Nothing is more important at Baylor University than providing a safe and caring community for our students. The University is committed to following appropriate Title IX policies and guidelines. This includes providing robust training and education to both incoming and current students in an effort to prevent sexual assault – training that each of the students involved in this alleged incident received when they came to Baylor. The University works tirelessly not only to respond to allegations of assault, but to prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place.
Recent news articles about reported allegations of rape at two of our residence halls have, understandably, caused some concern and confusion on campus and in the media. We pledge to you that Baylor takes all allegations of sexual assault and interpersonal violence very seriously, has correctly followed its established policies and procedures, and thoroughly assessed every threat to assure the safest environment possible for our students.
Baylor’s continued commitment to effectively addressing issues of sexual assault and interpersonal violence, including Title IX and Clery implementation, incorporates building on the key accomplishments and initiatives outlined below. The University has undergone numerous successful reviews of the implementation of 105 recommendations for improvement made by the group who thoroughly investigated our past response – including an external verification initiated by the University to ensure full implementation and an independent review of the implementation of improvements by the Big 12 Conference, which also found the University successful in completing the changes. Additionally, Baylor’s accrediting body, SACSCOC, affirmed Baylor’s progress and accredited the University through 2027. Continued improvement in our processes, policies and support for our students is an ongoing priority of Baylor University.
The former student has not attended Baylor since March 2016, when he was arrested on sexual assault charges. In addition, following his arrest, the fraternity he was involved in was suspended immediately by the University and currently remains suspended. Baylor handled this case quickly and in accordance with the University’s Title IX policy.
I am pleased to share with you the good news that Baylor University has received official reaffirmation of its 10-year institutional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the recognized regional accrediting body in 11 southern states and Latin America for higher education institutions that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees.
(Updated Oct. 31, 2018, 2:00 pm)A point in the Big 12's “Report on Verification of Implementation of 105 Recommendations by Baylor University” -- amplified this morning by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram – contains a mischaracterization of the results of the University’s publicly available campus climate survey.
I am pleased to report that the Big 12 Conference has completed its Verification Review of Baylor University’s 105 recommendations in response to past reports of sexual assault and interpersonal violence within our campus community and has confirmed all recommendations as complete and implemented.
Baylor University has been actively investigating an allegation that former Board of Regents Chair Richard Willis used extremely offensive and hurtful language in a private conversation in Mexico in 2014. Mr. Willis, who served as Chair from 2012-16 and left the Board in 2017, adamantly denies making the statements.
The Plaintiffs have become hidden figures in this litigation, serving as a backdrop for Plaintiffs’ counsel’s continued campaign to broadly investigate the operations of Baylor University. Despite the Plaintiffs’ counsel’s scorched-earth discovery of Board operational issues, these matters are not before the Court in this case. The stories of 10 female students who have reported incidents of sexual assault are.
The continued efforts of Art Briles and his supporters over the past two years to rewrite history cannot go unchallenged. Just as when he was coach, he again attempts to skirt responsibility for actions of the football program that he led, the players he recruited and coached, the coaches he managed and the loose discipline he championed.