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Kenneth Starr from Pepperdine to Baylor

By J. DeVoy

Kenneth Starr, current dean of Pepperdine University School of Law, has been named Baylor University’s new president.

For Starr, originally from central Texas, this may be a natural move.  Indeed, most of his career has been spent below the Mason-Dixon line.  Starr earned his A.B. from George Washington University and J.D. from Duke, with a brief excursion to Rhode Island to earn his M.A. at Brown University.  He then clerked for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Berger.  Starr served on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit before his tenure as Solicitor General under George H.W. Bush.  There’s also that whole Clinton thing.

The jump from leading a law school to an entire university is a considerable one, but not unprecedented.  In 2005, the University of Rochester poached Washington University in St. Louis Law’s dean, Joel Seligman, to serve as its President.  Unfortunately, the efficacy of his tenure is obscured by the down economy, which adversely affects alumni donations, endowment growth and student outcomes.

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