Baylor University campus

Baylor University on Monday pushed back on claims of retaliation made by a former financial aid staffer. 

Staff photo — Rod Aydelotte, file

Federal investigators will meet with Baylor University faculty, staff and students next week as the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights continues to determine if the school has violated Title IX .

Representatives from the Office for Civil Rights will hold open office hours from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday on the second floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center, according to a campuswide email circulating last week.

The federal investigation opened in October was sparked by a complaint filed by former Baylor Title IX Coordinator Patty Crawford.

Crawford resigned in October, saying she never had the “authority, resources or independence” to do her job. The school has disputed her claims.

“The next step in the process provides an opportunity for interested students, faculty and staff to meet directly with OCR representatives to share their experiences and perspective regarding Baylor’s efforts to prevent and address sex- and gender-based harassment and violence,” the email states. “We encourage interested community members to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Visits with representatives are one-on-one sessions on a voluntary and confidential basis with no appointment required. The Office for Civil Rights will not share personally identifiable information with the university or general public, and no other university employees or media are invited, according to the email.

Title IX investigations by the Office for Civil Rights may include “reviewing documentary evidence submitted by both parties, conducting interviews with the complainant, recipient’s personnel, and other witnesses, and/or site visits,” according to the Department of Education website.

Investigators also will visit Cornell University next week, USA Today reported. The school in Ithaca, New York, is under six Title IX investigations, the most of any university, according to USA Today.

Baylor is under one of 310 active investigations at 227 colleges and universities.

Interim President David Garland has pledged full cooperation with the investigation, which could last years. Some Title IX investigations are dropped for insufficient evidence, and others end when institutions promise to adjust certain policies.

Institutions are subject to fines if a Title IX violation is found, but the Office for Civil Rights has never taken the step of pulling all federal funding because of a violation.

Phillip Ericksen joined the Tribune-Herald in March 2015 as a sports copy editor. That November, he joined the news team. He has covered higher education, city hall, politics and crime.

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