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College president speaks on former SMU professor charged

“The whole thing is very disturbing,” said David Mathews, President of Southwestern Michigan College.

Southwestern Michigan campus officials say they’re shocked after one of their own professors, 57-year-old George Field, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct and practicing psychology/counseling without a license.

“This young lady came forward, said ‘when I was a student, allege these things happened’,” said Mathews.

But Mathews says he and his staff acted quickly once they were notified.

“We did two things. We started an internal investigation and, because of the nature of what she reported, we referred her to law enforcement as well,” said Mathews.

The Cass County Prosecutors office says the incidents occurred between September 2015 and June 2016 at fField’s home and at The Family Center for mental health services in Dowagiac. I reached out for comment via phone and in person, but never got a response.

“With respect to the criminal charges, he’ll have his day in court. But our own internal investigation proved to us that he had broken numerous college policies, so that’s why we terminated him,” said Mathews.

Mathews says the alleged incident has caused some disturbance among staff members but he’s proud of them for taking action so quickly.

“With about 3,000 students and 150 full time employees and probably 200 part time employees, we have very clear policies that all of our employees know,” said Mathews.

And that there is no room on his campus for jeopardizing students’ safety

“We just had somebody who chose not to adhere to them and it’s just terrible, a hugely disturbing event.” Mathews

We were also told field spent some time teaching in an Edwardsburg high school, however we have learned that he was not employed with Edwardsburg schools but simply teaching college students there through an assigned college leadership program. He only spent about three sessions doing so before being terminated by SMC officials.

The Cass County Prosecutor’s office says they believe there are more victims. If you have any information, you’re encouraged to contact the sheriff’s department immediately.

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