Starr leaves Baylor Law; cuts final tie to university

Former Baylor University president and chancellor Ken Starr is stepping down from the faculty of Baylor Law School. (Photo / Baylor University)

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WACO—Ken Starr, who lost the presidency of Baylor University due to a sexual assault scandal, is stepping down from his post as a professor at the Baylor Law School. The move severs Starr’s third and final tie to Baylor.

In late May, the Baylor board of regents cited a “fundamental failure” to handle sexual violence complaints appropriately as reason to remove Starr as president, fire Head Football Coach Art Briles and sanction Athletic Director Ian McCaw.

At that time, the regents reported Starr agreed in principle to remain as Baylor’s chancellor and also stay on as the Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law at the Baylor Law School.

McCaw resigned a few days later. On June 1, Starr told ESPN he stepped down as chancellor “as a matter of conscience.” Briles and the university mutually agreed to terminate their employment relationship June 24. But Starr remained slated to stay on the Law School faculty as the fall semester approached.

That situation changed Aug. 19, when the university released a statement announcing Starr’s departure.

“Effective today, Judge Ken Starr will be leaving his faculty status and tenure at Baylor University’s Law School,” the news release said.

The 96-word statement described mutually positive feelings between Baylor and Starr, who oversaw a rise in the university’s national status as well as campus expansion during his tenure as president. He also enjoyed the Baylor football team’s unprecedented national rankings until the sexual assault scandal—which involved some football players—brought his tenure to a rapid conclusion.

“The mutually agreed separation comes with the greatest respect and love Judge Starr has for Baylor and with Baylor’s recognition and appreciation for Judge Starr’s many contributions to Baylor,” the Baylor announcement said.

“Baylor wishes Judge Ken Starr well in his future endeavors. Judge Starr expresses his thanks to the Baylor family for the opportunity to serve as president and chancellor and is grateful for his time with the exceptional students of Baylor University who will lead and serve around the world.”

David Garland, professor and former dean of Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, is serving as the university’s interim president. His primary focus is on implementing the 105 recommendations presented by the Pepper Hamilton law firm, which Baylor hired to investigate the sexual assault scandal.

He is guiding the work of two teams created to follow up on the Pepper Hamilton recommendations. Gregory Jones, executive vice president and provost, leads the task force on spiritual life and character formation. Reagan Ramsower, senior vice president for operations and chief financial officer, heads the sexual assault task force.

Here is the Standard’s previous coverage of the Baylor situation:

July 27, 2016

Editorial: Regents must open up for Baylor to thrive once again

July 25, 2016

Lawsuit against Baylor amended to add fourth alleged victim

July 7, 2016

Baylor task force on spiritual life and character formation starts work

Briles seeks to be removed from Title IX lawsuit

June 30, 2016

Baylor interim president cites continued Title IX response improvements

June 26, 2016

Baylor and Briles agree to terminate relationship

June 22, 2016

Big 12 requests full report from Baylor regarding sexual assaults

June 16, 2016

Three former students sue Baylor, alleging sexual assault

June 10, 2016

Extensive interview with interim president David Garland; Baylor launches task forces and implementation groups to address sexual violence prevention and response

June 6, 2016

Garland: Baylor intends to ensure student safety

June 2, 2016

Baylor Line Foundation urges release of investigative report

June 1, 2016

Major shake-up at Baylor University

Editorial: Should Baylor be a nation or a family?

May 2016

Baylor AD resigns; acting football coach hired

Baylor University demotes president and fires football coach

Editorial: Baylor places values ahead of victories

Editorial: Baylor’s ideals must top gridiron glory

Ken Starr reportedly fired as Baylor University president

Baylor regents receive briefing from Pepper Hamilton on sexual violence report

March 2016

Former Baylor student sues over sexual assault by football player

Baylor enhances Title IX office, counseling center and public safety

February 2016

Baylor regents approve plan to address sexual violence

Editorial: A trying time – and learning opportunity – for Baylor

Recent grad says she was raped at Baylor; claims inadequate response

Baylor ‘family’ stands with survivors of sexual violence

Baylor students plan prayer vigil for victims of sexual violence

September 2015

Philadelphia lawyers to investigate Baylor’s response to sexual assault

August 2015

External counsel to investigate sexual violence at Baylor

2nd Opinion: Cheer for moral leadership, not merely football success

Baylor launches inquiry into student athlete’s sexual assault

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