When the story came out, a source within the department sent me the following letter of apology that the former chair, Ronald Chesser, sent to faculty some days after he was forced to step down. I had not been made aware of it earlier. I will leave it to readers to judge whether it is an adequate explanation of what happened and a sincere apology, given the extreme nature of the remarks recorded on video. Further updates will be published in The Verge or on this blog.
Afterword: Readers will note that Dr. Chesser states he has "vigorously pursued any and all complaints or concerns regarding Title IX and EEO matters." However, according to a message I received from Texas Tech communications chief Chris Cook just a couple of days ago, in response to my records request for all sexual misconduct complaints in the Biological Sciences department during the past 20 years:
"Our EEO office has checked retained files back to 1997 and did not find any complaints involving the Department of Biological Sciences or Dr. Baker."
Of course, this does not mean that sexual misconduct did not take place. Given the results of my reporting, it more likely reflects the fear that alleged victims felt in coming forward. As one student in the department put it to me, quoted in my article: "Chesser perfectly sums up Baker."
Update: Readers might be interested in listening to a 20 minute interview I did with John Batchelor about this case.