Implementation of the comprehensive recommendations that resulted from Pepper Hamilton’s independent investigation began in June 2016. Faculty, staff and students from across the University joined together in implementation teams to address the identified areas of improvement.
By March 2017, 80 percent of the recommendations were completed or operationalized by responsible departments. The remaining 20 percent were in various stages of work; all will be completed and/or operationalized. An internal audit will be conducted to ensure full implementation and sustainability of improvements.
News and Updates
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.
An external review has found that Baylor University has effectively implemented the 105 Recommendations. From all walks of the University community – students, faculty, staff, senior leadership, the President, and the Board of Regents – the reviewers have seen tremendous effort and engagement that has met or exceeded the tasks set forth in the recommendations.
From October 1-4, 2017, the University hosted a Special Committee on campus related to the warning sanction that the institution received in December 2016.
Mark Childers, associate vice president of public safety and security, discusses the implementation of more than 1,000 security cameras on and around the Baylor campus. Childers described this initiative as another example of the Department of Public Safety’s focus on continuous improvement. “(Public safety) is that intense, a 24/7 strong forward lean,” said Childers. “Always assessing and re-assessing what we’re doing. We can never stop and say, ‘We’ve made it.’”
Added security for students, improved response in a medical emergency and a direct line in a crisis situation – all are built in features of Baylor Department of Public Safety’s BU Campus Guardian App.
I leave the office of the president confident that what has been planted this past year will further Baylor’s grand ambitions as a national research university grounded in Christian principles.
For the past 12 months, Baylor University has been intensely focused on substantive improvements to awareness, prevention and response to the needs of those impacted by sexual violence.
I call Waco, Texas, of all places, because there is an agency there known as the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children. According to the website, it began as the Waco Rape Crisis Center in 1976 and has since mushroomed to serve all crime victims, include those of sexual assault.
On April 18, 2017, Baylor University announced the selection of Linda A. Livingstone, PhD, current dean and professor of management at The George Washington University School of Business, to become the institution’s 15th president.
The opportunities for students to connect and develop a sense of belonging at Baylor are on the rise.
On May 11, 2017, the Baylor Board of Regents received a briefing affirming that all 105 recommendations are now structurally complete, with some elements that remain ongoing to sustain this effort. For each recommendation, the infrastructure and foundation are in place, and the University continues to work diligently to integrate implementation efforts across campus.
Beginning Summer 2017, Baylor University’s Title IX Office will launch an innovative and growing prevention initiative called, the Green Dot, etc. program.
Increasing student awareness of the support available through the Title IX Office, the effects of sexual violence on survivors and the ways in which bystanders can diffuse violent or potentially violent situations are key priorities of Baylor’s sexual assault awareness and prevention programming.
“Baylor University is committed to safety. We wake up each day focused on how to get better and create an even safer campus,” Wigtil said. “The Baylor Police Department will never become complacent and will continue to evaluate, research and implement new programs to enhance safety on campus.”
The Baylor University Police Department (BUPD) recognized a growing need to implement new approaches to working with sexual assault victims using trauma-informed, victim-centered methods. Through intensive training and a commitment to serving the Baylor community, the BUPD is specially equipped to respond to reports and to conduct investigations concerning sexual violence.
Baylor’s commitment to student safety means being available 24 hours a day. When a student is victimized by sexual or interpersonal violence, it is vital that resources and support are available right away.
Baylor University, like many other universities, has been working diligently to establish a Title IX office and support services that provide timely and sensitive responses to campus sexual assault survivors who report through Title IX, as well as proactive strategies to prevent sexual violence from occurring.
An intense focus on training enables the Baylor University Police Department to stay prepared and to serve the campus community
The safety and wellbeing of our campus community is of utmost importance to Baylor University. The Department of Public Safety has made tremendous strides strengthening campus safety and security over the past few years.
Throughout the 2016-17 academic year, staff at the Baylor University Counseling Center have met with over 2,000 individual students. This represents a 62 percent increase from last year and is a direct result of opening a second facility on campus, which made possible the hiring of more staff and the increased provision of a range of counseling services.
The partnership between the Baylor University Police Department (BUPD) and the Waco Advocacy Center is a steadfast alliance that has sought to bring about change in response to sexual assaults.
In a world that can feel unsafe to a sexual assault victim, Liz Noble provides a safe place. She is Baylor’s new Advocate for Students.
To provide trauma-informed care means you must suspend any sense of disbelief and assume the victim is telling the truth – even if the victim’s account is disjointed and imprecise.
An external review of the Baylor Police Department by Margolis Healy & Associates resulted in the reorganization and enhancement of the Baylor University Police Department, including the hiring of a new police chief.
Baylor’s vice president for facilities and operations, Brian Nicholson, sent an email to students, faculty and staff Wednesday afternoon with information about improvements Baylor’s Department of Public Safety has made since commissioning the review.
I knew that sexual assault was happening at Baylor University. I chose to be a part of the 2020 class anyway.
Column by Megan Garland, a freshman journalism student at Baylor University.
Over the past three years, Baylor University has made a significant investment in leadership, staffing and training in the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to establish a professional public safety operation that pursues excellence in all things.
The Baylor Counseling Center has long offered students a wide array of services to support student well-being, but the University’s action plan presented an opportunity to dramatically enhance Baylor’s caring community and take mental health services to the next level.
Baylor’s Title IX Office, leadership and administration are committed to continuing to adapt to federal mandates and recommendations as a deeper campus understanding of Title IX and the requirements placed on educational institutions continue to take shape and to ensuring the University provides a caring community and safe campus for the entire Baylor Family.
Baylor University continues to be aware of the Bears for Leadership Reform’s views. Today’s statements by the BLR ignore the considerable progress the Baylor Board of Regents has made to create greater visibility into the governance of the University, as well as to combat the issue of sexual assault.
A few of the notable improvements completed or operationalized by functional areas, by March 2017
Last fall, the Baylor Board of Regents created a Governance Review Task Force to assess board operations and to recommend changes. On Monday, the Task Force delivered its final report to the Board’s Governance Committee. The report includes more than 30 detailed recommendations for changes to the Bylaws and Guidelines for Board Operations.
This Oct. 4 memo reflects how the Board itself has made changes pursuant to a number of Pepper Hamilton’s 105 recommendations.
Today the Board announced a new Governance Review Task Force that will review and recommend improvements in the Board’s practices, procedures and selection process.
WACO, Texas (Nov. 9, 2016) - The Baylor University Board of Regents on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Governance Review Task Force, the latest step taken by the Board to assess and recommend improvements in how the governing board can improve its practices, procedures and selection process.
Baylor has spent $4.3 million on the Title IX office and other services for sexual assault victims since November 2014, when the University hired its first full-time Title IX Coordinator.
Following a national search, Baylor University Interim President David E. Garland today announced the appointment of Mack Rhoades as Vice President and Director of Athletics. Rhoades comes to Baylor after serving since April 2015 as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for the University of Missouri where he oversaw the university's 20 intercollegiate athletics programs, 300 employees, 550 student-athletes and an annual operating budget of $92 million.