Baylor in Texas Monthly: A Story in Positive Leadership

The cover of this month’s Texas Monthly has to be the best one they have ever had!

Seriously though, check out this well-written article by Tom Bartlett. Some of the highlights include the following:

Bartlett shares about the origins of the school and its recent history going from one of the absolute worst sports scandals in the history of college sports to have “129 wins in four major programs – the highest single-season total in NCAA history.” 

And in the midst of this boom, Baylor is taking on the most ambitious plan in its 169-year history: to transform a somewhat self-satisfied, middle-of-the-road academic institution into an elite university, a school whose scholarly status rivals its reputation on the field—like Notre Dame with a Baptist bent.” 

“…the school’s turnaround cannot be understood apart from [current President Judge Kenneth] Starr’s intense optimism.”

“Starr’s focus since then has been on raising money and casting long-term vision, often leaving the details of day-to-day administration to his deputies so he can travel around the country and boost the university’s profile.”

“Starr gets praise even from professors who have hurled stones at past presidents; last fall the faculty senate voted to commend Starr for his ‘spirit of cooperation.’ ‘I’ve not talked to any faculty member that dislikes him, and considering what Baylor went through, that’s pretty remarkable,’ said Lynn Tatum, a senior lecturer in religion….

“… a young man from Nebraska named Jacob Humber, recalled how Starr had helped freshmen unload their overpacked vehicles on move-in day. ‘You’d expect the president of the university to be all formal, but he was in shorts and a T-shirt, carrying the heaviest of boxes,’ he said, with admiration. ‘He was happy to be there, and you could tell.'”

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