June 1, 2015 Marks Fifth-Year Anniversary of Starr Presidency
- Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr
- June 1, 2010: President Starr greets faculty members on the steps of Pat Neff Hall. (Matthew Minard, Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- June 1, 2010: President Starr greets students on the lawn of Pat Neff Hall. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- June 1, 2010: President Starr enjoys the traditional Dr Pepper float while greeting students, faculty, alumni and friends at Pat Neff Hall. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- Sept. 15, 2010 - President Starr announces the three-year $100 million President's Scholarship Initiative, which was completed five months early in April 2014. (L to R) Then-Student Body President Michael Wright; Karen and Richard Willis, co-chairs of the President's Scholarship Initiative Steering Committee and generous supporters of student scholarships for more than two decades; and President Starr. (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- Sept. 17, 2010 - President Starr receives Baylor's traditional symbols of authority - the Presidential Medallion and Chain of Office - during his inauguration ceremony.
- Sept. 17, 2010 - President Starr leads Baylor Nation in a "Sic 'em" following his inauguration as Baylor's 14th president.
- President Starr greets new students and their families during Move-in and Welcome Week festivities. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- President Starr and Baylor move-in volunteers show their "Sic 'em" spirit as they help hundreds of new students move in to residence halls. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- As The Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law, President Starr also takes time to teach a seminar on constitutional Law at Baylor Law School. (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- President Starr has welcomed several well-known guests to campus as part of his "On Topic" series of conversations, including former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- President Starr has welcomed several well-known guests to campus as part of his "On Topic" series of conversations, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. L to R: President Starr, Justice O'Connor and First Lady Alice Starr. (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- President Starr has welcomed several well-known guests to campus as part of his "On Topic" series of conversations, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- President Starr has welcomed several well-known guests to campus as part of his "On Topic" series of conversations, including U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman. (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- President Starr and Athletics Director Ian McCaw with Robert Griffin III, his wife Rebecca and niece at the dedication of the RG3 statue at McLane Stadium. (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- (L to R) President Starr, Waco City Manager Dale Fisseler, Waco Mayor Malcolm Duncan and Regents Chair Richard Willis made a special presentation to city leaders for their overwhelming support of McLane Stadium. (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- President Starr is first in line to greet the Baylor Bears football team during the traditional Bear Walk at McLane Stadium. (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- President Starr leads the Baylor Line onto the field at McLane Stadium. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- President Starr and Waco city, school district and higher education leaders showcase the proud partnership between Waco and Baylor during the Baylor Homecoming Parade.Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- Baylor Starr was honored to meet Pope Francis in Rome in December 2013. Earlier, President Starr delivered the keynote address of "Christianity and Freedom: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives," an international scholars' conferences co-sponsored by Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion and Georgetown University's Religious Freedom Project.
WACO, Texas (June 1, 2015) – Five years ago today, Judge Ken Starr officially began his service as president of Baylor University – with an early morning run on the Bear Trail – as the distinguished academician, lawyer, public servant and sixth-generation Texan became only the 14th president of Texas’ oldest continuously operating institution of higher education.
Since that day, President Starr has focused his energies on advancing Baylor’s mission of an outstanding education that combines academic excellence and unwavering Christian commitment. Over the past five years, he has led the University and its students, faculty, staff and alumni to unprecedented heights in several areas.
His incredibly busy schedule is filled seven days a week with everything from enjoying a conversation with students at Dr Pepper Hour to discussing vital issues with the Faculty Senate, higher education leaders locally and throughout the United States and with legislators in Austin and Washington, D.C., leading the Baylor Line onto the field at McLane Stadium to meeting with the Baylor family at Baylor Alumni Network events throughout the country. However, President Starr also finds time to teach Constitutional Law at Baylor Law School and provides national commentary through opinion pieces and TV interviews about religious liberty, constitutional issues, costs of higher education and intercollegiate athletics.
Below are some of the University’s accomplishments under the Top Five areas of President Starr’s five-year presidency – Academics, Admissions/Campus Life, Athletics, Fundraising and Community Partnerships:
• Highest U.S. News ranking at No. 71 since U.S. News began ranking institutions beyond the top 50 in 2002
• Adoption of Pro Futuris, the University’s strategic vision
• Established the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences and strengthened the partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor Scott & White Health, bolstering Baylor’s historic strength in health-related education and research
• Growth in degrees conferred from 2,910 in the 2010-2011 academic year (winter, spring, summer) to more than 3,500 in the 2014-2015 academic year (winter, spring, summer).
• Growth in doctoral programs from 33 to 40, including most recently entrepreneurship (2015), K-12 educational leadership (2015) and environmental science (2014).
• Doubling of external funding for research to around $30 million a year
• Record enrollment from 14,900 in fall 2010 to 16,263 in fall 2014, including the largest freshman classes in University history, record fall-to-fall retention rates, rising academic quality and diversity to break that record
• Establishment of the Baylor Bound program that will help students transfer more easily between partner institutions McLennan Community College, Alamo Colleges, Blinn College, Collin College, Temple College and Tyler Junior College, with the expectation of 10 total
• New construction, including the Paul Foster Campus for Business and Innovation (housing the Hankamer School of Business), East Village Residential Community and Dining Commons, residence hall renovations as part of the University’s master plan to renovate 10 existing residence halls over eight years (Penland Residential Hall, May 2015-summer 2016; North Russell Hall, completed this summer 2015; and South Russell Hall, completed in summer 2014), renovation of Penland and Memorial dining halls, renovation of Marrs McLean Science Building (housing the School of Education), Phase 2 of the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative, Fifth Street renovations and addition of the Rosenbalm Memorial Fountain, and Elliston Chapel
• The purchase of the Baptist General Convention of Texas building in Dallas for use as the new home for Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing
• A Who’s Who of campus guests for “On Topic with Ken Starr,” including author and financier T. Boone Pickens, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Yale Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar, U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell, writer and social critic Os Guinness, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, journalist and political commentator Juan Williams, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy of “The Blind Side” and U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, as well as an historic summit in Washington, D.C., on the challenges facing faith-based higher education with Catholic University of America President John Garvey and Yeshiva University President Richard Joel
• Establishment of Baylor In Washington to allow the University’s leadership, faculty, and alumni who are engaged in work shaping solutions to some of the nation’s most critical challenges, such as hunger, water quality and immigration, to capitalize on strategic partnerships • Increased global and urban mission team opportunities (now more than 40) for students to use the knowledge and skills they gain at Baylor to serve people in 16 countries and Waco
• For the fourth year in a row, named to The Chronicle of Higher Education's 2014 Honor Roll as one of the country's "Great Colleges to Work For"
• From 2010-2015: 28 Big 12 team championships, three national team championships (women’s basketball (2012), equestrian (2012) and acrobatics & tumbling (2015)
• Five consecutive bowl games for two-time defending Big 12 Champion Baylor football
• New facilities: McLane Stadium, Hart Track and Field Stadium, Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center, Carlile Equestrian Building, Beauchamp Athletic Nutrition Center (BANC), Williams Family Soccer and Olympic Sports Center, Getterman Indoor Hitting Facility and improvements to the Hurd Tennis Center
• Among the Big 12 University presidents taking a leadership role in strengthening the partnership and vision of the Big 12 Conference
• Presided over Baylor’s most successful two-year period of fundraising ever of $345.3 million from Feb. 1, 2012, through Feb. 28, 2014, where more than 40,000 generous alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends, and more than 18,000 first-time donors supported capital projects, scholarships, faculty chairs, academic programs and athletics
• The vision of enhancing campus life through a dynamic on-campus McLane Stadium lifted fundraising for other important University objectives, including the successful early completion of President Starr's first focus - the $100 million President’s Scholarship Initiative, construction of a new $100 million Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation to house the Hankamer School of Business, and additional student scholarships, new faculty chairs and support for specific academic programs across the disciplines
• Strong city and Baylor partnership to build McLane Stadium that included a $35 million public contribution from the downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Zone board and the creation of the Baylor Waco Stadium Authority
• Phase 2 expansion of the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC), the cornerstone facility of the 21-acre Central Texas Technology and Research Park, which provides researchers, organizations and private companies with 300,000 square feet of physical space for labs, research centers, industry collaborative space and workforce training
• The move to downtown Waco of the Diana Garland School of Social Work from the Speight Avenue Parking Garage to the former Wells Fargo Bank building at 811 Washington Ave., into the "heart of the community" it serves
• Quarterly Presidents and Superintendents meeting with Baylor, MCC, TSTC, Waco and Midways ISDs
• Member of the board of directors of KWBU-FM, Waco’s NPR affiliate
Then and Now
On June 1, 2010, President Starr began his first day as Baylor’s leader with a run on the University’s popular Bear Trail, followed by a host of meetings around campus with faculty, student and community leaders.
Later that afternoon, despite temperatures hovering near the 100 degree mark, President Starr and First Lady Alice Starr greeted hundreds of well-wishers – while enjoying a traditional Dr Pepper float – at an event on the steps of Pat Neff Hall.
Judge Starr was the unanimous choice of both a 14-member Presidential Search Committee and a 10-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee, and was elected unanimously by the Baylor Board of Regents on Feb. 12, 2010. He was introduced as Baylor’s president-elect on Feb. 15, 2010, to overwhelming applause. Those praising Baylor’s new presidential choice ranged from former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and former federal Judge J. Michael Luttig to deans and presidents from numerous institutions, including Stanford, Rice, Boston College and New York University.
Chancellor Title and Faculty Senate Commendation
On November 11, 2013, the Board of Regents gave President Starr the additional title of Chancellor, for which he was charged with increasing Baylor’s influence in the nation and around the world.
At its first meeting of the 2014 spring semester, Baylor’s Faculty Senate presented President Starr with a Senate resolution congratulating him on his recent appointment as Chancellor and commending him for his leadership of the University.
The resolution, which was passed unanimously by Senators on Nov. 12, 2013, read: “The Baylor Faculty Senate congratulates Judge Ken Starr on his appointment as Chancellor and commends his service and leadership as Baylor’s President, especially his spirit of cooperation and shared governance.
“Judge Starr has always been open to dialogue and completely unconditional in his respect for faculty, while he has never been the least bit defensive, even when topics are difficult,” said Jim H. Patton, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience, psychology and biomedical studies and then-chair of the Faculty Senate. “I'm sure there are occasions when the President disagrees with the Senate. But there is never any personal animus evident in his interactions. Judge Starr enjoys widespread respect because he has earned it, and he reciprocates the same respect towards faculty, and that is very good for our university.”
In addition, President serves on the faculty of Baylor Law School as The Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law. He extends Baylor’s influence through service on the board of directors for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), where he serves as chair of accountability committee, the Independent Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities and the Southern University Conference, where he is past president and current secretary-treasurer. He also serves as a member of the board of trustees for the Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor Scott & White Health.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.