons of jet fuel in it.

Pacific Flight Service is the fixed-base operator at the Chico Municipal Airport and buys fuel to sell to customers. When the screw-up was uncovered in September 1999, fire-fighting planes were grounded along with dozens of others concerned that the mixed case could damage their engines and even cause a crash, since those fuels burn at different rates.

Those affected sued anyone and everyone, but Patrick said, “I think they knew in the beginning that we weren’t at fault for this.” The most recent suit was Pacific Flight Service and its supplier, Valley Oil, going after Diamond, which was found to be 100 percent at fault.

Bob Grierson, Chico’s airport manager and one of the pilots who recovered a small portion of the $5.8 million in damages paid out in an earlier settlement, said, “I’m glad this issue has finally been resolved and that those responsible for this incident have been identified and found legally responsible.”

Campus crime, like city’s, up slightly
Chico State University’s police released records last month of the previous year’s criminal activity and arrests made in the campus community. It came as no surprise to the department that there were few major differences from 2000’s statistics.

Interim Chief of Police Kelly Clark said the only category where a significant jump in activity was noted was burglary, which corresponds with the Chico community at large. That number increased from 19 reports of burglary in 2000 to 40 cases in 2001.

“Our point [in releasing the annual report] would be that we’re reflective of our community,” said Clark. “We’re not exempt from crime, even on campus.”

Other categories that saw a noticeable change were forcible sex offenses, down to three cases from the five reported in 2000; aggravated assault, again down from the five mentioned in the previous year; drug abuse violations; exactly doubled to 44 in 2001 from 2000; and weapons violations, which saw an increase to three reported cases. The other categories saw little or no change in statistical information, with the total violations equaling 228, up from 162 in 2000.