Better East Texas: Baylor selects first female president

(KLTV/KTRE) - Baylor University is going through a revolutionary transition as its Board of Regents have selected the University's first female president.  The decision has been met with near unanimous applause, and Dr. Linda Livingstone seems ready to go. But look at the recent history of the university and there is a load of work to be done.

First of all, the university athletic program has been rocked with several years of unchecked sexual assault allegations. That set of offenses led to the dismissal of longtime football coach Art Briles, as well as led to the demotion of then-college president Ken Starr. Before that point, Baylor was in a steep climb in the college football world.  But due to a collision of the Baylor ideals noted in the faith-based conduct code and the apparent lax character environment in the athletic department, you have a setup for a crisis.  

So, it is interesting, even refreshing, that Baylor has its first female president, which certainly suggests a different approach to how the culture of the university is repaired and what conduct will and won't be tolerated in the athletic department. You can see a certain strategy at work, as well, with the appointment of Dr. Livingstone.  Women in positions of leadership are not the norm in evangelical universities, so this is very noteworthy and you hope it is because of her ability and not just because of the image impact.  Baylor needs an extended period of calm to repair and grow the image of a solid university.

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