Baylor appoints new chief compliance officer

By Rae Jefferson | News Editor

Baylor named Doug Welch as the university’s chief compliance officer on Friday morning.

Since 2006, Welch has served as associate general counsel at Baylor. Now, as chief compliance officer, Welch will report to the office of the president and ensure the university adheres to federal law and university policies. This position was one of 105 recommendations made by Pepper Hamilton following its investigation of Baylor’s mishandlings of sexual assault cases.

“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 in a statement from the university. “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 will focus on forming a compliance center to help Baylor continue its work in research, athletics, Equal Employment Opportunity, Title IX and Clery compliance, according to the statement. He will also lead compliance training for faculty, staff and students at Baylor.

“Doug Welch is a highly qualified attorney with an expertise in the areas of compliance and higher education,” said Baylor Interim President David E. Garland in the statement. “His leadership will enable the university to continue to make rapid progress on the recommendations and foster a culture of compliance throughout the university.”

The role of chief compliance officer was created following the conclusion of the independent Pepper Hamilton investigation last school year, which criticized the university’s handling of sexual assault cases.

On May 26, the university formally announced the creation of the full-time chief compliance officer position in a press release in response to Pepper Hamilton’s recommendations.

“Baylor failed to consistently support complainants through the provision of interim measures; and in some cases, the university failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence or address its effects,” Baylor Media Communications said in a May press release, referring to Pepper Hamilton’s findings.