Past president, Kenneth Starr, resigned following a sexual assault scandal. Interim president David Garland, Ph.D., former dean of Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary and professor of Christian Scriptures, took the helm of Baylor University in June.
Since 2011, 17 female Baylor students reported sexual or domestic assault charges against 19 football players at the university. This included at least four alleged gang rapes. Mr. Starr and celebrated football coach Art Briles lost their jobs in wake of the scandal.
Difficult Search Ahead
The next president of Baylor will lead efforts to restore the school’s national reputation in higher education while rebuilding its tradition of Christian commitment.
The school’s presidential search committee has completed more than 80 hours of listening sessions – both on and off campus – with various groups of faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends and University administrators, who have provided their input regarding the professional and personal characteristics and experiences important to the university’s next president.
“They have agreed to give of their time to oversee the important responsibility of identifying and recommending our next president,” Baylor University board of regents chair Ronald D. Murff said. “The search committee will benefit greatly from its leadership, chair Bob Brewton and vice chair Dr. Andrea Dixon, both of whom are extraordinary people of faith and leaders in their respective fields. We have a strong vision for the University in Pro Futuris, and we ask for the prayers of the entire Baylor family as we embark on this important search to identify the 15th president of Baylor University who will lead us forward.”
“We are deeply grateful to Baylor faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the University, who have shared their important perspectives with the committee,” said Bob Brewton, chair of the presidential search committee. “Their input is invaluable, and we continue to listen to all thoughts and ideas, as we together move forward in the process of selecting Baylor University’s next president.”
“We also welcome the expertise of Heidrick & Struggles,” Mr. Brewton continued. “They are an exceptional organization, international in scope, and they will conduct a very thorough and far-reaching search process.”
Baylor University, known for rigorous academics and strong Christian values, is one of a small group of institutions in the country to receive an A for the strength of its core curriculum in a survey by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Undergraduates choose from 142 degree programs, including pre-health care, engineering, and business programs, while graduate students pursue options covering more than 75 master and 41 doctoral programs. Baylor is a founding member of the competitive Big 12 Conference and fields 19 varsity athletic teams.
The Search Firm
Heidrick’s higher education specialty team uses a global network of partners to identify and place leaders who bring the management skills and creativity required to accomplish educational missions. The practice conducts higher education searches at public and private colleges and universities, including system head, chancellor, president, vice chancellor, vice president, provost, vice provost and deans, as well as functional roles to include chief financial officer, chief information officer, vice president of human resources, vice president of advancement and general counsel.
The hunt for university leadership is heating up — especially the search for provosts and chancellors. Just recently, Heidrick was retained by Emory University to fill the college’s provost / chief academic officer position. Emory’s search committee is looking for a visionary to make it the go-to place for policymakers, students and researchers. The provost search advisory committee — co-chaired by professors Carol Anderson and Carlos del Rio — is working with search consultants from Heidrick to identify a slate of experienced candidates for Emory’s seventh provost and chief academic officer.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media