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Baylor hires 1st female president amid sex assault scandal

Baylor hires 1st female president amid sex assault scandal

Baylor selected Dr. Linda A. Livingstone as the university's 15th president, the school announced as it continues fight legal battles stemming from a sexual assault scandal that cost Livingstone's predecessor, Kenneth Starr, his job.

Livingstone, a dean and professor at George Washington University, will serve as Baylor's next president, the university said in a news release.

Livingstone returns to Baylor at a time the school faces federal lawsuits from more than a dozen women who contend that school officials ignored or suppressed their sexual assault claims and fostered a culture of rape within the football program.

The findings of the Pepper report, which led to the suspension and eventual firing of head football coach Art Briles, also forced the university's Board of Regents to apologize for the way in which the school mishandled reports of sexual assault.

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A native of Perkins, Okla., Livingstone graduated from Oklahoma State University, where she earned her undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in business and management. Before this, she spent 12 years at Pepperdine as dean of the Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, has about 16,000 students.

In a statement on her hiring, Livingstone said she was "humbled" at being selected to lead the Baptist institution and highlighted that she was always attracted to Baylor due to the school's "Christian mission". Then, from 1991-2002, Dr. Livingstone served in various teaching and faculty positions at Baylor.

This story was compiled with information provided by Baylor Media and the Associated Press. She was also a four-year letter victor on the OSU women's basketball team from 1978-1982 and a Big 8 Scholar Athlete in 1982, according to a media release. Starr's departure was part of a larger shakeup at Baylor, a private university in Waco, Texas.

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Before settling on Livingstone, the university reviewed more than 400 candidates' backgrounds, contacted 150 for preliminary conversations and had first-round interviews with 61.

Livingstone's husband, Brad, works at a Christian K-12 school in Fairfax, Va. The pool included candidates from academia as well as government, military and business, according to Brewton, chairman of the search committee. "In the end, Dr. Livingstone's experience uniquely fit the profile of the dynamic faith and transformational leader which Baylor needs at this point in time in our history".

Dr. Livingstone will succeed Dr. David Garland, who has served as the Interim President during the previous year. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an global reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship.

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