A Baylor University philosophy professor who resigned after several Title IX complaints were lodged against him said he reached a financial settlement with Baylor and is glad to be out from under its “heavy hand” and “incredibly dysfunctional” Title IX office.
The Philosophy Department announced on its website Friday afternoon that Trent Dougherty has resigned as a tenured associate professor of philosophy after he “was recently the subject of several complaints under Baylor’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Interpersonal Violence Policy (Title IX).
“He was found ‘responsible’ on some allegations involving more than one complainant and ‘not responsible’ on others. The investigation revealed additional concerns under other Baylor policies,” according to the statement. “The Department of Philosophy expresses its deep appreciation for the courage of the complainants in coming forward, for their willingness to make their complaints known and for their patient participation in the process.
“The Philosophy Department reaffirms its position that it does not tolerate behavior by members of our community that violate Baylor’s Title IX policy or engage in misconduct that violates other Baylor policies, whether directed toward our current or former students, toward our colleagues or toward peers at other institutions,” according to the statement.
Dougherty, 46, worked at Baylor 10 years. He said Friday he will use what he calls the “hush money” Baylor paid him in a separation agreement to return to the world of entrepreneurship. He said the settlement agreement does not allow him to disclose the amount or to provide copies of the Title IX investigation.
“Honestly, I am just finally glad to be out from under the heavy hand of Baylor, where the Title IX office is incredibly dysfunctional on both sides of the equation, where pretty much nobody gets justice on either side of the equation, which is a shame.” Dougherty said. “One of these days Baylor needs to get a method of solving their problems other than scapegoating people. Baylor is a one trick pony on the PR campaign.”
Dougherty said his Dallas attorney complained that Baylor violated Dougherty’s due process rights during the investigation.
“I am still in conversations with my lawyer to figure out what I am allowed to say and what I am not,” he said. “But it was very much, in my opinion, hush money that they paid me, and how much I can say about the due process fiasco and the retaliation from Baylor I just can’t say at this point because the lawyers are still arguing about what I am allowed to say and what I am not.
“I initiated the legal action after multiple due process violations and an incompetent (Title IX) staff and an administration with some members who seem to me to be utterly unacquainted with Christian principles,” Dougherty said.
He said he felt like he was presumed guilty by Baylor officials from the beginning of the investigation.
“Thank God that I saved my text messages for six years,” he said. “Otherwise, I really would have been in a pickle. But fortunately, I save all my text messages, and that led to me being in a position to absolutely refute any of the substantive charges.”
Dougherty, president of the Waco Bicycle Club and an avid biker, said he and his family plan to stay in Waco.
“Now that I am going to be debt-free and have money to invest, I am going to return to my entrepreneurial roots. Believe it or not, I came to Baylor for Waco. I didn’t come to Waco for Baylor,” he said. “I love Cameron Park, I love the bike trails, I love the Brazos. I would have loved to have parted on better terms, but I am happy to finally make the break. To me, Baylor was merely a stepping stone.”
Michael Beaty, chairman of the Baylor Philosophy Department, deferred comment to Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman. Fogleman said there was no lawsuit involved in Dougherty’s separation from Baylor. She declined additional comment, saying the matter is a personnel issue.
A source familiar with the situation said Dougherty is not eligible for rehire at Baylor and that he received severance equal to his salary through the end of the calendar year, which equated to $31,642. After attorney’s fees, Dougherty will receive $22,150 in his severance from Baylor, the source said.
The source said the alternative, putting Dougherty through the tenure revocation process, would have lasted months into next year.