Baylor: Former VP no longer advising school’s president

Dr. Reagan Ramsower.  (Baylor University photo/file)
Dr. Reagan Ramsower. (Baylor University photo/file)(KWTX)
Published: Aug. 15, 2018 at 7:38 PM CDT
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Baylor’s former vice president and chief operating officer, Reagan Ramsower, is no longer advising the school’s president and the university was changing his online directory listing Thursday to reflect that, a day after a reform group expressed concern that he was serving as advisor to the president.

“This news is disquieting and disturbing since Baylor has publicly touted a new era of leadership,” Bears for Leadership Reform, a group formed following Baylor’s sexual assault scandal that has more than 15,000 followers, said Wednesday.

“Still many of the people who put the university in this mess are continuing to participate in the governance of the school," the group said.

Baylor President Linda Livingstone announced in August 2017 that Ramsower was stepping down from his administrative post effective May 31 to return to the Hankamer School of Business as a full professor.

Until Thursday, however, he was listed in the school’s directory not only as a professor, but also as an advisor to the president.

“During his transition from university administration to faculty, he was listed in Baylor’s online directory as an ‘Advisor to the President,'" Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogelman said in a statement Thursday.

"The University’s statement on (Wednesday) indicated that Dr. Ramsower currently does not have any administrative duties during his transition back to the faculty and is assisting President Livingstone on an ‘as-needed basis,’” she said.

“President Livingstone has subsequently confirmed that she has not called upon Dr. Ramsower since his departure from the University administration on May 31, 2018.

The University is in the process of updating its online directory to more accurately reflect Dr. Ramsower’s current status with Baylor as he transitions back to the faculty, effective June 1, 2018,” she said.

Bears for Leadership Reform founder Gale Galloway Wednesday expressed shock that Ramsower was playing any role in advising the university.

"Ramsower should step down immediately or Baylor should let him go,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday.

The revelation came just days after a court filing in a Jane Doe sexual assault suit against the school that cited documents produced by fired Baylor head football coach Art Briles that show that "multiple senior Baylor administrators” including Ramsower “knew about a serial sexual assault assailant" in the fall of 2011, but failed to act.

Tevin Elliott, a former defensive end, was indicted on August 27, 2012 in connection with a sexual assault in the early morning hours of April 15, 2012, during a party at a South Waco apartment complex.

But the court filing claims that Ramsower, who, as Baylor's senior vice president and chief operating officer, oversaw the university's administrative and financial operations including the Baylor Department of Public Safety, was aware that Elliott was "assaulting young women" as early as the week of Oct. 5, 2011.

The documents, which were provided to Briles' attorney during discovery in a separate lawsuit filed by the victim of the April 15, 2012 rape, Jasmin Hernandez, were included among the hundreds of pages that Briles turned over in response to a subpoena in the Jane Doe lawsuit.

Hernandez of Orange County, Calif., filed the federal lawsuit against the school, Briles, and former athletic director Ian McCaw in March 2016, alleging officials were "deliberately indifferent" to sexual assault allegations against ex-football player Tevin Elliott, who's serving a prison sentence after he was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault

The suit was settled in mediation in August 2017.

The terms of the settlement weren't disclosed.

KWTX does not normally name rape victims, but Hernandez's attorney said Hernandez wanted to speak publicly to draw attention to the case.

Baylor, in a statement issued last week after the motion was filed, rejected the claim that Ramsower was aware of a March 2011 sexual assault.

"Regarding the substance of the documents, there is no evidence to suggest that Reagan Ramsower was aware of a March 2011 alleged sexual assault involving Elliott, despite the conspiracy being spun by plaintiffs' counsel," the school said.

Waco attorney Jim Dunnam, who represents the Jane Doe plaintiff’s, called the university’s response “just a bunch of word play.”

"Documents show clear as day that Ramsower knew about Tevin Elliott assaulting a female student, it may have been the one in March 2011 or it may have been on the one in September 2011, either way he should have done something about it," he said last week.

The motion filed last week also claims that Ramsower lied in an interview with "60 Minutes Sports" for a story that aired on Nov. 1, 2016 on the Showtime network in which he said "unequivocally that he had no knowledge of the prior assaults and that Jim Doak, who was Baylor’s campus police chief at the time, was solely responsible for hiding them.

In response to a question about how much responsibility he bears personally for what had happened at Baylor, Ramsower responded, "I had, I had no knowledge of any other reports. I had no knowledge of anything being reported to me."

In response to a follow-up question about whether the sexual assault incidents weren't reported to him because of a breakdown in procedure, Ramsower replied, "I think that it was, and the, the people involved in that no longer employed by the university…. that would be the chief of police, as well as some of the other folks, but particularly the chief of police."

Baylor said in a statement last week that the portion of the interview to which the plaintiff's motion refers does not pertain to Elliott.

“The plaintiffs' counsel insinuated in last week's legal filing that Dr. Ramsower was asked about Elliott by “60 Minutes” when in fact he was asked about another football player. That is what our statement references,” Fogelman reiterated Wednesday.