Ken Starr's Messages

Since its founding in 1845, Baylor University has been a place of unwavering commitment to the Christian faith. Indeed, our devotion to Christ’s inspiring message of compassion and healing compels us to care deeply for one another, as well as for “the least of these.”
WACO, Texas (Feb. 12, 2016) -- Baylor University’s Board of Regents today received and approved an administrative action plan to prevent acts of sexual violence on campus and to improve treatment and services for all those impacted by interpersonal violence.
“Last evening, our students came together as a family. They displayed great poise and maturity during the vigil at Allbritton House and in the prayer service that followed at our beloved Truett Seminary.

We hear your voices loud and clear. You want us to continue to improve. And you want definitive, responsible actions after we receive the insights and recommendations from Pepper Hamilton. You have my word on both.”
Greetings from Baylor University, where the spring semester is in full swing. The month of February is a special time in the life of our University. Each year, we celebrate the founding of Baylor University on February 1, 1845 — 171 years ago. Today, in this Anno Domini 2016, we continue to carry forward our Founders’ vision to address the needs of the broken world around us.
With a new semester underway and a year of promise and opportunity before us as a caring and dynamic Baylor community, I write to provide you with an update about Title IX, Baylor’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence and the ongoing external review we commissioned in the fall. Many of you have participated in our Title IX training activities and “It’s on Us” awareness campaign, and I am deeply grateful for your willingness to help ensure that Baylor is a safe campus, free from harassment, discrimination and interpersonal violence. Together we are developing a campus culture that is educated about interpersonal violence and responsive to those who have experienced sexual violence.
WACO, Texas (Jan. 15, 2016) – Baylor University President and Chancellor Ken Starr has announced the appointment of faculty, staff and students to the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity (PACD).
Not only is this our December graduation, but Christmas itself is right around the corner. Families will gather together; trees beautifully trimmed; Christmas Eve services dutifully attended; last-minute shopping expeditions quickly completed; and age-old traditions faithfully honored.
May the gift of living water, overflowing from the fountain of His grace, refresh and sustain you at Christmas and always.
Late last week, the Provost shared with the Office of the President a copy of the report from the Provost’s Committee on Diversity. The Committee, chaired by Professor Heidi Bostic, worked with dedication over the course of the autumn. We are grateful for the Committee’s efforts.
Thanksgiving greetings from Pat Neff Hall on this beautiful autumn day. In only three short days, we eagerly look ahead to our hallowed national tradition of pausing to give thanks to God. As Mr. Lincoln said (in a decidedly different context) in his immortal Gettysburg Address: “It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.” In a dangerous and uncertain world, we Americans have many reasons to be prayerfully thankful.
At Baylor University, we are firmly committed to the biblical admonition that we live in both unity with and love for one another (Romans 15:5). Consistent with our cherished Christian heritage, Baylor University earnestly seeks to support every single colleague on our campus.
Homecoming is around the corner, but the bond Baylor alumni share with their alma mater reaches beyond festive gatherings. In this fall's message to the Baylor Family, President Ken Starr writes about the University's commitment to its foundations, its campus and global responsibilities, and shares in the gratitude of transformational gifts.
The recent criminal conviction of former student-athlete Sam Ukwuachu has brought deep anguish to our campus. As we have said unequivocally, acts of sexual violence contradict every value Baylor University upholds as a caring Christian community.
WACO, Texas (Sept. 2, 2015) – Baylor University’s Board of Regents announced today that they have retained the services of the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP, to conduct a thorough and independent external investigation into the university’s handling of cases of alleged sexual violence. The investigation will be led by partners Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie Gomez, well-recognized experts in the institutional response to all aspects of sexual misconduct matters.
President and Chancellor Ken Starr updates Baylor Nation on internal inquiry.
Learn your rights, options, and resources under Title IX.
By God’s grace, we are living in a golden era at Baylor University. However, today we are filled with profound sadness. Yesterday, a former student-athlete was convicted for the sexual assault of another former student-athlete. Our hearts are broken for the victim who has been terribly harmed by this unspeakable tragedy. We also grieve for all those who have been touched by this human calamity, and for our beloved University, whose essential purpose and distinctive mission are to be guarded as the treasured legacy of our founders.
WASHINGTON (July 22, 2015) – A bipartisan group of national thought leaders, including Baylor University President and Chancellor Ken Starr, has called upon Congress to take action now to develop a national strategy addressing the tragic global crisis in religious freedom.
Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr praised the work and motivations of Baylor’s Board of Regents and the “rich and mutually supportive relationship” shared between Baylor’s administration and board in this op-ed published Sunday, July 12, 2015. “The many contributions of Baylor’s volunteer regent board — which now includes regents representing faculty, students and alumni — to Baylor’s remarkable recent success cannot be overstated. With their time, talent and treasure, the energetic alumni and generous donors who constitute our board of regents are skillfully guiding the university with integrity and distinction. The members of Baylor’s volunteer board merit our heartfelt thanks, as they continue their work to ensure that the light emanating from our cherished university will, by God’s grace, shine ever more brightly into the future.”
Judge Ken Starr: It is with a heavy heart that I write to you concerning the tragic death of Mr. Jeffrey Thaemert, an electrician and resident of our beloved Waco, who died yesterday morning working on the construction of our new business school building.
Celebrating our history, recognizing the promise of the future, and honoring our passionate servants.
As the University’s motto – Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana ­– suggests, Baylor University strives dutifully to serve the interests of both church and community. That is why we are asking you to join us as we prepare for an historic celebration of Christian worship at Baylor’s beautiful McLane Stadium.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 5, 2015) – Before an overflow crowd gathered inside (and outside) the National Press Club’s Edward R. Murrow Room, Baylor University President and Chancellor Ken Starr, Catholic University of America President John Garvey and Yeshiva University President Richard Joel discussed a number of issues facing higher education and specifically faith-based universities, including government ratings systems, academic freedom and the value of a faith-based education.
Committee will begin national search for the next Vice President for University Development.
The New Year has dawned, rich with promise. The bite of wintry temperatures reminds us, as does the calendar itself, that time marches on. May the Year of our Lord 2015 be one rich and abundant with blessings for you and all those you hold dear.
May you be wrapped in His peace and warmed by His presence at Christmas and always.
On Saturday night, beneath the bright lights of our beautiful McLane Stadium, Baylor Nation witnessed something unprecedented — the Baylor Bears winning back-to-back Big 12 championships in football!
Thanksgiving is not only a time of feasting, in the spirit of the Pilgrims, of Samoset, Squanto, Massasoit and the Wampanoag tribe. It is a sweet time of families coming together, pausing to give thanks.
As often happens on our beautiful campus, the extended Texas summer has quickly given way to chilly temperatures that remind us that winter is right around the corner. These nippy mornings give rise, however, to very warm hearts as we call to mind the joy of Thanksgiving, followed quickly by the bright promise of Christmas. With abundant blessings enlivening our days and inspiring our dreams, I bring you warm greetings from Baylor University.
On this very day 227 years ago, the last of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention emerged from what we now call Independence Hall.
In vibrant images broadcast on national television to tens of millions of households across the globe, we flung “our green and gold afar.” Viewers beheld firsthand the spectacular beauty not only of McLane Stadium, but of our campus and community as well.
With the inaugural game at McLane Stadium on August 31, Baylor Nation honored the founding donors whose generosity launched the effort.
In this opinion piece, Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr lauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case on Monday as a “powerful blow for religious liberty” — one that also is good for Texas and business. (Lori Fogleman, assistant vice president for Baylor Media Communications, helped place this op-ed.)
June 15, 2014
Guest column by Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr about the hundreds of Baylor students studying abroad this summer or serving on University-sponsored mission trips that help bring hope and encouragement to some of the world’s poorest people. Specifically, Judge Starr writes about a week-long inspirational journey of a group of 30 Baylor alumni and friends led by Todd Still, Ph.D., The William H. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures at Truett Seminary. The journey took the Baylor delegation to magnificent Grecian ports of call in retracing the Apostle Paul’s second missionary journey.
Judge Ken Starr addressed the graduates of the Baylor Class of 2014, challenging them to a 1-8 mission.
Should student-athletes unionize? The National Labor Relations Board’s regional director thinks yes, characterizing Northwestern football players as "employees." This misguided ruling has far-reaching legal, regulatory and financial implications that will significantly and adversely affect the future of intercollegiate athletics.
Since its founding in 1845, Baylor University has pursued academic excellence grounded in a deep Christian faith. Today's leaders continue to carry this torch passed down from generation to generation.
On this first day of May, with spring in full bloom, please accept my warm greetings from Baylor's stunningly beautiful campus.
Baylor University is committed to ensuring the safety of all individuals on Baylor's campuses and involved in Baylor's programs, especially minor children (under 18 years of age).
“Today this event assumes a more majestic quality because of our ability together to affirm the historic role that people of faith have played in the history of this country and the constitutional protections those who profess and express their faith have always demanded and cherished.”
From humble beginnings in the 1970s in their Oklahoma City garage, David and Barbara Green launched what is now the sprawling nationwide commercial enterprise, Hobby Lobby. Their company - now owned entirely by five members of the Green family - is now at the epicenter of an important legal battle over the breathtaking reach of the Affordable Care Act. At issue is whether - due to the Greens' deeply held religious objections - the Hobby Lobby owners have an enforceable freedom-of-conscience right not to provide several contraceptive methods (four out of the 20 ACA-required methods) to the crafts company's employees. The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in this closely watched case on March 25.
Every year, the Baylor family pauses early in the spring semester to look back across the seventeen decades of our institution's glorious history. On a very special day, we gather in community to celebrate that historic first day of February — in 1845 — when Baylor University was chartered by the Republic of Texas.
With great anticipation, we eagerly look forward to the next chapter in Baylor's unfolding history as we commence the search for our next Provost.
President and Chancellor Ken Starr writes about the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. case, which is scheduled to be argued before the United States Supreme Court March 25.
This is a terrible tragedy that saddens us all. It is at difficult times like these that we are encouraged to remember that we serve a loving God who cares for the brokenhearted and is near to the downcast.
Last weekend, Baylor University was honored to co-sponsor a global conference in Rome, the Eternal City, on religious liberty. The Rome conference was organized over a two-year period by Baylor's new partner in the vital quest for religious freedom worldwide, Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.
May God richly bless each of you this Christmas and in the New Year!
Dec. 13, 2013
Op-ed by Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr regarding Christian persecution that undermines hope for democracy in the Middle East. Judge Starr delivered a keynote address at an international conference on "Christianity and Freedom" Dec. 13-14 in Rome, co-sponsored by Georgetown and Baylor. (This op-ed was placed by Lori Fogleman, assistant vice president for Baylor Media Communications.)
As we approach Thanksgiving week and eagerly look forward to the joys of Christmas, it is a great blessing to bring greetings from Baylor’s beautiful campus at this wonderful time of year. The act of gathering together as a family to give thanks represents a hallowed tradition in America. It is also a welcome ritual we in Baylor Nation enthusiastically embrace.
The University is moving forward expeditiously to implement - on its own - a number of the changes that were contemplated by the Transition Agreement.
Welcome to academic year 2013- 2014. Baylor University, as we proudly say, older than the State of Texas itself. A glorious past, and by God's grace, a bright future.
On August 27, 2013, President Ken Starr delivered a convocation the following message to the faculty, staff and students of the George W. Truett Theological Seminary.
Dear Baylor Nation, I am happy to report that the litigation over the removal of the Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center has come to an end. The judge has removed the temporary restraining order that prevented us from moving ahead with our construction schedule which is so vital to the timely completion of our new Stadium. We are grateful that Baylor can now move forward.
As I shared with Baylor Nation last month, Baylor University and the Baylor Alumni Association worked collaboratively and cooperatively for ten months to bring about a new day at Baylor -- to agree on a pathway that would re-unite the Baylor family and allow all of Baylor Nation to come together.
Today, allow me to share the good news of another important milestone for Baylor Nation -- an historic agreement between the leadership of Baylor University and the leadership of the independent Baylor Alumni Association. We have come together and agreed to fashion a single, comprehensive, university-based alumni engagement program.
We are in a time and place of remembrance. We chose to be adorned in the centuries-old custom of cap and gown. Efficiency and cost-cutting experts might well advise: "Just send the diploma via email. Why all this pomp and circumstance? It's a lot of trouble to be here." But we do so because of one word: tradition.
The tragic events in the nearby town of West, Texas have deeply impacted and saddened the Baylor community. At the same time, they have called forth a powerful demonstration of the Christian mission and character of this great University. Through acts of service, sacrifice and generosity, the Baylor family both near and far have responded actively and compassionately to this terrible tragedy. As a result, we have demonstrated to our neighbors in West, and to the nation, the very essence of Baylor University.
Baylor President Ken Starr reaches out to Baylor Nation about the tragic events in West, Texas, only 17 miles from the Baylor campus. The University community continues to be in prayer for West and for the members of our own Baylor family whose lives have been disrupted by this disaster so suddenly. However, on Diadeloso, a day of tradition for our University, Baylor Nation is choosing to embody an even greater tradition -- that inspired by Christ Jesus to be energetically in service to the needy.
Our hearts are broken. We thought we could — and would — do it: Back-to-back national championships by our beloved Lady Bears and their (already) legendary Hall of Fame Coach, Baylor's incomparable Kim Mulkey.
Today is special. On this Presidents’ Day, our nation once again honors the vision and sacrifice of both General George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln. At Baylor, February also is the month when we honor inspirational leaders who, in their era, have had a lasting impact on our University.
With warmest greetings of the season from your beautiful campus home, we wish you a joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year.
Welcome to the Paul J. Meyer Arena here at the Ferrell Center. Congratulations! What a great day! A day when dreams come true.
Happy Thanksgiving from the beautiful campus of Baylor University! This week, millions of Americans will gather together to renew a hallowed national tradition launched almost four centuries ago on the shores of Cape Cod at Plymouth Colony.
The fall semester is once again under way at Baylor. Already, our beautiful campus is a veritable beehive of energy and activity.
To express appreciation for our continuing collaboration, the Waco Symphony Association has generously offered a discount of $20 off the purchase of season tickets (which normally range from $75 - $200 per person) for any Baylor faculty or staff member.
Throughout the month of June, we will welcome to Baylor's beautiful campus members of the class of 2016 as they participate in our wonderful New Student Experience. Each will be invited to explore his or her academic options and, in the process, learn about Baylor's robust academic and spiritual support, as well as our campus resources. Each new Baylor Bear will also become steeped in Baylor's glorious traditions. These baby Bears now become proud members of that Good Old Baylor Line.
Today is Law Day — established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 and recognized annually to honor the role of law in the creation of the United States of America. How appropriate, then, that we at Baylor University bade farewell this very Law Day morning to former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Blessings abound at Baylor! As we approach the holiday season of Easter, let us reflect on these blessings and our calling as ambassadors of a new life. President Starr shared his thoughts with Baylor students during today's Chapel. Take a moment to reflect on his comments.
Here on the banks of the Brazos, spring has arrived. Winter rains have nourished flowering trees recovering from a harsh summer and fall, while seeds visible only to the eyes of God have burst underground silently spreading roots that promise a vibrant future.
In only a matter of days, the year of our Lord, 2012, will be upon us. A new year always brings excitement as we consider the vast possibilities which inhabit fresh beginnings. But 2012 is more than a new year at Baylor. It is the moniker that has represented for nearly ten years now the bold vision which has guided our institutional direction and progress over the last decade.
Merry Christmas from Baylor University. May God richly bless you and your family as we celebrate this glorious season of Christ's birth and welcome the new year ahead.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Baylor family shows its support for the greater Waco community by taking an active part in the United Way campaign.
What a wonderful Homecoming we experienced last weekend, as thousands of Baylor alumni once again returned to their beloved alma mater - in the immortal words of Samuel Palmer Brooks - to "renew former associations and friendships, and catch the Baylor spirit again."
Today, from offices at Pat Neff Hall, we have watched our ROTC students faithfully standing guard at the flag pole on Founders Mall. This modest but commanding act of respect reminds us how each day, in locations all over the world, and in similarly humble but powerful ways, men and women in the armed services stand guard over our freedoms.
It has been such a great encouragement to see the good people of Baylor Nation respond to our call to stand strong for our University. I am very grateful for your support as we have fought to sustain a strong Big 12 Conference. As my message to you on Saturday evening reflected, it is with your help that we have assured the Big 12 will not only survive but thrive in the future.
Amidst the backdrop of an exciting game against Iowa State, I thanked Baylor Nation for their support as we have fought hard to sustain a strong Big 12 conference. With the help of so many, we have assured that the Big 12 will not only survive but thrive in the future.
Tonight, amidst the backdrop of an exciting game against Iowa State, I thanked Baylor Nation for their support as we have fought hard to sustain a strong Big 12 conference. With the help of so many, we have assured that the Big 12 will not only survive but thrive in the future.
Yesterday, the Presidents of the Big 12 institutions came together to re-commit themselves to our heartland Conference. This important decision to stabilize and strengthen the Big 12 recognizes the needs of student-athletes and their families, and pays tribute to the historic Conference rivalries so valued by our alumni and the citizens of our states.
"We are pleased that the Presidents of the Big 12 institutions have come together this evening to re-commit themselves to our heartland Conference. Our efforts are now focused on working together to make the Big 12, for the long-term, one of the strongest athletic conferences in the nation.
At the present time, we are optimistic that the Big 12 will remain a viable athletic conference. As we have said consistently, we think a strong Big 12 Conference is in the best interest of all parties - most notably, our students and student-athletes. News reports are full of wild speculation, with rumor and unidentified sources driving much of the discussion. What I can tell you is that the issues are complex, but important conversations are continuing
As the sun sets on a beautiful Saturday here in Waco, my thoughts return to what was for all of us a simply exhilarating evening as our Baylor Bears triumphed in a heart-stopping, headline-grabbing victory over No. 14 TCU.
This week, significant media attention has focused on rumors relating to possible changes in the membership of the Big 12 athletic conference.
President's Note; Outstanding Faculty Honored at Commencement; Mission Trips; Generous Gifts Benefit Business School Students; Recent Loss of Emeritus Faculty; Baylor Receives Presidential Recognition for Community Service; Student Accolades; Athletics Update.
President's Note; Protecting the Promise; Next Step for Strategic Planning; Gifts to the University; Faculty Recognition; Student Accolades; Athletic Events Schedule.
I write to remind you that the community input portion of our strategic planning effort will conclude in just a few short days. If you have not yet taken the opportunity to participate in our planning process, I encourage you to do so this week. It is important that each voice is heard as together we craft a vision of Baylor's future.
President's Note; Tuition Equalization Grant; Passing of Dr. F. Gordon Stone; Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year, Collins Professor, Cherry Award Finalists; Strategic Planning Community Input; State of the University Address; Bright Future for Big 12; Athletic Event Schedule.
The Baylor University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors held its annual State of the University event on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, in Barfield Drawing Room. The event included recognition of Baylor faculty members who will be retiring at the end of the academic year and a State of the University address by Baylor President Ken Starr. The president's address was followed by a brief Q&A session.
The TEG is a smart educational investment that has already provided economic dividends and made a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Texans. The Texas Legislature is considering a plan to cut TEG funding by half, potentially devastating a program that has served financially challenged Texas families for more than four decades.
President's Note; Geology Research Makes International Headlines; Baylor Law School Moot Court Competition; Pickens, Blanchard, Shulman; Beall Poetry Festival and President's Concert; April 12 STEPP Luncheon; Student and Faculty Accolades; Athletic Events Schedule.
President's Note; Spring Break Missions; Japan Earthquake; T. Boone Pickens, Presidential Symposium Series; 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible; Student Accolades; Athletic Event Schedule.
Waco Tribune-Herald, Guest Column (reprinted with permission) - The Texas Legislature faces hard choices. Budget cuts are inevitable. Within the range of possibilities is the Tuition Equalization Grant program that supports many financially challenged first-generation and minority students enrolling in one of the state's educational treasures -- its 40 private colleges and universities, many of which are faith-based.
This has been a truly memorable year for Baylor. One area in which our green and gold has shown brightest has been in the many successes of Baylor athletics. We will recall this as the year that Baylor Nation - alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends - rose up to support their beloved University in numerous tangible ways.
VIDEO: President Starr, Coach Briles and QB Robert Griffin Call on the Baylor Nation to Rise Up at the Texas Bowl
As we count our many blessings and honor Baylor's call to be that metaphorical "city on a hill," we recognize that our beloved University has not been immune from the winds swirling around American higher education. In particular, rising costs have deeply affected our extended Baylor family. So much has been accomplished over the generations as Baylor has grown, but in recent years - including this year - tuition levels have continued to rise.
President's Note; Scholarship Initiative; Presidential Symposium and Inauguration Installation; Supporting Our Team
President's Note; A successful start to the semester; University earns accolades; Robert Foster Cherry Award winner arrives on campus; Let's Rise Up and fill the stadium.
After a number of very busy and challenging weeks, Baylor University has much to celebrate and be thankful for, says President Ken Starr. The Big 12 was saved, thanks in part to members of the Baylor Nation who championed the cause of the Big 12 and spoke out on Baylor's behalf. But your continued support is needed: fill our stands and enthusiastically support our athletic programs. The president also cited another need important to the Baylor family: significantly increasing the endowed student scholarship program at Baylor.

Starr remarked that the new 10-team model of the Big 12 Conference is great for Baylor and great for intercollegiate athletics because it puts the interests of fans and student-athletes first. The first home football game of the season for the Baylor Bears is Sept. 4 against Floyd Casey Stadium against Sam Houston State.
Baylor University is an extraordinary place. On this first day as an adopted member of that long and ever-growing Baylor line, I give thanks for the countless words of warm welcome and cheerful encouragement that have come my way over the past three and a half months of learning and preparation as I have met with members of the Baylor family in cities across Texas. For 165 years, Baylor has faithfully served both Ecclesia - the church - and Texana - the vast community that now extends not only throughout my native Texas but also to the farthest reaches of the globe. It is my fond hope and fervent prayer that, through God's grace, I will be able to serve this great and beloved institution with energy and enthusiasm, using the full extent of my abilities to empower our important work together. Baylor deserves nothing less.
Baylor University President Ken Starr released a statement today celebrating the perseverance of the Big 12 Conference and its historic rivalries. Starr expressed "great appreciation to our fellow Big 12 institutions for remaining committed to our partnership and the vision of this conference."
Baylor University President Ken Starr said today in a message sent to the Baylor Family that the university is continuing to seek as much unity as possible among the members of the Big 12 Conference and to fight for cohesiveness among the Texas universities of the Big 12.
A guest column penned by Baylor University President Ken Starr regarding Baylor and the future of the Big 12 is running in several Texas newspapers, including the Waco Tribune-Herald and The Dallas Morning News.
Baylor President Ken Starr spoke about Baylor's commitment to the Big 12 and to its ongoing relationship with the fellow Texas schools in the Big 12, at a news conference Monday, June 7, on the Baylor campus.
Baylor President Ken Starr spoke about Baylor's commitment to the Big 12, and to an ongoing relationship with our fellow Texas schools in the Big 12, at a news conference Monday, June 7, on the Baylor campus.
Baylor University President Ken Starr released a message today to all members of the Baylor Family about the spring meetings of the Big 12 Conference that concluded earlier today in Kansas City.
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