» By BRIAN BIGELO – bbigelow@my.apsu.edu

After a tenure with its share of controversy, director of Public Safety Lantz Biles submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday, Oct. 5. His last day in the position will be Friday, Dec. 16.

“Chief Biles has decided to relocate for personal reasons relating to his family,” said President Timothy Hall. “He was not pressured to resign and the university certainly wishes him well in the next stage of his career.”

Biles’ tenure at APSU was not without difficulty. In November 2010, Biles was suspended without pay for one calendar month after being found to have violated APSU policy prohibiting sexual harassment by an appointed Grievance Panel from the University Grievance Committee in response to multiple complaints from employees.

In June 2010, five federal lawsuits were filed against APSU and Biles alleging retaliation, harassment and a hostile work environment. Two of the lawsuits were later dropped.

Biles began his job as Director of Public Safety in 2005.

Of Biles’ initial hiring, Mitch Robinson, vice president of finance and administration said, “He was the best candidate that met the requirements of the position.”

Robinson was responsible for conducting Biles’ annual administrative employee performance evaluations. According to Robinson’s evaluation of Biles for the 2010-11 year, “Lantz violated APSU and TBR policy regarding harassment in the workplace. While Lantz served a suspension for his actions, he needs to ensure this behavior does not repeat.”

For the last two years, from April 2009 to April 2011, Biles’ performance evaluations – all executed by Robinson – classified Biles’ performance as “minimally acceptable.” This category is defined as pertaining to an employee who “meets some essential job requirements but frequently performs below standard,” and “requires above normal supervision.”

In his performance reviews from 2009-11, Biles was praised for his “dedication, knowledge and experience,” and his efforts to develop and maintain diversity in the campus police department, but was given an overall evaluation score of 24 for this past year and a 26 for the 2009-10 year – one point below the minimum score of 27 required for categorization as “meets standards.”

Commenting that April 2010-11 was a “difficult and challenging year” for Biles, Robinson goes on to say in the performance evaluation the “harassment charges and subsequent suspension has hurt the reputation of not only Mr. Biles, but that of campus police. Repairing the damage caused by this behavior will be very difficult for him to overcome. This coming year is pivotal to Lantz’s tenure at APSU.”

“Lantz must regain the respect of the campus police staff to be an effective leader for the university,” Robinson said in Biles’ 2010-11 evaluation. “Without respect it is very difficult to impossible to accomplish departmental goals and objectives.”

According to an APSU press release, before coming to APSU, Biles worked in campus security positions at Knoxville College and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and served as manager of parking and transportation services at the Medical College of Georgia located in Augusta.

Biles also served as an investigator with the U.S. Army, receiving numerous medals and special commendations including the National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with a Bronze Service Star-2 and the Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Ribbon.

Biles was also responsible for the installation of the emergency blue light phones on campus and the security camera systems. Biles plans to relocate to Arizona with his family. TAS