Howard Zochlinski has been the center of academic and judicial controversy within California and the UC System, including at UC Davis.

When Howard was an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara in the early 1970s he was arrested; none of the charges stuck. 20 years later he was a Genetics doctoral candidate at UC Davis and was arrested by the same policeman who had arrested him back in Santa Barbara.

The arrests in Santa Barbara resulted in either dropped charges or were thrown out of court. All three of these arrests were made by the same two officers, John Jones and John MacPherson. Howard believes that these arrests were the result of his being a Vietnam War protestor. During his detainment he claims that he was sexually assaulted while in police custody and believes that officer Jones was instrumental in arranging it.

He transferred to UC Berkeley where four years later he graduated with a Bachelors degree. He then earned two Masters over the next six years from University of Hawaii and John Hopkins University. During this time officer Jones transferred from UC Santa Barbara to the UC Davis Police Department.

In 1984 Howard was admitted to UC Davis as a PhD candidate. In 1992 officer Jones again arrested Howard, this time for stalking. Jones claims that there was nothing personal or targeted about the arrest; Howard claims that the arrest was the result of Jones holding a vendetta and being an anti-semite. This charge as well was dropped when the victim did not appear in court. Howard also maintains that Jones arrest report does not meet the legal definition for the charges that were filled against him.

In 1993 he was arrested again, but acquitted in court. His defense attorney claimed that the police were not conscientious in the manner in which they handled the case. It does not appear that officer Jones was involved in this case.

Shortly prior to the time of this last arrest after having been a PhD candidate for 9 years Howard was dismissed for not filling an acceptable thesis by the deadline his committee had assigned.

Howard believes that the stalking arrest had prejudiced his department against him. Part of his feelings of persecution stem from having had a conduct hold placed on his academic record; one with an end date in the year 2099. Student Judicial Affairs says that this was a clerical error. Howard thinks that this contributed to his difficulty in landing a job.

Howard filed a lawsuit with the University in regards to his dismissal as a student. As of 2006, the details and status of this lawsuit are unknown. In 2005, the Academic Senate of UC Davis overwhelmingly ruled to re-admit Zochlinski as a student. Such a ruling by the Academic Senate is fairly unheard of, prompting University officials to question what would happen next. However Jeff Gibeling, Dean of Graduate Studies, ruled against readmitting Zochlinski on the basis that his predecessor had made the same ruling. As such, this case is still ongoing.

Howard has pledged to continue fighting.

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2011-05-02 17:51:37   Having known Howard for approximately 6 1/2 years and having filed several of his documents with the courts on his behalf, I know that the system of UCDavis is skewed against him. There was a vote by members of the staff investigating the multiple situations that was to allow him back into the University stating all he had to do was refile his Thesis and he would be granted the full acclaim of the University and it's privileges, his re-submission was denied by Gibeling and further conversations between the two did little to resolve the issue. There was another vote by the ASUCD Senate which also would have cleared the path for re-admittance which was also denied by Gibeling.

One of the reason Gibeling stated for denying his readmittance into the system was Howard's tendencies towards violence, a claim which holds no proof or merit and one which I disbelieve wholeheartedly. While Howard can be eccentric at times, he has never shown any type of violent behavior nor any type of violent threats save for legal services in the form of several suits. Of the 4 claims dismissed, three of them were on the grounds that an individual may not sue the university as an entity of the state and also cannot be appealed, the fourth claim, which may be appealed, was denied on the grounds that he could not sue the academic board, of which Gibeling was a member and may still be. He still has claims against Gibeling and a few others which claim continued bias against him based upon false pretenses and false assumptions. These matters are still pending.

It is difficult to prove a lack of personal bias against Howard by Gibeling since it was he who went against the board and the ASUCD Senate's votes which denied him resolution altogether with the mere striking of pen to paper in the form a solitary signature.

The fact that the University has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in their defense against Howard would seem to show support of Mr. Gibeling's bias against him and should, in my opinion allow for suit against the university as a whole... Offering him a $500.00 settlement also shows a disregard to his rights to an equal opportunity to the furtherance of his education and lack of regard for his potential future earnings if not his life as a whole.

Twenty years of drama stemming from false arrests in the 70s and still no resolution. Just a sad, if not tragic tale of the UCD's support of hatred and bias. Why they continue to fight, when the only thing necessary for resolution would be to allow the re-submission of his thesis and potential graduation which would bring finality to the situation and allow Howard to move on and also stop being a "nuisance" in the eyes of the university. —Wes-P