The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

After athletics scandal, Kenneth Starr leaves Baylor faculty

Kenneth Starr, then Baylor’s president, at an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Months after he was removed as school president, Kenneth Starr’s tenure at Baylor University is officially over.

The university and Starr released a joint statement Friday saying he was leaving his job on the faculty of Baylor’s law school, effective immediately. That was the only position he had left after a scandal over the school’s lax response to allegations of rape among students, especially allegations against members of the football team, roiled the campus community.

He was first reassigned in May to the job of law professor and chancellor. Then in June, he stepped down from the chancellor role.

“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 university said in a statement.

The statement added: “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.”

Kenneth Starr resigns as chancellor at Baylor University

[Starr, 70, a former federal appellate judge, is best known as the independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton’s affair with a White House intern. He issued a report on that probe that paved the way for the historic House vote in 1998 to impeach Clinton. The Senate later acquitted Clinton of charges of obstruction of justice and perjury.

In his six-year tenure at Baylor’s helm, Starr oversaw the continuing development of the world’s largest Baptist university as a prominent research institution. Baylor, with about 16,000 students, ranks 72nd on the U.S. News and World Report list of national universities, tied with Rutgers and American University.]

Starr was once beloved on the Baylor campus, and he still has strong support among a faction of Baylor alumni. But the scandal regarding the football team escalated in recent months. Multiple reports have surfaced of football players being accused of rape with little or no action by the university. A report commissioned by the university found that Baylor had inadequate systems in place to respond to such allegations.

It also found that Baylor had “failed to consistently support” students who reported sexual assault and “failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potentially hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, or address its effects for individual complainants or the broader campus community.”

The investigation, conducted by law firm Pepper Hamilton, also found “examples of actions by two university administrators that directly discouraged complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes, or that contributed to or accommodated a hostile environment.”

“In one instance,” the report added, “those actions constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault.”

In public statements soon after his reassignment, Starr insisted that he knew nothing about the allegations.

This story originally appeared in the Texas Tribune.

Loading...