Baylor’s Former Leader Said Its Failure on Sexual Violence Was Not ‘Fundamental’

Updated (6/15/2017, 4:01 p.m.) with a statement from Baylor.

David E. Garland, the former interim president of Baylor University, said in a deposition last month that the institution had not exhibited a “fundamental failure” on sexual assault, the Waco Tribune-Herald reports.

In the deposition, which was conducted as part of a Title IX lawsuit that the university is facing, Mr. Garland, who stepped down this month, said that he didn’t know why the university’s former president, Kenneth W. Starr, had left office, and that he believed the Board of Regents is held accountable by God, according to the newspaper. Baylor is the world’s largest Baptist university.

The university has faced scrutiny over the past year since the finding, in an external investigation by the Pepper Hamilton law firm, that there was a “fundamental failure” to protect victims of sexual assault on the Texas campus. From 2011 to 2015, 17 women accused 19 football players of domestic violence or sexual assault. The scandal led to the removal of Mr. Starr and the football coach, Art Briles, as well as the punishment of the athletic director, Ian McCaw.

Mr. Garland also said he did not know who had put together a “findings of fact” document that resulted from the investigation, and that helped determine the high-profile penalties.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Baylor said: “It is important to note that this was the plaintiff’s deposition of Interim President Garland, and Baylor did not ask its own questions nor present its case over the five hours of questioning. Dr. Garland was not in the interim-president role during the Pepper Hamilton investigation, nor was he on campus as he was dealing with the illness and loss of his beloved wife.”

The statement also said that Mr. Garland had carried out the 105 recommendations that resulted from the investigation.

Mr. Garland was appointed interim president last June, after Mr. Starr’s departure, and is dean of Baylor’s Truett Theological Seminary. He was succeeded by Linda A. Livingstone, who assumed the permanent presidency on June 1.

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