Ken Starr has decided to leave his last remaining post at Baylor University, saying university officials wanted him out.
“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. “Nothing changes my love and respect for Baylor.”
He remained at Baylor as a law professor after being fired as president May 26 and resigning as chancellor days later. His firing came after an independent investigation found “a lack of institutional support and engagement by senior leadership” to implement Title IX, according to Baylor’s board of regents.
Starr said he and his wife, Alice, will remain in Waco, and he plans to contribute to local education efforts. He said he has met with McLennan Community College President Johnette McKown and Waco Independent School District Superintendent Bonny Cain.
Starr also plans to give at least one guest lecture in a Baylor business school class this semester, at the request of a professor, he said. Starr will also work on religious liberty issues, both domestic and foreign, and has scheduled speaking engagements around the United States, he said.
After he was removed from the presidency, Starr said he would remain the Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law and a professor. He taught seminars on constitutional issues.
Regents have been generally tight-lipped on the decision to remove Starr and head football coach Art Briles, but board chairman Ron Murff has cited the weight of the information he heard from Pepper Hamilton LLP.
“It was just a combination of all of that, given that procedures weren’t followed, policies weren’t followed,” Murff said last month. “Things weren’t done when they should have been done on a timely basis as far as making sure we had Title IX properly implemented and all the things that we disclosed about where we failed and where we were slow and what we were not doing correctly. So it was that combination, the weight of all those issues, that got us to that point.”
Brad Toben, dean of the law school, did not reply to a request for comment Friday.
Starr arrived at Baylor in 2010 as the university president and was given the role of chancellor in 2013, along with a contract extension to 2015. He is a former federal judge, U.S. solicitor general and special prosecutor in the Whitewater investigation involving President Bill Clinton.
“My advice to a college president is to have the very best possible people around you who are completely committed to student welfare and to continue to ask all the hard questions,” Starr said. “ ‘Are we serving our students well? Are we caring for them as completely and fully as we can, including in the all-important area of prevention?’ ”
Starr and the university issued a statement together Friday announcing he would leave his post in the law school.
“The mutually agreed separation comes with the greatest respect and love Judge Starr has for Baylor and with Baylor’s recognition and appreciation for Judge Starr’s many contributions to Baylor,” the statement reads.
“Baylor wishes Judge Ken Starr well in his future endeavors. Judge Starr expresses his thanks to the Baylor family for the opportunity to serve as president and chancellor and is grateful for his time with the exceptional students of Baylor University who will lead and serve around the world.”
Starr said he misses the people at Baylor.
“I love Baylor, the faculty, the staff and the students,” he said. “I already miss them.”