Former Baylor University Title IX Coordinator Patty Crawford, who claims Baylor set her up to fail in the role, received three salary increases, workspace expansion and a growing Title IX budget — including a $12,000 officewide, three-day spa retreat funded by the university, a Baylor spokesperson said.
Also, in a series of emails obtained by the Tribune-Herald, Crawford in the last year praised and thanked interim President David Garland, a Baylor regent, Baylor’s human resources staff and her direct superior, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Reagan Ramsower, for their support as the university grappled with a sexual assault scandal.
Crawford also voiced her problems with the efforts of Baylor’s implementation teams, alleging she was left out of meetings and decisions that may have concerned the work of her office, the emails show.
Crawford resigned Oct. 3 after a mediation session and then told “CBS This Morning” that Baylor “set (her) up to fail” when she started in November 2014.
“The allegations are that I never had the authority, 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 on “CBS This Morning.”
Crawford filed a Human Resources complaint against Ramsower on Sept. 27, in which she wrote she has been retaliated against because of her efforts to comply with Title IX, documents show.
“Just a few examples include, I was told to leave the office for a week, my job duties were taken away, I have been excluded from important meetings, I have been excluded from the decision-making process regarding the handling of sexual assaults and Baylor’s violations of Title IX, my compensation and job status have been adversely affected, and my ability to do my job has been stymied,” Crawford wrote in an email to the HR department.
The HR director responded, saying she was “extremely concerned” and that a thorough investigation would begin. She also asked Crawford for specific examples of Crawford’s allegations and began working to set up a meeting. Crawford did not reply, a Baylor spokesperson confirmed.
Days later, Crawford’s attorney told Baylor’s general counsel that Crawford filed a federal Title IX complaint and proposed a $1 million settlement, plus book and movie rights, a school spokesperson said.
Rogge Dunn, Crawford’s lawyer, said by phone Monday that the retaliation against her was done orally, and he accused the school of not being forthright.
“This is just another example of the lack of transparency, that Baylor would cherry-pick some emails from Patty,” Dunn said. “And we call upon Baylor to release all emails and communications between Patty and the Baylor administration.”
Though Crawford said the school set her up for failure, Baylor upped the resources for her office each of the past three years. For half of the 2014-15 school year — the first year Baylor had a Title IX office — the office’s budget was $219,567. During the next school year, it grew to $804,767. This year’s Title IX office budget sits at $1.179 million, the university confirmed.
Baylor expanded the Title IX staff from one to seven full-time positions since November 2014. Additionally, Baylor hired two investigators, two adjudicators and an outside attorney to work directly with Title IX, a spokesperson said, and Title IX staffers are given a monthly “self-care” stipend.
A spokesperson also confirmed that Crawford received salary increases in September 2015, May 2016 and September 2016. Almost $1 million has been spent on a 40 percent increase in office space.
In response to Crawford’s claim of job duties being removed, the spokesperson said Crawford was given Labor Day week off, with pay, after expressing frustration with the stress of her job.
“I am struggling with maintaining my momentum in this position,” Crawford wrote in a November email to Juan Alejandro, Baylor’s vice president of governance, risk and compliance. “Every day there are issues that go beyond my scope, and in this climate I do need some forgiveness and sensitivity.”
Crawford began reporting to Ramsower in June, at her request and per administrative approval, the spokesperson said. She previously reported to Alejandro.
“I am so grateful that you are our interim president and (am) here to help you and Reagan (and all of our University leaders,)” Crawford said in a June 22 email to Garland, the interim president, after listing pages of recent Title IX improvements. “I care very much about this work and am grateful to have Baylor’s support and leadership.”
Crawford wrote Ramsower a handwritten thank-you note after he approved a $12,000, university-funded spa retreat for the Title IX staff, the document shows.
“Thank you for your support of the Title IX team’s growth and mental health,” Crawford wrote. “Our team retreat last week was excellent and exactly what was needed as we embark on this new academic year. We are all grateful for you and praying for you as you lead us onto this new path.”
The retreat, from July 27-29 at Lake Austin Spa, included more than $4,500 in food and dining space, almost $3,500 for seven rooms, more than $3,300 in spa treatments and almost $500 for group activities.
“The group certainly deserved some time to refocus and re-energize before the new school year began,” Ramsower told the Tribune-Herald. “I thought it would be a good team-building exercise. I also thought it might help to get some of those folks that were feeling stressed reconnected to the office. There were concerns about everybody feeling connected to the coordinator, and I hoped this would help the coordinator build her team.”
In emails discussing a September KWTX-TV story that included a secret recording of Crawford speaking with athletics department staff, Crawford told Ramsower and Regent Dan Hord: “Thank you again for continuing to support Title IX and helping this work move forward. It sure isn’t easy or fair, but the work and the root of why we do this work is the priority no matter what the media may contrive.”
Crawford has made public comments alleging retaliation by senior administrators. A Title IX complaint she filed with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights resulted in the launch of a federal investigation last month.
Crawford clarified her concerns in a scathing, 18-page July 12 memo to Ramsower, General Counsel Chris Holmes and Director of Special Projects and Initiatives Brandyn Hicks.
The memo outlines Crawford’s problems with implementation teams that were created based on Pepper Hamilton LLP’s 105 recommendations for improving institutional response to sexual assaults. The Philadelphia law firm found “fundamental failure” in the school’s Title IX implementation and a football program operating “above the rules,” Baylor regents reported in a 13-page “Findings of Fact” document May 26.
Referring to a June 29 meeting, Crawford wrote, “it became very clear that Implementation Teams are broadly addressing recommendation points rather than keeping them in the context of the Findings of Fact relative to Title IX and (Violence Against Women Act) compliance.”
“Athletics continues to function separately from Title IX (and other parts of the university),” Crawford wrote.
She alleged the athletics department took action on a player who may be involved in an active Title IX case, even though investigation details are confidential and had not been told to the player. Crawford also felt left out of a meeting with the interim head football coach, vice president of marketing and communications, senior vice president, legal counsel and an external public relations firm.
“Yet no such response has been a priority when it comes to directly negative media items related to the current Title IX Office,” she wrote.
Crawford also criticized the Culture and Climate implementation team, alleging the team was duplicating efforts already underway in the Title IX office, including survey research and campus marketing initiatives.
The Community Partnerships implementation team is focused on ensuring resources for the Title IX coordinator, Crawford wrote, but she was not included in meetings or planning.
Crawford also wrote of specific problems with the implementation teams focused on “governance, leadership and compliance,” “resources and support,” “training, education and communication of efforts,” and “centralized reporting and resolution of reports.”
Ramsower said there is no overlap in the work of Title IX and the implementation teams “in terms of working with students, investigating, adjudicating and providing interim measures for complainants and respondents.” He said there were multiple people working on a new Title IX policy.
“We’ve been working on that with the Title IX office for several months, and to implement the policy, and the resources around that new policy as part of the recommendations,” Ramsower said.
Baylor also engaged outside experts to help with case documentation and Title IX best practices, he said.
A productive meeting was held after Crawford’s memo, the Baylor spokesperson said.
Crawford’s recent comments criticizing the school also contrast with her comments to the Tribune-Herald in August, when she said Baylor administrators listen to her when she asks for help.
Crawford also failed to mention in that interview that she applied for the University of Virginia Title IX Coordinator position July 23, the emails obtained by the Tribune-Herald show.
“This opportunity at UVA is a priority, and I am committed to doing all I can to be available for interviews per the search committee’s time-frame goals,” Crawford wrote to a UVA official.