Work to improve the prevention, response and care for students impacted by sexual violence continues to advance and evolve. Improvements to campus safety began even before the comprehensive Pepper Hamilton investigation was launched.
In spring 2014, Baylor University’s Operations and Facilities Division retained safety and security experts, Margolis Healy & Associates to conduct an organizational assessment of the University’s Police Department and physical security program. The study included an evaluation of all procedures, policies and systems to determine improvements that would ensure a safe and secure campus community while also maintaining an open, inviting and vibrant campus environment. The study resulted in 60 recommendations for improvement, including the creation of the Department of Public Safety in which BUPD, emergency preparedness, technology security, fire safety and parking and transportation would all be combined for better collaboration. The study also pointed to the importance of hiring a full-time, dedicated Title IX Coordinator.
When results of the Margolis Healy study were delivered in August 2014, work began immediately on implementation of recommended improvements. Margolis Healy returned to campus in summer 2016 to review progress and develop additional improvements to ensure full implementation of Pepper Hamilton’s comprehensive recommendations through DPS systems.
The goal of the Pepper Hamilton investigation, launched in August 2015, was to identify areas of concern and address improvements needed in University Title IX processes. The experts of Pepper Hamilton reviewed how processes and systems responded through the lens of reported incidents of sexual assault or dating violence during the academic years 2012-2015. The investigation included a broad audit of reports of sexual assault over the period. Its focus was how various departments and individuals within the University responded to a report — not whether the underlying reported incident had occurred. Pepper Hamilton’s role was to determine if sufficient processes and systems were in place to meet Title IX obligations and properly care for students who came forward to make a report. (To learn more about the independent investigation, see Backgroundsection of this site.)
The investigation resulted in the release of Findings of Fact and the adoption of a comprehensive array of Recommendations for Improvement. Implementation began immediately to operationalize the improvements and ensure Baylor University develops an exemplary model of Title IX compliance, awareness and prevention programming, and support for victims of sexual violence.
News and Updates
Today, Baylor University completed a two-day virtual hearing with a seven-person panel of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions.
We share the authors’ view that student sexual violence is a complex and important problem that defies simple solutions. We are deeply sorry for anyone connected with the Baylor community who has been harmed by sexual violence.
For Rhule, this tour isn't just about meeting alumni or raising money. It's a declaration of Baylor's future.
"I want to make sure I'm very clear," Rhule said. "That doesn't mean we don't ever respect, talk about or learn from the past. But our future is rising up out of our past."
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.
The Baylor University Board of Regents met Sunday in executive session to discuss a wide range of subjects, including a recent announcement regarding the University’s accrediting agency, a progress report about an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights into Title IX compliance, and input from faculty and staff during four recent “listening sessions” held by Regents.
For the past several months, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has been working with Baylor University to better understand the findings and implications of the Pepper Hamilton review on the status of overall safety and support for students on our campus.
In November 2016 Baylor provided answers to a variety of questions from the Baylor Family and the media about the sexual assault crisis.
Nothing is more important at Baylor University than providing a safe and caring community for our students. We have a renewed focus on our Christian mission and made a number of personnel and policy changes to help ensure this is the case.
We are working diligently to ensure that Baylor University fulfills its mission to be a caring, Christian community where our students thrive. As part of this commitment, I have directed the University to be more transparent wherever possible about the sexual assault crisis that has severely impacted our campus, our alumni and the entire Baylor family.