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The man who headed the investigation that led to former President Bill Clinton's impeachment will soon move to a new role as Baylor University's president.

Kenneth Starr served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for six years, he was the solicitor general for four years, and most recently he has served as dean of Pepperdine University's law school since 2004. He will begin as president of Baylor on June 1. Starr spoke with online editor Sarah Pulliam Bailey about overcoming challenges he faces and his aspirations for the university.

It seems as if you were just getting started at Pepperdine. What do you hope to accomplish at Baylor that you couldn't at Pepperdine?

I have been here for five and a half years, so I will, God-willing, accomplish a sixth academic year at Pepperdine. Baylor, of course, is a great and vast university. My current stewardship is much more limited in nature. It is very challenging to be the dean of a law school and a great honor, but the call from Baylor is a call to servant leadership at a different and certainly much more complex level.

What is Baylor's greatest strength?

It is a wonderful, deeply respected Christian university with venerable Baptist ties that has been a beloved institution for many generations. Pepperdine, in contrast, is a much newer and smaller university, but both share the same mission: to be a Christian university that seeks excellence in all things and seeks to truly integrate faith and learning.

What weaknesses do you hope to address? 

I don't think I'm going to answer any questions on weaknesses until I know the institution much, much better. All institutions can be improved. One of my goals in the early months is to listen and learn. There are so many strengths ...

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March 2010

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