Praise for Kenneth Winston Starr, J.D.Feb. 15, 2010
George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States of America: "I am pleased that Baylor University has named an individual of Dean Starr's sterling reputation, character and ability to lead the university into a future that is made all the more promising by his presence. Ken was one of the very finest public servants with whom I had the privilege to work as President of the United States. When he represented the United States before the Supreme Court, the American people had a tireless advocate who not only represented their values and interests -- but shared them. Both Baylor University, and Dean Starr, have chosen wisely, and Barbara joins me in wishing the Baylor University Family every success moving forward."
Nadine Strossen, Former President, American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008), Professor of Law, New York Law School: "In my extensive dealings with Ken Starr over the past two decades - concerning some important civil liberties issues on which we have collaborated as allies, and other important issues on which we have strongly but respectfully disagreed - I have always found him to be not only a zealous, brilliant advocate on the biggest issues of the day, but also someone who is deeply concerned about and kind to every individual he encounters. From the students for whom he is impressively available, to the Death Row inmates whose legal appeals he has handled on a pro bono basis, he is unstintingly generous with his time, expertise, and wisdom. Ken Starr is deeply committed to academic freedom and to the robust exchange of ideas, including ideas with which he personally disagrees. He will be a superb leader of Baylor University and a wonderful mentor and role model for all of Baylor's students."
Thomas R. Phillips, Retired Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, Partner, Baker Botts LLP: "Dean Ken Starr is the right leader at the right time to be Baylor University's 14th President. Most recently as the dynamic and inspiring dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law, but throughout his varied career as a scholar, teacher, jurist and advocate, Ken Starr has shown the intellect, patience, eloquence, humility and integrity to be a transformative leader of the world's largest Baptist university. His unique gifts match Baylor's need to unite all parts of the Baylor family in a renewed dedication to provide a world-class education at a faith-based institution of higher education. We welcome Ken and his wonderfully talented wife, Alice, home to Texas in their new role as Baylor's First Family."
J. Michael Luttig, Former Federal Judge, Current Executive Vice President & General Counsel, The Boeing Company: "Judge Starr is an inspired appointment to lead Baylor University through the next chapter of its distinguished history. He is a man of commanding vision, towering intellect, supreme grace and unimpeachable integrity. A great university like Baylor is deserving of a great president, and none can question that Judge Starr will be such a president. This is indeed a proud moment not only for Baylor University, but also for the judge's beloved State of Texas."
David Hiller, President and CEO, McCormick Foundation: Baylor University has found a truly exceptional individual in Ken Starr to serve as president. I was privileged to serve with Ken in working for Attorney General William French Smith in the first years of the Reagan Administration. He is a courageous leader as well as a mightily accomplished attorney, judge, scholar and law school dean. To boot, the Baylor community will be warmed and enlivened by having Ken and Alice in their midst."
Randy Lee Pullin, Chief Financial Officer, Stedman West Interests Inc.: "Ken Starr is a warm, humble, genuine people person. In addition to his indisputable intellect and academic credentials, he is a Godly man, committed husband and family man with a servant leader's heart. He has a strong faith and he is not ashamed to be called Christian. The Presidential Search committees prepared a Presidential Profile early in the search process. Ken Starr reflected many, if not all, of the qualities we were looking for under the Leadership Style category, including "humble, approachable, a good listener, sense of humor, collaborative and valuing people and their gifts." In fact, he also has that special gift of remembering people's names. It will not surprise me that he will dazzle and amaze students, faculty, staff, alumni and Waco community leaders when he gets on campus. I am absolutely convinced that he has the gift to inspire."
Clifton Robinson, Chairman, Specialty Property Ltd: "I wholeheartedly endorse Ken Starr as the next president of Baylor University. His experience, intellect, character and Christian commitment make him a perfect fit for this position. Dean Starr and his wife, Alice, will be an excellent addition to the Baylor Family. The Board of Regents should be commended for putting in place a process that resulted in the selection of such an outstanding individual."
Dr. Kenneth L. Hall, CEO, Buckner International: "Judge Ken Starr brings to this task an uncommon understanding of Baylor's unique and distinct mission as a national Christian university with historic Baptist ties. He represents the very best of what it means to be an active churchman who, along with his wife Alice, puts his belief into action through his local congregation. Serving alongside so many wonderful and dedicated people involved in the presidential search process has only strengthened my love and appreciation for Baylor University. I wholeheartedly commend the regents for the manner in which they have conducted this very exhaustive and successful search."
Dr. Duane Brooks, Pastor, Tallowood Baptist Church, Baylor University Regent: "We are delighted to welcome Ken Starr as the 14th president of Baylor University. Judge Starr is a collaborative and congenial servant leader. He possesses a consistently calm, pleasant and warm demeanor which quickly endears him to his new friends. A brilliant thinker, he listens carefully to others and deliberates before making decisions. I have rarely met an individual who has so deliberately and thoughtfully considered the scriptures. When he speaks, the words of scripture flow very naturally in his words because he has thoroughly integrated the scriptures into his life and thought. Judge Starr is Baptistic in his theology. He greatly treasures and convictionally contends for the Baptist distinctives which we Baptists have long held dear. Not only will Judge Starr serve wonderfully in our Baptist community, but he will strengthen Baylor's Christian commitment out of the deep reservoir of his own personal faith and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. God has been gracious in our search process and we are profoundly grateful."
Chelsea Saylors, University Scholar, Former Communications Chair, Student Government, Baylor University: "Today is an exciting day to be a Baylor student. Judge Ken Starr understands Baylor's unique position in the world of higher education as we stand confidently at the intersection of faith and learning. He genuinely desires to know Baylor students - in the classroom, on the sidewalks, at the games - wherever we may be in our lives. I have full faith that Judge Starr will lead the Baylor Family into a bright future together. I feel honored to have been a part of the search process, part of the mission to discover God's plan for the future of Baylor University and its leadership."
John Sexton, President, New York University: Ken Starr now adds university president to an impressive roster of roles that include scholar, jurist, public servant, law school dean. He brings a breadth of knowledge and real world experience to his new task; I wish him all success in leading a great American institution of higher learning to even greater heights.
Dr. Alan Merten, President, George Mason University: "I congratulate Baylor University and Ken Starr on the appointment of Ken as the president of Baylor. My wife, Sally, and I have known Ken and Alice for over 13 years. Ken is smart, thoughtful, decisive and respectful of others. He has a deep understanding of the role of the university president and of the university, and appreciates the various components of the university. Sally and I wish Ken, Alice and the Baylor community all the best."
Dr. E. Thomas Sullivan, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Julius E. Davis Chair in Law, University of Minnesota: "Congratulations to Baylor University for its outstanding appointment of Ken Starr as the 14th President of the university. You have chosen a son of Texas to return home to lead one of our country's most distinctive universities in a time of great opportunities and challenges. I have known Ken Starr for over 37 years as a close personal friend and as a professional colleague. He has excelled at every professional opportunity: as an appellate lawyer, as a federal judge, as a Solicitor General of the United States and as a law school dean. The Baylor extended community will very quickly come to appreciate the exceptional talents, leadership style and warm civility of Ken and his wonderful wife Alice. I know Ken is thrilled to return home to Texas and to this marvelous opportunity for him and Baylor University."
Bradley J. B. Toben, Dean and M.C. and Mattie Caston Professor of Law, Baylor University School of Law: "Judge Starr brings to Baylor University a wealth of high profile experience in public service and in professional and graduate education. He has guided Pepperdine School of Law to a new and significant level of prominence. He will now use his gifts and talents to do likewise for our university. I am especially pleased that Judge Starr appreciates deeply the mission, distinctiveness and successes of Baylor Law School. Judge Starr embraces our faith mission and dedication to the legal profession as a service profession, just as the mission of Baylor University is grounded in Christian service. I believe that under the leadership of Judge Ken Starr good things lie ahead for graduate and professional education at Baylor University."
Ken Gormley, Interim Dean, Duquesne University School of Law, Author of The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, Crown Publishers, February 2010): "Ken Starr is a preeminent dean and professor of law; former federal appeals judge and Solicitor General of the United States with a stellar record; and renowned Constitutional lawyer for whom I have the utmost respect. Baylor University is already a great institution of higher learning; it is destined to attain new heights of excellence with Ken Starr as its president."
Larry Kramer, Dean, Stanford Law School: "After a distinguished career at the bar, on the bench, and in government, Ken Starr turned to the academy where he had an impressive and successful run as dean. He did a great many things to improve and raise the profile of Pepperdine but was also a strong and positive force among California's law schools generally. Ken's grace and friendliness made him a pleasure to work with, and those qualities, combined with his intelligence and good judgment, will make him a very good president indeed. He is a superb academic and academic administrator."
John Garvey, Dean, Boston College Law School: "Baylor has made a wise choice, and it is blessed to have such an exceptional leader. Ken Starr has served his country honorably as counselor to the Attorney General, judge on the United States Court of Appeals and Solicitor General of the United States. He has done an impressive job as dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law for the past six years.
"I have had the pleasure of teaching a course on law and religion with Ken Starr at Pepperdine, and I have the highest opinion of his intelligence and good academic judgment. There are sides of him that are less well known. One example is his representation of Robin Lovitt, a death-row inmate whose sentence was ultimately commuted to life in prison. It is a wonderful thing for Baylor to have him as its new president."
Dr. Thomas S. Hibbs, Dean of the Honors College, Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture, Baylor University: "In our interview with Judge Starr, we were very impressed by his conception of servant leadership, his scholarly record, his understanding of shared governance, and his ability to fill the role of a public intellectual speaking out on issues germane to Christian higher education. Judge Starr stood out as a candidate who was not only committed to the fundamental goals of Baylor 2012, but who was also able to articulate the goals in clear, cogent and inspiring language."
Dr. Georgia Green, Associate Dean, Baylor University School of Music, Immediate Past Chair, Baylor University Faculty Senate: "Judge Starr has a keen understanding of the American academy and the distinctive role of faculty as members of the academic community. His commitment to servant leadership combined with his experience as a teacher, scholar and academic administrator make him uniquely qualified for this position. Under Judge Starr's leadership, Baylor faces an exciting future brimming with hope and possibility."
Dr. Mikeal C. Parsons, Professor and Kidd L. and Buna Hitchcock Macon Chair in Religion, Baylor University: "Ken Starr brings to the Presidency a deep appreciation for Baylor University's mission as a national Christian University in the Baptist tradition. As a public intellectual with a vibrant Christian faith, President Starr is in position to articulate effectively and to a variety of constituencies Baylor's distinctive role in higher education. His previous experiences in the academy and public service have uniquely prepared and equipped him to perform with great success all the various duties demanded of a university president in the 21st century.
"The Presidential Search process was prayerful, transparent and inclusive, resulting in a candidate pool that was national in scope, diverse in professional experience and deep in talent. Out of a stellar group of candidates, Ken Starr quickly emerged as the consensus candidate of both committees involved, and I am delighted to welcome Ken Starr as the next president of Baylor University!"
Dr. Jaime Diaz-Granados, Chair, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Baylor University: "Kenneth Winston Starr distinguished himself from an impressive cohort of finalists for the 14th presidency of Baylor University. His experience and success as a faculty member, distinguished scholar and administrator, along with his passion and commitment to faculty ideals and our institutional aspirations, leaves him uniquely qualified to lead us in our goals of academic and research excellence."
Dr. D. Michael Lindsay, Professor of Sociology, Rice University: "When I first met Ken Starr several years ago, I expected him to be like the caricature I and many others had of him. What I found, instead, was an incredibly smart and warm leader. His wide-ranging intellect and humble spirit impressed me a great deal, and over the last decade, he has proven his mettle as a leader within Christian higher education. He will be a superb president for Baylor and is a wise choice at this moment in the school's history."
Angela Funai, Director, Foundation & Corporate Development, Immediate Past Chair, Baylor University Staff Council: "Judge Starr impressed me as a leader who values the contributions of those who work alongside him and understands the important contribution staff members make to the success of the university. He has a heart for Baylor's mission, vision and people. The overall presidential search process has been inclusive and communicative. The committee chairs kept us apprised and involved at every step along the way, actively seeking our feedback and taking our suggestions to heart. I am thrilled to welcome Judge Starr to Baylor University"