A distinguished academician, lawyer, public servant and sixth-generation Texan, Judge Ken Starr began his service as Baylor University's 14th president on June 1, 2010. On Nov. 11, 2013, Judge Starr also was named chancellor of Baylor University.
From the moment he joined Baylor, President Starr has provided a powerful voice on issues ranging from the rising cost of higher education to athletic conference realignment to the development of the university's future strategic priorities.
In September 2010, President Starr established his first fundraising priority: The President's Scholarship Initiative, a three-year challenge to raise $100 million for student scholarships which was completed five months ahead of its goal. He also is leading Baylor into the next decade under Pro Futuris, a new strategic vision developed with the collective wisdom of the extended Baylor family.
President Starr is on the faculty of Baylor Law School as The Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law and teaches a seminar on current Constitutional issues. In addition, he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Baylor College of Medicine and the Board of Trustees for Baylor Scott & White Healthcare. He also is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and currently serves as President of the Southern University Conference.
President Starr has argued 36 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including 25 cases during his service as Solicitor General of the United States from 1989-93. He also served as United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1983 to 1989, as law clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger from 1975 to 1977 and as law clerk to Fifth Circuit Judge David W. Dyer from 1973 to 1974. Starr was appointed to serve as Independent Counsel for five investigations, including Whitewater, from 1994 to 1999.
Prior to coming to Baylor, he served for six years as The Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and Professor of Law at Pepperdine, where he taught current constitutional issues and civil procedure. He has also been of counsel to the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he was a partner from 1993 to 2004, specializing in appellate work, antitrust, federal courts, federal jurisdiction and constitutional law.
Starr previously taught constitutional law as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law and was a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University School of Law and Chapman Law School. Born in Vernon and raised in San Antonio, Starr graduated from Sam Houston High School, then went on to earn his B.A. from George Washington University in 1968, his M.A. from Brown University in 1969 and his J.D. degree from Duke University Law School in 1973. He is admitted to practice in California, the District of Columbia, Virginia and the U.S. Supreme Court.
He is the author of more than 25 publications, and his book, First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life, published in 2002, was praised by U.S. Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle as "eminently readable and informative...not just the best treatment to-date of the Court after (Chief Justice Earl) Warren, it is likely to have that distinction for a long, long time."
He has received a multitude of honors and awards, including the J. Reuben Clark Law Society 2005 Distinguished Service Award, the 2004 Capital Book Award, the Jefferson Cup award from the FBI, the Edmund Randolph Award for Outstanding Service in the Department of Justice and the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service. He has also been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Shenandoah University, Hampton Sydney College and Pepperdine University.
A member of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco, President Starr and his wife, Alice, have three children and six grandchildren.