Baylor Chancellor Ken Starr released a statement Thursday responding to his removal as university president and to the Baylor Board of Regents’ other changes announced in response to an investigation by law firm Pepper Hamilton.
Starr was not informed of any allegations regarding interpersonal violence until the fall of 2015, he said in the statement. At that time, he launched an internal investigation and encouraged the board of regents to start an independent investigation, which resulted in the board hiring Pepper Hamilton to investigate the university’s response to sexual assaults, he said.
Starr’s statement is reproduced in full here:
Serving as President of Baylor University for the past six years has been a high honor and a distinct privilege. A statement released this morning by the University’s Board of Regents regarding the Pepper Hamilton report announced that I will leave the presidency. The following provides additional, clarifying information alongside the Board’s release.
I have reached an agreement in principle with the Board to transition to the position of Chancellor.
The Board’s statement contains a link to the Pepper Hamilton Findings of Fact and Recommendations. I applaud the Board for its transparency. It must be known, however, that I was not privy to any of the allegations regarding interpersonal violence until the Fall of 2015, at which time I immediately launched an internal investigation before recommending to the Board an independent external investigation, which the Board then commissioned with Pepper Hamilton.
For now, I happily remain a part of Baylor Nation. I am looking forward to continuing to serve as Chancellor as well as the Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law at the wonderful Baylor Law School, which gains in prestige daily.
As soon as we have navigated specific issues of the transition, I will be available to respond to questions. Indeed, I am eager to do so.
To be sure, this has been an exceedingly difficult time for the University family, especially so for the victims of sexual violence and their loved ones. I join the Board of Regents and the Senior Administration of the University in expressing heartfelt contrition for the tragedy and sadness that has unfolded. To those victims who were not treated with the care, concern, and support they deserve, I am profoundly sorry.
Despite these dark days, I remain resolved to join hands with the Baylor family to continue to build the University as we carry out its distinct mission in Christian higher education. May God grant us grace, mercy, and peace.