Ken Starr is stepping down as chancellor of Baylor University, he told ESPN, just days after the school in Waco, Texas, demoted him from its presidency and fired Art Briles, the head football coach, over the handling of accusations of sexual assault on campus.
He said he was resigning as chancellor effective immediately “as a matter of conscience,” but added he will continue to teach in the law school.
Starr served as president of Baylor until the university announced in a statement May 26 it was demoting him and firing Briles. The statement said Starr would serve as Baylor’s chancellor and remain a professor at the university’s law school. Additionally, the statement said, Ian McCaw, the athletic director, has been sanctioned and placed on probation. Baylor named David Garland interim president.
At issue were complaints of sexual assaults that victims said the university had not taken seriously. An independent investigation of the allegations, conducted by Pepper Hamilton, the law firm, reported on May 26:
Based on a high-level audit of all reports of sexual harassment or violence for three academic years from 2012-2013 through 2014-2015, Pepper found that the University’s student conduct processes were wholly inadequate to consistently provide a prompt and equitable response under Title IX, that Baylor failed to consistently support complainants through the provision of interim measures, and that in some cases, the University failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, or address its effects for individual complainants or the broader campus community.
The allegations came to light after Sam Ukwuachu, a former football player at Baylor, was convicted in 2015 of raping a student. During his trial, it emerged Ukwuachu had been investigated, but not punished, by the university. Several similar reports have since emerged, including at least five women who said they were raped by Tevin Elliot, another former Baylor football player, who was sentenced in 2014 to 20 years in prison for rape.