Baylor University is requesting a lawsuit filed by a former employee who was fired amid a student’s sexual assault controversy to be thrown out.
The private Christian college filed the motion for the dismissal of the plaintiff’s Title IX lawsuit against the school on March 27 in the Waco Division of the Western District of Texas.
The plaintiff is Baylor’s former assistant vice president for student financial aid. She was fired after reinstating a student’s scholarship after he was kicked off the football team following a sexual assault accusation. According to court documents, she claims she was fired in retaliation for reinstating his scholarship.
The student in the case had failed to mention on his college application that he had been involved in an alleged sexual harassment case at his previous university. In May 2016, an alleged victim had reported him to a Baylor police officer for sexual assault, although he claimed the sexual acts were consensual.
The athletic department, the Office of General Counsel and a faculty athletic representative then decided to release him from the team. His scholarship was rescinded, and he was advised to appeal the rescission.
Baylor states in court documents that the woman’s lawsuit needs to be thrown out because her story is “pure fiction.” Her complaint is based on Baylor supposedly violating Title IX, which prohibits recipients of federal education funding from retaliating against a person who spoke against sex discrimination. But Baylor says reinstating a scholarship is not a form of “speaking out.”
The university states that although the woman has no personal knowledge of the player’s alleged sexual assault incident, she portrays the former student as innocent of his accusations. Baylor also says the woman is wrong about its senior vice president and chief operating officer being involved in the dismissal of both her and the student and has presented no facts to prove otherwise.
The woman chaired a committee that decided on reinstating the student’s scholarship. The hearing did not rely on the sexual assault case since it was still under investigation. Instead, the appeal hearing relied on his withholding of information on his application.
It was determined that he was not dishonest about his previous case, so he was granted the opportunity to continue attending Baylor on a full scholarship, although he did not return.
The woman, who had held her position at Baylor since December 2014, alleged that soon after reinstating the player’s scholarship, her supervisor started criticizing her work performance. On Sept. 29, she put the woman on a 30-day performance improvement plan. A month later, she was informed she was fired.
The plaintiff claims that the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Baylor became angry with her for granting the student his scholarship, and that her work performance had not been put into question up until that point.
Baylor has been sued by 14 women under Title IX since May. The school has settled with three women who claimed they were sexually assaulted by Baylor football players.