Image via Associated Press

Since releasing an extended press release (gussied up to look like a report) that included no facts about how and why Baylor made life hell for students who reported they were raped, more and more outside voices have been calling for the university to release the full report, prepared by independent investigators. Sure, they fired the football coach, and former president Ken Starr (yes, that Ken Starr) is gone from all his posts except law professor. But nobody outside the Board of Regents knows what really happened; Baylor through it all has insisted it can’t say, relying on a grab bag of reasons that don’t make sense.

They say the findings from Pepper Hamilton were given via an oral presentation, ignoring that they could release the records they gave the law firm and transcripts of the interviews. They say they can’t release anything in order to protect the privacy of victims, a disgusting form of using those victims as human shields to hide their own failures. If reporters can figure out ways to tell these stories while giving the women privacy—if other schools with postmortems on their their own scandals can do it—perhaps Baylor can too. All Baylor has done is double down on their first statement more than a week ago, which was a pile of shit.

Instead, Baylor has decided the perfect solution to calls for transparency is to create more bureaucracy or, in this case, a bunch of committees, the favorite tool of government agencies that want you to know they are thinking hard about something without doing much.

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The main tool here is the Sexual Assault Task Force. This is what it’s supposed to do:

  1. Follow the directives set forth by the Board of Regents of Baylor University
  2. Implement administrative and structural changes to areas within the Baylor University community based upon Pepper Hamilton’s recommendations
  3. Monitor and provide regular progress reports to the Executive Council

Shouldn’t Baylor just have started the structural changes suggested by Pepper Hamilton immediately? Aren’t these directives coming from the same Board of Regents who haven’t been held accountable for their role in what happened?

The task force is divided into two subgroups. The first one is called the Action Team. This is its job:

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The purpose of the Action Team is to prioritize recommendations from Pepper Hamilton then monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the actions of each Team.

The second subgroup is called the Implementation Teams. Let me warn you, this list is long:

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Broad Recommendations

Team Leader: Dr. David Garland, Interim President

Restorative Remedies (Survivor Outreach)

Team Leader: Dr. Greg Jones, Executive Vice President & Provost

Governance, Leadership, and Compliance

Team Leader: Dr. David Garland, Interim President

Title IX Infrastructure, Resources, and Internal Protocols

Team Leader: Patty Crawford, Title IX Coordinator

Title IX Policy

Team Leader: Patty Crawford, Title IX Coordinator

Centralized Reporting and Resolution of Reports

Team Leader: Pattie Orr, VP for Information Technology & Dean of Libraries

Resources and Support (Counseling and Advocacy)

Team Leader: Dr. David Pooler, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor

Training, Education, and Communication of Efforts

Team Leader: Dr. Kevin Jackson, VP for Student Life

Culture and Climate

Team Leader: Dr. Andrea Dixon, Associate Professor of Marketing

Guess what? This is only half the list. Here comes the part about athletics.

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Athletics Department

  • General Recommendations

Team Leaders: Dr. Reagan Ramsower, Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer and Jeremy Counseller, Faculty Athletics Representative to the Big 12 Conference

  • Athletics: Student-Athlete Drug Policy

Team Leader: Dr. Reagan Ramsower, Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer

  • Athletics Oversight & Reporting Protocols for Athlete Misconduct (Chief Compliance Officer)

Team Leader: Dr. Reagan Ramsower, Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer

  • Athletics Enrollment, Transfer and Recruitment Policy

Team Leader: Jeremy Counseller, Faculty Athletics Representative to the Big 12 Conference

  • Student-Athlete Integration (Interim Housing Solutions)

Team Leader: Brian Nicholson, VP of Operations and Facilities Management

Baylor University Police Department

Team Leader: Brian Nicholson, VP of Operations and Facilities Management

Community Partnerships

Team Leader: Brian Nicholson, VP of Operations and Facilities Management

Clery Act Compliance

Chair: Shelley Deats, Clery Act & IACLEA Accreditation Specialist

And underneath every one of these will be more people who will report up. In short, the various Implementation Teams will then answer to the Action Team which then collectively works as the Sexual Assault Task Force. All that’s missing from the Baylor press release was a flow chart. Will these committees be transparent? The press release doesn’t say if their meetings will be open to the public or if progress reports will be released.

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Will any of this help? It’s better than nothing, although it’s saddening to think that the standard should be that low. Over and over again, I come back to the condescension of what the regents are telling students and alumni: We know what happened and trust us to fix it. Trusting Baylor to do the right thing is what brought Baylor to this point.