Former Title IX Coordinator says Baylor put brand above students

Less than 48 hours after she resigned, Patty Crawford told her story with CBS this morning.

WACO - Baylor University's former Title IX Coordinator, Patty Crawford, told "CBS This Morning" the University set her up to fail since the day she was hired.

Baylor announced Crawford's resignation in a press release sent late Monday night.

"The harder I worked, the more resistance I received from senior leadership,” Crawford said.

Baylor hired Crawford in November 2014 to implement and regulate the school's policies on sexual discrimination.

Crawford said during her time in the position, the number of reports to her office increased 700 percent and the senior administration did not like that.

"A group of senior leaders that made sure that they were protecting the brand, I believe, instead of our students," said Crawford.

Baylor Director of Media Communications, Tonya Lewis, sent a statement to Channel 6 Wednesday morning.

“Baylor University was surprised by the action taken by Patty Crawford given her public comments in August about the strong support she felt from across the University. Her demands in advance of mediation for one million dollars and book and movie rights were troubling. 

When asked about the one million dollars and book and movie rights on CBS, Crawford's attorney, Rogee Dunn, interjected, saying Texas law prevented them from commenting on the mediation.

"In a desperate attempt to smear Patty what they've done is violate Texas law," said Dunn.  "Believe me, their is nothing I would rather tell you than what went on in that mediation because it's in favor of Patty.  But the law says that you can't do that and we choose to follow the law unlike Baylor."

Dunn sent a statement to Channel 6 News Tuesday night.

“The bottom line:  in all the other cases involving people in the know/on the inside:   Starr, McCaw, Briles etc. Baylor has bought the participants’ silence.  Patty is the first person to refuse to be silenced.  She has filed a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights against Baylor for violating Title IX and retaliating against her for trying to follow Title IX."

The statement sent Wednesday by Lewis went on to describe how the University would move forward with the Title IX office.

We are proud of the substantial resources invested in building a strong Title IX office and of the collaborative work the University has been doing and will continue to do in the implementation of the Pepper Hamilton recommendations. Patty led two implementation teams related to Title IX and served on the over-arching action team. Members of the Title IX staff are serving on multiple teams and have made tremendous contributions. They will very ably continue this work of sexual assault awareness, prevention and response.

It has taken the entire Baylor community, fully engaged in our ongoing efforts, to ensure the University has in place the processes, policies, personnel, and training to prevent acts of sexual violence and respond appropriately with compassion to those who suffer from such acts. We recognize that our work on this front will never be complete, and we will continue to seek ways to improve our response and to actively support survivors.”

Interim Baylor President, David Garland, issued a letter to students, faculty and staff on his University webpage Tuesday.

"Despite this recent personnel change, the office continues to have a capable, professional team to do its work, the statement read."

"We recognize our responsibility is to seek to prevent sexual assault and to respond with professional care for those who have been affected by it. I want you to be assured that our commitment remains resolute as we strive to cultivate a Christian community of care and respect for others."

The initial announcement of Crawford's resignation came in a press release sent at 11:49 p.m. Monday night.

“Baylor University tonight (Monday) announces the resignation of Patty Crawford as the University’s Title IX Coordinator. Our understanding is that Patty was disappointed in her role in implementing the recommendations that resulted from the Pepper Hamilton investigation. The University is grateful for Patty’s leadership in establishing fair and equitable Title IX processes that are also supportive of the needs of survivors. We will always seek to continuously improve and are confident that the very capable Title IX staff will continue the important work of educating, supporting and responding to the needs of those impacted by interpersonal violence.”

Baylor has been at the center of a scandal involving sexual assaults on the campus and its failure to handle them properly.

Baylor hired the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton in November of 2015 to investigate its handling of the sexual assaults.  The nine month investigation found a "fundamental failure" to implement Title IX guidelines.

Head football coach Art Briles and President and Chancellor Ken Starr were both fired in the wake of the Pepper Hamilton findings.

The University claimed the law firm presented its findings verbally and did not provide a written report.  The University released what it called a "findings of fact."

Dunn also represents former Baylor Assistant Athletic staffer, Tom Hill.  Hill was also fired in the days after the investigation was released.

Dunn filed a petition in court in July, on behalf of Hill, requesting the University release all documents that would explain why he was fired.  Hill withdrew that petition in September without saying why.

(© 2016 KCEN)


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