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WACO, Texas -- Christian schools have an increasingly
important role in higher education as students seek answers about
life during uncertain times, Baylor University president Kenneth
Starr said Friday during a ceremony.

More than ever, the nation and the world need Baylor
University and the mighty impact of its enduring principles,
Starr said. Ours is a time of great challenge for higher
education in America.

Starr, whose investigation of land deals and the Monica Lewinsky
scandal as a special prosecutor led to President Bill Clinton's
impeachment, spoke during a two-hour ceremony marking his
appointment as Baylor's 14th president.

He was hired to lead the world's largest Baptist university
earlier this year after serving as Pepperdine University's law
school dean since 2004.

Starr said Americans as a whole are people of faith, but many
view universities as smugly remote and arrogantly aloof because
schools tend to focus only on students' intellectual needs or avoid
religion entirely. Baylor has always cared about the spiritual
growth of those on campus, he said.

This commitment to the whole student challenges us to
integrate the life of the mind with opportunities for spiritual
formation and leadership development, Starr said.

Dwight Stephen, 30, a student at Baylor's Truett Seminary, said
he was glad that Starr embraced the university's mission.

One of the reasons I chose this seminary is because of its
strong Christian values, Stephen told The Associated Press on
Thursday while walking to class.

Although Baylor has deep Baptist roots, the campus is no
stranger to debate about various issues, Starr said.

Starr said he was committed to continuing Baylor's success as a
research university. He said another priority is to address the
crisis of rising tuition costs by launching a new scholarship
initiative, with a goal of raising $100 million in the next three
years.

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