WACO—In response to a recommendation from Pepper Hamilton, the law firm that investigated Baylor University’s handling of sexual assault complaints, Baylor named attorney Doug Welch as the school’s chief compliance officer.
In his new role, Welch, who served as associate general counsel at Baylor since 2006, will help identify compliance needs in a range of areas, assess the effectiveness of existing systems, procedures and controls, and create and deliver training to ensure compliance.
Creation of the chief compliance officer post was among the 105 recommendations from the Pepper Hamilton investigation that focused on improving Baylor’s prevention of and response to sexual violence.
“Doug Welch is a highly qualified attorney with an expertise in the areas of compliance and higher education,” Interim President David Garland said. “His leadership will enable the university to continue to make rapid progress on the recommendations and foster a culture of compliance throughout the university.”
Welch will lead the development of a centralized compliance center to equip and support Baylor’s work in research, athletics, Equal Employment Opportunity, Title IX and Clery compliance.
His additional responsibilities will include developing training and awareness programs for staff, faculty and students in areas of compliance and regulatory oversight; collaborating with university administration, deans and department leaders to design effective policies and processes that ensure compliance with all federal and state statutory and regulatory standards; implementing effective checks and balances; and assessing the overall effectiveness of these initiatives.
The university announced Welch’s appointment two days after Baylor appointed Kristan Tucker as Title IX coordinator to replace Patty Crawford, who resigned from the Title IX post and appeared on national television to air her grievances.
“I am honored to accept the role of chief compliance officer and humbled by the trust the senior administration has placed in me,” Welch said. “I look forward to this new challenge, which will allow me to continue fostering solid working relationships already in place across campus, as well as building new ones in the effort to carry out the university’s mission.”
Welch graduated from Baylor in 1986 with a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting. After three years in public accounting, he entered law school and earned his law degree in 1992 from Texas Tech University School of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Texas Tech Law Review.
Following law school, Welch served two years as briefing attorney for U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and admitted to practice before the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and United States District Courts in Texas.
He is a member of the American Bar Association and State Bar of Texas in the employment, litigation and appellate sections. In addition, he is a certified public accountant.
Welch joined Baylor’s office of general counsel in 2006 from a private law practice in Lubbock, where he also served as an adjunct professor of law at Texas Tech University School of Law. His primary areas of responsibility have been in employment law, real estate, athletics and international programs.
Welch and his wife, Nadine, a clinical assistant professor in the department of communication sciences and disorders, have three children.