Waco is vibrating with a widespread but unconfirmed rumor that Kenneth Starr, the Texas-born lawyer who became nationally known as the independent counsel who ran Bill Clinton to ground, will be named president of Baylor University this week.
We were unable to get an official comment on Sunday evening, but sources in Waco said there would be an announcement as early as Tuesday (Monday's a national holiday). The Waco Tribune-Herald is also on the case now, quoting unnamed sources who confirm the news.
One unusual twist: Starr isn't a Baptist. Baylor's a Baptist University and sticks to the faith when it comes to executive management.
Starr is dean of the law school at Pepperdine University, a private college in California that he joined in 2004. He's a former federal judge, U.S. Solicitor General, and was most famously the Independent Counsel who started with the Whitewater investigation of then-President Bill Clinton and pursued that matter all the way to Monica Lewinsky and to Clinton's impeachment. Here's his bio page at Pepperdine.
Pepperdine is a Church of Christ school, and Starr, whose father was a preacher, was raised in that faith. He was born in the north Texas town of Vernon and went through high school in San Antonio.
Baylor President John Lilley was forced out by the board of regents in mid-2008. David Garland has been interim president since August 2008, and the board has been conducting a national search for a new chief executive.