WACO, Texas Dr. Linda Livingstone was inaugurated Thursday as Baylor University’s 15th president, becoming the first woman to hold the office in the school’s 172-year history.
“I believe we are in a key transformational phase of the university,” she said.
She has taken the reins at a critical time in the university’s history.
The school is still under fire on a number of fronts in the wake of the sexual assault scandal that engulfed the Baylor football program.
“I didn’t take this position here at Baylor University in spite of the recent difficulties, but because of them,” she said Thursday.
Livingstone has actually be on the job since June 1, succeeding interim President Dr. David Garland, who was appointed after Baylor regents reassigned Chancellor and President Ken Starr on May 16, 2016.
Regents voted unanimously on April 18 to approve her selection based on the recommendation of the 12-member Presidential Search Committee.
She came to Baylor from The George Washington University School of Business, where she had served since 2014 as dean and professor of management.
Before joining the faculty there, she spent 12 years at Pepperdine University as dean of the Graziadio School of Business and Management.
Her career at Pepperdine corresponds with Ken Starr's tenure at the university, where he served as dean of the law school.
Livingstone is an Oklahoma native who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and business administration and a doctorate in management and organizational behavior from Oklahoma State University, where she was a four-year letter winner on the woman’s basketball team from 1978 to 1982.
She began her academic career at Baylor in 1991 as an assistant professor of management in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business.
She became an associate professor in 1997 and became associate dean of graduate programs in 1998, a position she held until leaving in 2002 to join the Pepperdine faculty.
Livingstone was among 400 candidates revised by the Presidential Search Committee, which ultimately interviewed 61 of the candidates.