Baylor Elects First Female President

By Brentsalter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Brentsalter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Livingstone’s election comes amidst sexual harassment turmoil; refuses to accept that she is a ‘fixer-upper’

After the Unitarian Universalist Association made history by appointing its first woman president in history, Baylor University too has made a drastic move away from tradition and appointed its first woman president – Linda Livingstone. Linda was formerly the Dean at George Washington University. She succeeds Kenneth Starr, the only non-Baptist President the University ever had.

Baylor Elects First Female President[/tweetthis]

The 15th president of the 172-year old institution has been chosen after Starr was fired for his abysmal handling of a sexual harassment case that has completely tarnished the image of the institution. For Livingstone, however, this will not be her first time as being “the first woman” to hold any position anywhere. Having already played that role multiple times before, she confidently says, “I think I can take that on.”

“Baylor holds such a unique and significant place in higher education,” Livingstone says about the place she now heads. For her, it is an astonishing feat for an institution to be as dedicated to education, while at the same time holding on firmly to its Christian roots and mission. “It was an important factor in me making this decision to come back to Baylor,” she says, adding that it is a matter of great pride to head such an institution.

The team commissioned to hunt for the next president was charged with the duty of finding someone who is both a true Christian and at the same time wise enough to handle crises. It was only natural that such specifications had to be spelled out, what with how the University’s image had been tarnished in the past year, thanks to the former president, the football coach, and athletic director.

Baylor’s appointment seems to have delighted the students as well- especially the female students, as she herself says, “Many of them have spoken specifically that it is wonderful to see a woman lead the university.” She has promised to do everything she can to create more opportunities for women. She has also promised to fight against factions that blame the victim for the sexual harassment scandal. She believes that the appointment of a woman as president may help put an end to the victim-shaming.

However, she maintains that she has not been chosen simply to “fix things.” “I don’t view my job as coming in to fix the problems of the university,” Livingstone said[/tweetit], adding that her sole dedication is to further the cause of education for which Baylor University is well known.


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