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February 15, 2010


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Tim- do you have any idea of ways that Starr improved Pepperdine during his time there, perhaps especially academically? That's not a rhetorical question at all- I really don't know and haven't heard anything about big improvements, but there might well be some I don't know about. If there's not some very clear ones, I'd worry that the idea I had before, that Starr is much more notable for his political activities than his academic or administrative ones, would be true. If _that's_ true, I'd think this would be a very bad move for Baylor, but again, I don't know, and Starr might have some recent impressive activities at Pepperdine that would make him an obvious candidate beyond his political status.

Tim Zinnecker

Good question, Matt. I might assume that Dean Starr's stature in the legal community has had a favorable impact at Pepperdine in a variety of ways (e.g., admissions, faculty hiring, fund raising, law review stature, USNews ranking, etc.). But I have no hard data. Perhaps other readers can offer thoughts.


As a recent Pepperdine Law alum, I can tell you that Pepperdine has skyrocketed in the US News & World report rankings over the last five years, from something in the high eighties to its current fifty-five. Additionally, I know the entrance metrics (LSAT/GPA medians, applications v. acceptances, etc.) have increased each year, though I don't know the hard numbers off the top of my head. Also, the school has hosted at least six SC justices (CJ Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Scalia, Kennedy, and former justice O'Connor) in the last four years, for which Dean Starr was directly responsible.


Thanks for that information, Aaron. Those are the sorts of improvements that a dean can usually take some credit for, so would suggest that Starr has done a reasonably good job. (I guess it now looks like he's accepted the job at Baylor.)

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