Baylor Regents Vote Against Review of Sexual Assault Investigation

Dec 12, 2016

The Baylor University board of regents have unanimously voted against a review of the 9-month Pepper Hamilton investigation into the school's handling of sexual assault allegations, stating the initial the report was "complete, fair and accurate."

The decision comes after regents appointed a special committee back in October to review the Philadelphia law firm’s findings.

"Our review found no reasonable grounds to question Pepper Hamilton's investigation or the Board's decisions that were made in reliance on their report to us,"  regent Jerry Clements said in a press release. "If anything, our second look at the firm's investigation only strengthened the Board's conclusion that Pepper Hamilton did a thorough and professional job in fulfilling its agreed-upon scope of work."

Last month, a newly formed group called Bears for Leadership Reform called for an independent investigation focused on the actions of school administrators and regents. The group is composed of several major Baylor donors, including former Texas governor Mark White and Drayton McLane, whose name adorns the $250 million football stadium.

Bears for Leadership Reform member Eddie Williams said he was "extremely disappointed" in the regents' decision to forgo an additional investigation.

"Today’s decision by the Board only reinforces BLR’s belief that this scandal is the result of a failure of culture that has its roots in a failure of leadership," Williams said in a statement. "Secrecy and innuendo must be replaced by truth and total transparency. Scapegoating and deflection must yield to full accountability. And the Board must reform and change how it operates to restore Baylor’s integrity and ensure a brighter future."

In their decision, the regents said the special committee found “no facts” to support concerns that have been raised.

At their meeting, the board also discussed the progress of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s office for Civil Rights into the school’s Title IX compliance. They also discussed the one-year warning the university was given by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges –the regional agency that determines an educational institution’s accreditation.