Baylor University has hired Linda Livingstone as its first woman president, the school announced today. The move comes amid several lawsuits against the university over its mishandling of sexual assault cases on campus, which included downplaying women’s allegations, failing to properly report accusations, and making life hell for women who came forward. An internal investigation concluded that the school systematically failed to address sexual assault allegations on campus and that the football program failed to follow protocol for reporting sexual assault allegations. Baylor football players are accused of committing 52 rapes in four years under disgraced former head coach Art Briles.
Livingstone, currently a dean at George Washington University, will replace interim president David Garland. Garland took over for Ken Starr (yes, that Ken Starr), who was president of the university when news of the sexual assault scandal broke and was demoted. Even after his removal, he continued to claim Baylor did nothing wrong.
In a statement, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents Ronald Murff said:
Dr. Livingstone brings an accomplished academic career to Baylor, combined with a strong appreciation and support of Baylor’s mission. A longtime Baptist and former Baylor faculty member, she has a passion for the distinctiveness of Baylor’s Christian mission in higher education.
This is a return to Waco for Livingstone. She was an assistant professor, then an associated professor at the university’s management department from 1991 to 1997, per the Baylor press release. After that, she was an associate dean in the business school until 2002. During her previous time in Waco, she was a member of the Faculty Athletics Council.