Accrediting agency removes warning sanction from Baylor

Baylor University students and guests from throughout the Waco area gather on campus for the Christmas tree lighting and Christmas on 5th St. celebration. (Photo / Baylor University Media and Marketing)

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WACO—The accrediting agency that issued a warning to Baylor University last December has removed the sanction.

In a Dec. 5 message to faculty, staff and students, Baylor President Linda Livingstone announced the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges finalized its review of Baylor and lifted its warning sanction.

“This is significant news for Baylor,” Livingstone said.

She expressed appreciation to the commission 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.”

Commission finds Baylor fully compliant

One year ago, the SACS Commission on Colleges placed Baylor on a one-year warning for noncompliance regarding student support services, control of intercollegiate athletics and institutional environment.

When a special committee from the committee visited the Baylor campus in October, it found the university compliant in all three areas.

The committee verified Baylor had implemented all 105 recommendations from the attorneys formerly with Pepper Hamilton, the Philadelphia law firm Baylor regents enlisted to investigate the university’s response to sexual assault reports and Title IX compliance.

As a result of the Pepper Hamilton investigation, the board of regents removed Ken Starr as president, fired Head Football Coach Art Briles and sanctioned Athletic Director Ian McCaw. Starr later stepped down as chancellor and law professor, and McCaw resigned as athletic director.

The SACS Commission on Colleges will conduct an additional onsite review next spring as part of Baylor’s reaffirmation process, regularly scheduled every 10 years.

“Baylor has been fully accredited by SACSCOC since 1914, and we are committed to maintaining the standards and compliance guidelines required by the accreditation board,” Livingstone said.

“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. 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.”

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