Statement in Response to Bears for Leadership Reform

August 2, 2018

“Baylor University took several unprecedented actions in May 2016 regarding its response to incidents of sexual and interpersonal violence within the campus community – making significant changes to University and athletics leadership, publicly releasing findings from the investigation that outlined the University’s failures and making public a broad array of 105 recommendations for improvement that were drawn from the investigation. Baylor has made extensive changes and significant progress under its new leadership team through the completion of the 105 recommendations and the campus-wide implementation of policies, processes and procedures to improve awareness, prevention and response to sexual and interpersonal violence.

“With Baylor’s release of the Findings of Fact on May 26, 2016, no other university has admitted and outlined its institutional failures in such an open manner, nor shared its plans for remediation through such expansive initiatives that have been implemented throughout the university. Every student, faculty and staff member has benefited from training and awareness campaigns, and significant investments have been made across the campus to support the needs of those impacted by sexual violence.

“Baylor’s Board of Regents adopted a comprehensive slate of more than 30 governance reforms designed to increase the diversity of membership among Regents, expand voting privileges, improve functionality and, as a private institution, give the public a more transparent view of Board operations and decisions. It is important to note that in December 2016, the Board unanimously reaffirmed its full confidence concerning the thoroughness and fairness of the Pepper Hamilton investigation, following a report by a special committee that reviewed the methodology, scope of work and findings of the investigation. After receiving the committee’s review and analysis, the Board found no facts to support concerns raised and concluded that the Pepper Hamilton investigation was comprehensive, unbiased and professional. The Board voted unanimously against engaging another firm to review the investigation.

“Baylor is incredibly strong and resilient with a solid academic reputation and institutional prestige as evidenced by the continued interest and strong demand among prospective students, seven consecutive years of fundraising support over $100 million and a strong financial position. This strength and resilience is certainly evident among the student body and alumni who continue to share the Baylor story and their positive experiences at the University.

“Baylor is in a phase of restoration and resolution, as evidenced by the various lawsuits and investigations of incidents in years past. Baylor of today is not the same institution of two, three and certainly five years ago. The University understands that restoring the trust of various constituents is an ongoing process, and Baylor has made a commitment to do everything the institution can to provide a safe and healthy environment for all students.”