Baylor University announced Tuesday that it has picked its first female president, filling a vacancy that emerged last year after a sexual assault scandal rocked the Baptist school.
Linda Livingstone, a dean and professor at George Washington University, will serve as Baylor’s next president, the university said in a news release. The Baylor Board of Regents unanimously approved the choice, the release stated.
The appointment came about 11 months after Kenneth Starr stepped down as president, following an investigation into how the school deals with reports of sexual assault. Starr’s departure was part of a larger shakeup at Baylor, a private university in Waco, Texas. Art Briles, the school’s football coach, was fired, and athletic director Ian McCaw resigned.
The scandal centered around the university’s football program. An investigation from the law firm Pepper Hamilton concluded that the program mishandled accusations of sexual assault accusations against its players, responding with indifference or in some cases hostility to alleged victims.
Starr had served as Baylor’s president since June 2010, but in May 2016, it was announced that he would step down. He later relinquished the position of chancellor, a title he was given in 2013.
David Garland is serving as interim president at the 16,000-student university.
Livingstone will begin her tenure in June. She will be the 15th president of a university with a 172-year history.
“Dr. Livingstone brings an accomplished academic career to Baylor, combined with a strong appreciation and support of Baylor’s mission,” Ronald Murff, chair of the board of regents, said in the release. “A longtime Baptist and former Baylor faculty member, she has a passion for the distinctiveness of Baylor’s Christian mission in higher education.”