By Matthew Muir | Staff Writer
An unnamed former assistant professor of economics accused Baylor University of gender-based discrimination in a Title IX lawsuit filed Aug. 9. In the lawsuit, John Doe alleges Baylor found him guilty of sexual misconduct on the basis of his male gender.
The lawsuit claims Baylor compensated for recent sexual assault scandals by enacting a “university-wide culture of anti-male bias and intimidation inconsistent with its stated Christian principles.” Doe alleges he was terminated from his position as a result of this culture following accusations of sexual misconduct.
Four causes of action against Baylor are listed: violation of Title IX, violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, violation of Texas Labor Code and a breach of contract between the plaintiff and Baylor.
The lawsuit details a relationship between Doe and an unnamed female complainant that lasted from November 2017 until June 7, 2018. During this relationship, the lawsuit claims “all sexual interactions between Plaintiff and Complainant were consensual.”
The suit claims Baylor’s investigation into the Title IX complaint against Doe was allegedly flawed throughout. The complaint says Baylor determined that the “Plaintiff did not violate any personnel policies related to his relationship with Complainant.”
After the plaintiff ended the relationship, the lawsuit alleges his accuser “made false allegations about Plaintiff’s behavior to Baylor’s Title IX office,” and Baylor’s Title IX Coordinator, Laura Johnson, encouraged the woman to file the complaint. The lawsuit claims the complainant’s text messages to a friend describe Johnson told her “even if [Complainant] didn’t have good evidence [Baylor] wouldn’t be in the position to doubt [Complainant].”
Baylor released a statement saying it will “vigorously defend” itself against the claims made by Doe in the lawsuit. According to the statement, the Title IX office found Doe in violation of university policy prohibiting “non-consensual sexual contact with a student and romantic and/or sexual relationships between faculty members and undergraduate students.”
Baylor also clarified in the statement that Doe resigned from his position at the university prior to the completion of the Title IX investigation. The school went on to dispute the plaintiff’s claims of anti-male bias.
“Baylor is not aware of any evidence to substantiate the claims being made regarding anti-male bias at the University,” the statement read. “Baylor strives to provide impartial and fair process to all participants regardless of their sex.”
According to the lawsuit a faculty supervisor told the plaintiff “Title IX investigators were prone to conclude that a violation occurred as soon as an allegation was made,” and that Doe would have to prove his innocence rather than the accuser proving he was guilty.
The lawsuit also claims the faculty supervisor told the plaintiff that the Title IX investigator of the complaint “is not fair” and that he was unsure if she could handle the case in an unbiased manner.
The former assistant professor is asking for compensation for damages to his reputation, economic loses, attorney fees and expunging all records related to the disciplinary process Baylor conducted.