At The Baylor Line Foundation, we recognize and respect that alumni have a wide variety of opinions on recent news surrounding Baylor. Our job is to elevate the voices of alumni, even if those voices are often at odds with one another. We have received numerous comments in the last few days, but this sampling shows that alumni fall across a broad spectrum of thought.
If you would like to share your own comments, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so very much for the email about Ian’s testimony – otherwise, I would not have known that the case(s) were still going on and surely would not have known what Ian’s testimony was, which testimony lines up with what I have thought all along. I don’t have “inside” knowledge and have read everything said by all sides in the matter. I don’t see why Ian would perjure himself when he has a good job at a reputable Christian university. (My former boss used to say, “Who benefits?”) I still feel for and hurt for Art Briles and Ken Starr (not saying they were perfect and both have admitted they could have done things better), but I have always believed they were the scapegoats for a coverup of failures on many fronts, led by the Board of Regents, like was said – protecting the “Baylor brand”. At the time, I couldn’t believe that was “my” university and started looking into how the regents are elected and who they report to. (Reporting to no one is always dangerous. I think of Bill Bright and how he had a group of men he was accountable to when he started Campus Crusade for Christ – what a smart thing to do.)
And, I read and kept up with all that was going on for several years until it was weighing me down too much and my health was paying a heavy price (I have Lupus), and I had to quit. While I was still reading everything, I read the activities of and situations wherein some of these assaults occurred. I believe students cannot behave any way they want and do anything they want and expect that nothing bad will ever happen, especially when they enter the drug and alcohol world.
That being said, I do think the university has the responsibility to make sure incoming students understand the parameters of what Baylor can control and what they cannot. They need to understand the dangers and possible consequences of bad choices.
And, I believe Title IX has gone way too far in making universities responsible for the behavior of students off-campus. How are they supposed to keep young women from going to a man’s apartment willingly when both are drunk and they have had consensual sex before? What exactly are they supposed to do? Lock the women up on campus? Yes, I can see that on-campus behavior is the responsibility of the university, but even then, women and men acting against university rules must be held accountable, so that all students know the consequences for breaking the rules. We made the rules according to our Christian values. Are we going to stand by them, at least on campus? And, then Waco Police should handle off-campus crimes and yes, Baylor should definitely provide maximum support and direction for victims of crime.
I know this is a snarly mess and the Federal government is looking for someone to blame and that, along with the media and really everyone else want someone to blame and a Christian university is certainly one of the best targets for their agenda. (The last I heard Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos thinks the same way I am thinking about Title IX and I hope she will change some things.)
The same scenario can be said for our country and culture. Language matters. Subject matter discussed in the workplace matters. Values matter. Behavior matters. All these things have consequences. When I was working, people around me picked up on my language and what subjects I talked about and were very respectful of my values – without me ever saying a word. I’m afraid we as a country have evolved into the “miry clay” that David talks about in Psalms. We, as a Christian university should look to Jesus Christ, not just as “words on a page”, but for real answers to real problems and for a real relationship that can keep these young people from doing harm to themselves by actions whose consequences could last a lifetime.
I also read Judge Starr’s book and agree with what he had to say. Again, he took responsibility for what he could do, but reflected on those things that were out of his control. I always thought he was the best President Baylor University ever had (and we’ve had some good ones!) – meeting the students “where they were” and living out the Christian life beside them and with them.
We all have to work together to change things, not just with words back and forth, but by our actions toward one another and our personal responsibility to our Savior.
Thank you for listening,
Cheryl Campbell, Tyler, TX, BA ’73, MA ’75
I took the time yesterday to read all 359 pages of the McCaw deposition. Interesting and presented with – to me – a strong sense of transparency and believability. It seems ‘real’.
My overall impressions of the disaster, based upon several years of following it closely from afar, in brief bullets:
– The leadership structure and actions (or lack of action) by the BoRs exhibited the greatest failures. BoRs leadership exhibited the saddest and greatest failures. The appointment process, structure, lack of transparency in operation, and lack of controls over the BoRs is a failed model. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The BoRs model needs to change to increase oversight, transparency, and control. Joel Allison – my 1970 ‘classmate’ – has a great opportunity to implement needed change.
– The Baylor Police Department (along with Waco police support and cooperation) was out of control. It operated under a 1980s model in the 2000s. (In the late 60s and early 70s, it operated under a 50s model). Leadership within the department, and above, appears to have been poor. Where is it today? Are the right leaders in place?
– Title IX was implemented late and inadequately at Baylor. Implementation among the population at large – among students and faculty – bordered on nothing. Athletic department implementation was better, but operation was poor. The hiring of and oversight processes of Title IX leadership eliminated the opportunity for needed independent thinking and action.
– The sexual violence issues seem to be more of a university wide problem than an athletic department or football team problem. Leadership and some black athletes in the football program appear to have been ‘scapegoated’ (I am sorry to believe, by BoRs leaders).
What needs to happen?
Baylor leaders / BoRs need to strongly and quickly lead. They need to openly admit the failures and fix the problem areas. Just as the leaders of our country need to act now, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Patriots – our Baylor leaders now need to act as Baylor Patriots.
Continuing to stonewall and cover-up will be much more harmful to Baylor, Baylor admissions, Baylor giving, and the Baylor ‘brand’ than openly and transparently telling the full truth and fixing the failures.
We (the Baylor family) are at a critical crossroads. Now is the time to get it right and act with strength, transparency, leadership and integrity.
Charles F. Massler, Baylor 1970
I respect Ian McCall. He was an asset to the University and above reproach. I believe Baylor needs to get their house in order now. It is a shame that these problems have been allowed to continue. I can’t be vocal about being an alumnae right now without being dashed about the problems. We don’t put out our game day flags since all this started either. It hurts and is very disappointing.
Agree 100% with you on “WE NEED THE TRUTH”…We were never told the truth and will never give Baylor another dime unless we here the TRUTH. Totally disgusted with how this was handled and are basically embarrassed to say “I graduated from Baylor”.
My youngest son plays tennis for Auburn and I have removed my Baylor decals and have adopted Auburn as my favorite team. I hope they can turn things around, but I’m sure we will never get the whole story and the TRUTH. They will put a patch over it and try to sweep it under the rug.
Tracy Sivalls (BBA 1989)
I think it’s disingenuous, unbelievable, and, were it not so serious, laughable that Ian McCaw should suddenly try to sound like some “holier-than-thou” Johnny-come-lately now that he’s employed by the ultimate and last fundamentalist stronghold. Did he finally get religion?
When does he think he suddenly gained ANY integrity? If what he says is true, then he has NONE, because a man of integrity would have either stood on the steps of Pat Neff Hall beating his chest until someone listened, or he would have quit LONG ago. The fact that he did not means either his job was more important than his personal integrity (in which case he has none) or what he says now is wholly false (in which case he still has no integrity). Either way you slice it, the man has NO integrity and cannot be believed about anything. In fact, Liberty University should immediately fire him for his lack of integrity. Otherwise, they are guilty by association with him.
Rev. Larry E. Collins, Class of ‘73, MBA, ’82
I know these are serious issues, but as an alumnus and father of an alumnae I have rape scandal fatigue. One sexual assault is too many, but unfortunately in the culture in which we live with binge drinking and a hook up culture among the young, these events are rampant everywhere. I have a son at another college. It goes on there as well like you wouldn’t believe. Baylor was no different than any other school. What was somewhat unique was that we had some terrible crimes committed by members of the football team and the media went wild. It’s been dealt with and we need to move on. Let the lawsuits resolve and move on. Ian had obvious reasons he was defensive. The football team had certain players that should have never been at Baylor on his watch. Of course, he would want to defend himself. However, let’s not let that drag us into a fight over the past. Let it go.
Robert N. Lemay
I do not know where Mr. McCaw is coming from, but I have been deeply involved with Baylor for over 50 years–with two degrees, on staff (in the President’s office), with son and three grandchildren (2 girls) as students. My brother and sister both had two degrees from Baylor, and my brother taught there. I can say with some assurance that there has been no “wide-spread sexual scandal and cover-up at Baylor that reaches back for decades.” Such goings-on would have been the talk of the student body from whom such secrets could not have been kept if nothing else.
Obviously, the culture has changed greatly during all this time, rules have relaxed, and students have moved out to apartments off campus to live where they develop their own life-style; there is a great deal more drinking. I have spent my life in university teaching and administration and understand some of the complications of over-seeing a large campus community. I am quite sure there have been many undesirable, even reprehensible incidents that have occurred over the years just as there have on many other campuses across the nation. I am also aware that because Baylor is a Baptist school, she will be held to a higher standard than state universities, and that is as it should be.
I am very sorry for the young women who have suffered and feel strongly that as much protection as is possible in the complex conditions that now exist should always be provided for these young men and women who are growing into adulthood with all the personal responsibilities that entails. It has been a long time since university officials were expected to act as parents to the students., but they are still, of course, responsible for the environment that surrounds them. I have every confidence in the leadership at Baylor in their ability and desire to do the right thing when such serious problems arise as well as to make provision against their arising. Let me add that all the family members I have mentioned who are alumni of Baylor have had rich spiritual experiences there and have treasured memories from those years.