The U.S. Department of Education has responded to the complaint filed by Baylor’s former Title IX coordinator.
Patty Crawford, who resigned from the university earlier this fall following the fallout from the university’s handling of sexual assault accusations, filed the complaint in October with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. The OCR said Wednesday it has opened a Title IX investigation because of her complaint.
“OCR opened the investigation after receiving a complaint from the former Baylor Title IX coordinator,” department spokesperson Dorie Nolt said in a statement. “Consistent with federal privacy statutes, OCR typically does not identify the specific parties, including complainants, involved in our civil rights cases. In this instance, the complainant has given permission for OCR to identify her and has spoken publicly about her complaint.”
The statement also said the office serves as a “neutral fact-finder” and “opening a complaint for investigation in no way implies that OCR has made a determination on the merits of the case.”
Crawford said in an interview with CBS in early October that “I never had the authority, resources or independence to do my job properly,” and that she felt the university wanted to protect its brand more than its students.
Baylor said she resigned on Oct. 3 after she was “disappointed” with the way the school was implementing recommendations from the Pepper Hamilton report. The independent investigation was commissioned in the spring and condemned the way Baylor had dealt with sexual assault accusations. Multiple former Baylor football players have been accused of sexual assault. Two are currently serving prison sentences while another former player is currently indicted on sexual assault charges.
Former coach Art Briles was fired in May and the school’s athletic director resigned along with president Ken Starr.
Crawford went public with her dismay with the university after she reportedly turned down a $1.5 million settlement with the school and a $50,000 confidentiality clause. She countered for $2 million and walked away when the school rejected her counter.
She said she became frustrated with the administration’s handling of accusations over the summer and believed protocols weren’t being followed. From a KWTX report earlier this month:
She told the group she had begun to refuse to share names of those involved in Title IX investigations with Baylor administrators, fearful that the officials might take action before those involved in the investigations receive due process.
“That’s what we talked about this week, I said this has to be very clear that at this point, no one is going to know, other than our office, who these people are, what their names are, where this is going”, Crawford says.
“Because there have been occasions where I’ve been called on my cellphone on a Sunday morning by a board member wanting names.”
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