Patty Crawford, Baylor’s former Title IX coordinator, and her attorney, Rogge Dunn, sat down with CBS This Morning Wednesday to discuss her two-year stint at Baylor and the reason for her recent resignation.
Crawford told the show’s three hosts her decision to resign Monday was one months in the making, and was due to a group of senior leaders she said were actively obstructing her from completing her tasks as a Title IX coordinator. (A university’s Title IX coordinator, in theory, is an untethered presence from both the academic and athletic administrations, armed with the goal of defending the student body’s civil rights.)
In the case of Baylor, Crawford alleged she was purposefully held back by group of senior leaders she felt were more interested in protecting the school’s brand than protecting its students. Throughout the five-minute interview, Crawford declined to cite specific offices or names, but made clear that from her vantage point, the only major difference about Baylor post-Pepper Hamilton was the public’s knowledge of the situation.
“I think Baylor set me up to fail from the beginning in November of 2014 when I came [to the school],” she said. “And I continued to work very hard, and the harder I worked, the more resistance I received from senior leadership. I increased reports by 700 percent over my time and it became clear that was not something the university wanted. In July, I made it clear in writing I had concerns and that the university was violating Title IX and my environment got worse.”
Prior to Crawford’s hiring in 2014, Baylor allowed the head coordinator position to remain vacant three years after the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter went out; this after the school reported a total of zero sex crimes from 2008-11. Any college or university that receives federal funding, which Baylor does, is required to employ a Title IX coordinator.
When asked about Baylor’s current state and whether the school continues to “systematically fail victims of sexual assault,” Crawford said the school still operates in violation of Title IX as it did prior to the Pepper Hamilton report. She claims to have filed a complaint to the Office of Civil Rights and, as previously reported by KWTX-10, Baylor’s human resources office.
“The allegations are that I never had the authority, the resources, or the independence to do the job appropriately, which the Department of Education writes in its guidance for Title IX coordinators and universities,” Crawford said. “The more I asked and the more I tried, I was being retaliated against for fighting against discrimination—continuing to lose authority, being disconnected to meetings and conversations, the university making decisions that only a Title IX coordinator should make based on more protection for the brand rather than protecting our students.”
Monday, the school announced Crawford’s resignation via press release at 11:49 p.m., stating her decision was a result of Crawford “being disappointed in her role in implementing the recommendations that resulted from the Pepper Hamilton investigation.”
In a subsequent report from KWTX-10, a local CBS affiliate in Waco, it was revealed Crawford was offered a $1.5 million settlement package after she filed a complaint to the school’s human resources department. She reportedly declined an additional $50,000 to sign a confidentiality agreement. In line with what was said on CBS This Morning, KWTX reported Crawford was growing increasingly frustrated with Baylor administration, namely board members, attempting to to garner the names of those involved in her department’s investigations.
Last night, the school released a statement on Crawford’s decision to appear on CBS, saying its former coordinator asked for a million dollars and requested she retain book and move rights while also defending its recent Title IX efforts.
The “implementation teams” cited in the school’s statement were one of the measures implemented by the school in response to the Pepper Hamilton report.
When presented with the statement by host Norah O’Donnell, her attorney responded that speaking about the terms of a settlement violated Texas law. According to Sec. 154.073, “communication relating to the subject matter of any civil or criminal dispute made by a participant in an alternative dispute resolution procedure, whether before or after the institution of formal judicial proceedings, is confidential, is not subject to disclosure, and may not be used as evidence against the participant in any judicial or administrative proceeding.”
Dunn closed the interview by saying he and Crawford “choose to follow the law, unlike Baylor University.”