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New Baylor President: Kenneth Starr

He's been dean of Pepperdine University’s School of Law since April 2004.

Big news out of Waco: Kenneth Starr (yes, that Kenneth Starr) will be the new president of Baylor University.

Formerly Solicitor General of the United States, he has been a very prominent dean of Pepperdine University's School of Law (partly for his work at the school, and partly for his ongoing law work, like defending California's Proposition 8).

The Waco Tribune-Herald reports:

His national stature could potentially swell Baylor's endowment with expressions of support, but the controversial nature of that stature could impact Baylor's image as well.

An immediate challenge for Starr, however, lies closer to home. An ongoing feud between the Baylor administration and the Baylor Alumni Association has been racheted up in the last few months as the administration first made, then withdrew peaceful overtures for the BAA to be absorbed by Baylor and lose its independent status.

Starr must also be mindful of the Baylor faculty, which played a key role in the [July 2008] ouster of [John] Lilley after a highly controversial denial of tenure for a dozen professors. One source said the faculty representatives to the presidential search met Starr with a high degree of skepticism, but were ultimately won over by Starr's personality.

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