Christian school hid evidence from accused professor, he says
Baylor University created a campus-wide “culture of anti-male bias and intimidation” in response to criticism about its handling of sexual-assault reports, according to a federal lawsuit filed last week.
“John Doe,” a former assistant professor of economics, not only claims that the Christian university ignored evidence that contradicted his student accuser, a former lover. He says female professors are tacitly allowed to date students in violation of school policies, to the point where some have married their male students.
The “biased and flawed” Title IX investigation, in which Baylor refused to give him a “language accommodation,” stemmed from pressure the school faced between 2015 and 2016 to clamp down on alleged sexual assault by student athletes.
John resigned from Baylor in 2018 after it found him responsible for sexual assault and intimate partner violence against the undergraduate student, which he denied. He hasn’t been able to find “another professorship” since. (The suit makes no mention that he ever taught her.)
He’s suing for violations of Title IX under the “erroneous outcome” theory, which says a false finding stemmed from gender bias, and state and federal employment laws. John also alleges breach of contract.
A 2016 report from law firm Pepper Hamilton found that Baylor “minimized Title IX enforcement” and “impeded” sexual assault complaints involving student athletes. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has been investigating Baylor for nearly three years for the same reason.
Baylor removed Kenneth Starr as president and fired football coach Art Briles (below) following these reports. Some feared an overcorrection against males at Baylor due to the campus climate, an argument advanced by John.
John’s attorney didn’t return an email from The College Fix. Baylor denied John’s claims in an email statement.
“Baylor University will vigorously defend the inaccurate claims made by the Plaintiff in this lawsuit,” wrote Lori Fogleman, assistant vice president of media and public relations:
Following an investigation by Baylor’s Title IX Office, the Plaintiff was found responsible for, among other things, violating Baylor’s policy prohibiting non-consensual sexual contact with a student. The Plaintiff also violated University policy that prohibits romantic and/or sexual relationships between faculty members and undergraduate students. The Plaintiff resigned from the University prior to the completion of the Title IX process, which ultimately resulted in a finding that the Plaintiff violated Baylor’s Title IX policy.
Women can close their office doors, men can’t
John claims that his superiors at Baylor confirmed the existence of anti-male bias and comparatively lax oversight of female professors.
When he began teaching in 2015, supervisor Scott Gardner warned John that a large Baylor flag he had hung on a transparent glass door in his office could be used to “falsely accuse” him of misconduct. John claims female professors on the floor were still allowed to cover their doors, but he was encouraged not to.
Another supervisor, Steve Green, warned him two years later to “protect himself from female students who may accuse him of misconduct,” due to the “environment” at Baylor stemming from the athletic sexual-assault scandal.
For that reason, Green allegedly counseled John to leave his office door open when conducting office hours and keep female students out after 5 p.m. If one accused him of sexual misconduct for an incident after 5 p.m., Green explained, “there would be no witnesses in the department to testify” in John’s defense.