Baylor University is no longer under a warning sanction by its accrediting agency, Baylor President Linda Livingstone said in an email on Tuesday.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges met this week and lifted the sanction that was handed down a year ago in the wake of Baylor’s sexual assault scandal. The sanction comes after two audits, including one from the accrediting agency, verified over 100 improvements Baylor made to its institutional response to sexual assault.
“We are grateful to SACSCOC for its extensive work on this external review and the organization’s acknowledgement of the significant progress Baylor has made in addressing past incidents of sexual violence within our campus community,” Livingstone said. “I would also like to extend my personal appreciation to the hundreds of faculty and staff members who have worked diligently over the past 18 months on the completion of the 105 recommendations and the subsequent review by SACSCOC.”
She said the agency will conduct another onsite review this spring.
A second audit of the recommendations was verified by the attorneys who investigated Baylor’s response to sexual assault allegations and found “fundamental failure” in Title IX implementation. They also found a football team operating “above the rules.”
Ken Starr was fired as president, Art Briles was fired as football coach and Ian McCaw resigned as athletics director in the days following the May 26, 2016, release of the “Findings of Fact” by Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton.
Livingstone, who has expertise in accreditation, said the step is “significant news” for Baylor.
“Baylor is a strong and resilient institution that is firmly committed to caring for our students, faculty and staff and providing high-quality academic rigor coupled with opportunities to serve at home and abroad,” she said. “As we move toward our goal of becoming a Christ-centered preeminent research institution, we are encouraged by SACSCOC’s decision and look forward to its upcoming standard reaffirmation process.”