Cooper Neill/Getty Images(WACO, TX) — The president of Baylor University, Kenneth Starr, has been demoted to Chancellor amid criticisms of the way the Texas college has handled reports of rape and assault by football players.
Baylor Head Football Coach, Art Briles, was also suspended with intent to terminate, while Athletic Director Ian McCaw was sanctioned and placed on probation, the university announced Thursday.
The school posted a statement to its website announcing “leadership changes and extensive corrective actions following findings of external investigation,” which states that Starr will also remain a professor at the Baylor University Law School. Starr’s demotion will be effective May 31.
Dr. David Garland, a former dean and professor at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, will serve as interim president, a role he previously filled from 2008 to 2010 before Starr was named president.
Last fall, Baylor’s Board of Regents commissioned an independent external review of the university’s management of and compliance with Title IX by Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton. The findings reflected a “fundamental failure” by the school to implement Title IX and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, according to the university.
Baylor failed to “consistently support complainants through the provision of interim measures” and “failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence or address its effects,” the university said.
Richard Willis, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents, said in the statement that the school is “horrified” by the extent of the acts of sexual violence on campus. The Waco, Texas school is a private, Baptist university.
“This investigation revealed the University’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students,” Willis said in the statement. “The depth to which these acts occurred shocked and outraged us. Our students and their families deserve more, and we have committed our full attention to improving our processes, establishing accountability and ensuring appropriate actions are taken to support former, current and future students.”
Briles and Starr, who was the special prosecutor investigating President Bill Clinton’s sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, have faced sharp criticism about whether the school ignored allegations of assault by football players. Two players were later convicted of sexual assault, the Associated Press reported.
The Baylor Bears have won two Big 12 championships since 2013.
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