Breaking News: Kenneth Starr to be Baylor’s next President.

by Anna Blanch on February 15, 2010

Former White House Independent counsel Kenneth Starr is strongly rumored to be be Baylor University’s next (14th) President. While Waco radio station KWTX is the only legitimate media source suggesting the truth of this rumour – it has been repeated across mainstream and academic media sources both inside and outside the US overnight. While it hasn’t been confirmed by the Board of Regents, the Presidential Search committee, or Baylor’s media representatives, the way the news is flying around and the story in today’s Waco Tribune, along with a lack of denial from Starr or Baylor leads one to believe it just might be true. The Waco Tribune states the appointment as fact but there is no supporting material or quotes from the university itself or the BOR.

Crazily, within 30 minutes of the rumor initially being aired, Starr’s wikipedia entry had been edited! some people are pretty quick on the draw (would sort of be amusing if it was only a rumor and wasn’t true wouldn’t it…?)

A few things:

  • I’m not American and though i understand the American political system mechanics and the difference between a republican and a democrat I don’t fully grasp the backlash I am seeing from those who object strongly to Starr’s treatment of President Clinton and the situation in California with his role in representing Proposition 8 supporters. This may be a major sticking point for some on and off campus.
  • This is going to make the news big time and the spotlight will be on Baylor again – i just hope it is for the right reason.
  • The Southern Baptist Convention response will be one to watch. Starr is a member of the United Church of Christ. simply, not a baptist. This is sure to ruffle some feathers.
  • Starr is not a Baylor alum but he has far better academic credentials than I expected. Not being a Baylor alum isn’t as big a deal for me as it is for some by the way. His academic credentials include quite a few books and journal articles in Law related journals and reviews. He is currently Dean of the Pepperdine law school. See his academic biography here.

I am reserving judgment on whether this would is a good decision on the part of the Presidential Search Committee until an actual announcement and even then it may take me a while to make up my mind.

What do you think about Kenneth Starr Esq. as the 14th Baylor University president?

UPDATE: If you haven’t seen this site yet either, the Baylor Guys, a satirical look at daily life at Baylor, has their own spin on the possible decision.
Anna Blanch is the founder of Goannatree, She is also writing a PhD dissertation in Theology and Literature at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.  Among a number of degrees, including a law degree (like Kenneth Starr), she has an MA from Baylor – her degree was signed by Interim President David Garland. While at Baylor she was on the executive of the Graduate Students Association.

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