Teaching Moments: What Can We Learn About Compliance Failures From Baylor University?

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As an alumni of Baylor University, Eric has closely followed the allegations that Baylor University violated its obligations under Title IX.  Six months after his first episode looking at this issue, Baylor University, unfortunately, is still in the news.  What’s going on? What lessons can compliance professionals learn from Baylor University and how this compliance failure has been handled?

Baylor University’s Board of Regents have provided a playbook of what not to do when responding to a compliance failure. When looking at how Baylor has handled this situation, Eric considers three key teaching moments.  First, Baylor’s problems dispel any belief that private companies or private universities can handle these issues internally and without public scrutiny.  Second, he considers how Baylor’s response continued to damage its reputation and how reputational harm damages the University overall.  Third, he talks about the importance of transparency.

At the end of the episode, Eric lays out three steps that Baylor University’s new president, Dr. Linda Livingstone, should take to repair the reputational harm and restore confidence in the University. The allegations that Baylor faces are compliance failures and evidence that the organizational culture needs to change.  Dr. Livingstone has a hard road in front of her.  But it is possible to come back from this sort of scandal when you commit to transparency and creating a strong ethical culture.

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