Clinton-investigator Ken Starr's name stopped making headlines about a decade ago, and the lawyer faded into a quiet life in academia as dean of Pepperdine's law school. But after a tumultuous succession of presidents, Baylor University in Texas tapped Starr for the head spot at the school -- with hope that the man who is often described as "gracious" and "likeable" will provide the college with some much-needed stability.
The Chronicle of Higher Education this week published an in-depth article on Starr's emerging role in academia, and revealed more about the man behind the eponymous report. Here are some things you may not know about the man famous for delving into presidential affairs.
His leadership style:
Mr. Starr describes himself as an "encourager." He likes the metaphor of making decisions at a round table, and was pleased to learn that the conference room where Baylor's Executive Council meets comes equipped with a literal one. He says his role as an administrator is finding the money to enable faculty members and students to pursue ideas they are excited about.
In person, Mr. Starr is humble, soft-spoken. He has a calm, even voice that would be a natural fit on public radio, and it's difficult to imagine him ever raising it. The polarizing former independent counsel is also disarmingly friendly.
His work at Pepperdine:
Mr. Starr's tenure as dean at Pepperdine Law School, his position since 2004, is widely considered a great success. Pepperdine has darted up the U.S. News & World Report ranking of law schools, climbing from No. 99 in 2005 to No. 55 in 2010. It's an achievement any number of faculty members and administrators there take with a grain of salt--many of them are no fans of the rankings--but one that clearly matters to some of their students.
How his faith informs his work:
He goes on to reflect that the way the two states approach business growth is just like the parable of the talents, the story Jesus tells in the New Testament about a master who returns from a trip and asks his servants to account for what they have done with the money he gave them.
Read the article in full here (subscription only).