Ken Starr (204880)
Credit: Contributed

The disturbing and unconscionable scandal that has shaken the foundation of Baylor University is just one of the many reaffirmations across the college landscape that money is far more meaningful than morals to its leadership.

The ongoing sexual assault case at the university located in Waco, Texas, includes allegations against members of Baylor’s football team. It has resulted in their highly successful head coach, Art Briles, being fired last week, athletic director Ian McCaw resigning Monday and it’s most influential and arguably culpable figure, the school’s chancellor, Kenneth Starr, announcing on Wednesday that he was stepping down.

An independent Baylor Board of Regents review led by attorney Pepper Hamilton put forth in its Facts of Findings “… an independent and external review of Baylor University’s institutional response to Title IX and related compliance issues … reflect a fundamental failure by Baylor to implement Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 … and hindered by a lack of institutional support and engagement by senior leadership.”

The report asserted, “Based on a high-level audit of all reports of sexual harassment or violence for three academic years from 2012-2013 through 2014-2015, 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.”

In essence, Briles, McCaw and Starr, and the university as a whole, negligently and blatantly turned a blind eye to criminal and immoral acts allegedly committed by members of the football team because, spearheaded by the Big 12 Conference program, the athletic department raked in a reported $106.1 million for the 2014-15 school year.

The ultimate disgrace and shame is that Starr will retain his position teaching at the law school. This man is the same Kenneth Starr who was the lead investigator of the former President Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky sex scandal and author of the “Starr Report,” which resulted in the impeachment of Clinton.

So how ironic is it that he is now at the heart of a matter that is debatably far more reprehensible than the one for which he received global exposure? But it’s not surprising that he will remain connected to the school.

What’s disheartening is this conduct is business as usual at colleges and universities that operate with the same callousness and greed as do multibillion dollar corporations that aren’t charged with educating, protecting and nurturing youth.