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Startup to Return to Classroom


Dr. Kenneth Startup, academic dean at Williams Baptist College since 1995, is returning to his first love, which is teaching. Startup notified WBC’s Board of Trustees Friday that he will step down as dean at the end of this school year in order to be a full-time history professor.

Startup’s announcement coincided with Dr. Jerol Swaim’s decision to retire as president after this year, which was also announced Friday.

"Dr. Startup has been an outstanding dean and administrator, but he has always longed to return to the classroom. For several years now, we have had a private understanding that whenever I retired from the presidency, he could go back to teaching," said Swaim.

The dean has been at WBC since 1983, when he joined the history faculty. He quickly became a favorite of students, collecting repeated awards as favorite faculty member and building WBC’s history department into a prominent degree program.

He is author of "The Splendid Work," the official history of WBC, and he also wrote "The Root of All Evil: The Protestant Clergy and the Economic Mind of the Old South," which was published by University of Georgia Press in 1997.

Swaim, who had served as dean, ascended to the presidency in 1995 and tapped Startup as his replacement in the dean’s office. Since then, Startup has been academic dean and vice president for academic affairs.

"I’ve certainly enjoyed my time as academic dean. It has been a great privilege to serve in the administration at Williams," Startup said. "I will miss, deeply, my day-to-day contacts with administrative friends and colleagues. But, my first love was, always, teaching history. After seventeen years in administration, it did seem that the time was right for me to return to full-time teaching. I do look forward to devoting all my effort and energy to the classroom and related academic work."

Startup will continue to serve as dean through June 30th, and he will be back in the fall as a WBC history professor. He and his wife, Alice, live at Walnut Ridge. They have two grown daughters.

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