Saturday, August 20, 2016


Ken Starr leaves Baylor Law School

The drama at Baylor continues, and I'm a little stumped by the latest development.

Ken Starr (as of the start of this year) held three positions at Baylor: he was the president, the chancellor, and a tenured professor of law with a chair. In the wake of Baylor's debacle related to sexual assault, Starr was removed as president and then resigned as the chancellor. That left him as a law professor, and he said he was going to stay in that job and commit himself to that role.

But then, just yesterday, Baylor announced that Starr would no longer be affiliated with the law school. Here is how Starr described it in the Waco Tribune Herald:

“Frankly, the university determined that it wanted a break in the employment relationship, so I’ve accepted that decision and will, of course, honor the decision,” Starr said in an interview late Friday afternoon. 

I don't know anything about how this happened, or why, and I'm not going to speculate on it.

But I do know that Ken Starr would have been a remarkable teacher and scholar, if that is what he really wanted to do, and would have been by far the most influential member of the Baylor Law faculty.

A great loss to the University and the law school.

I do not believe that he, Briles, or the AD were truly guilty of anything particular, but of being in a position of responsibility while changing regulations, advisories, culture, etc., were occurring. I do not think that the football program was particularly a hotbed of problems. And I do not think that Baylor was in a worse situation than a majority of the top several hundred universities and colleges in the country, and possibly better than most. And I think the fault lies as much with the regents as with the administration.
I do think that there has been a major shift in what constitutes consent and what evidence is necessary to prove consent. Several of the local cases of alleged sexual assault are "she said, he said" cases, with little evidence to prove a lack of consent. At lest one of the recent cases that has resulted in an indictment involved a couple who had had multiple sexual encounters over a period of weeks or months, all consensual until the last. And in that one, the woman involved met up with the man at a drinking establishment, went with him to his place, and the next morning claimed he had sex with her without consent!

I wish that Waco Friend would become a Baylor regent.
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