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Art Is Not Frivolous

I have an art show installing this week at  Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California and I sent them my standard professional bio. But, the show is at a church and their interest is not …

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Baptist College Bans Nudity in Art Instruction: Louisiana College’s President, Joe Aguillard…Nudity is a No No

"Unacceptable" at Louisiana College
“Unacceptable” at Louisiana College. David by Michelangelo, 1501-04

Louisiana Colleges president promptly responded to my letter sent to his faculty this morning. I believe his response is very telling in both what he addresses and what he does not. (See his full response at the end of this post)

First what  he doesn’t address:

Dr. Aguillard fails to address his blatant violation of copyright law in his reproducing and showing an image which he does not have permission to reproduce or show. He illegally confiscated the painting from the student who painted it in 2011. When the student and her mother attempted to get the painting back, he refused to return the painting until he could have the painting photographed by his lawyer for ‘legal purposes’. Apparently, those legal purposes include disparaging former faculty in faculty meetings.

(ETA: I’ve been informed that Dr. Aguillard is taking this illegal full size reproduction to show to preachers around the state. He does not have authorization from the copyright holder to do this. Unfortunately, the only recourse against this behavior is a restraining order and Dr. Aguillard has shown a willingness to throw the budget of Louisiana College behind his legal defense. A poor young college graduate does not have the financial resources to fight such illegal and unethical behavior on the part of a college president.)

 "Unacceptable" at Louisiana College
“Unacceptable” at Louisiana College. Discobolous by Myron 460-450 BC

He also fails to address that Dr. Scott Culpepper had no link to the painting. The attempt to tie him to the painting was pure unadulterated maliciousness. Dr. Culpepper’s “sin” is merely that he is a friend of mine who also believes Dr. Aguillard’s presidency is filled with ethical and educational failings. He had no part with the painting. Dr. Aguillard connecting him to the painting is a pure attempt at slander.

He did not address that when I interviewed at LC. I was clear that I wanted to bring nude figure studies to LC with the same controls as are used at the respected evangelical institution, Gordon College. I should add that I also included some nude work in my image portfolio when I applied and included nude work in my lecture during the interview. There was ample opportunity for Dr. Aguillard to inform me of his position during the interview process. Instead, the only time he stood against students making such work (he did stand against displaying it in the gallery) was after I wrote a letter notifying the college constituency of moral failings at the school. It makes one wonder.

Now for what he did address:

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Louisiana College: A Letter to Faculty and Staff

Human Drapery 1 by Jordan Wade
Human Drapery 1 by Jordan Wade

I received notification this week that Dr. Aguillard, President of Louisiana College, saw fit to attack both Dr. Scott Culpepper and me for continuing to write, on this blog, about the ethical and academic issues at Louisiana College. It seems that Dr. Aguillard addressed the college faculty and staff saying how it was sad we were not able to move on and then showed a life size reproduction the controversial painting by Jordan Wade (reproduced on this blog with permission of the artist). Reports indicated that Dr. Aguillard said something to the effect of “When you think of Reynoso and Culpepper think of this painting.”

While I have written much less on issues at LC over the last few months this sort of direct attack from Dr. Aguillard requires a response. It saddens me that Dr. Aguillard continues to drag Jordan through the mud in order to attack me. The reality is that Dr. Aguillard has nothing with which to go after me other than this painting by my student so he continues to harm the student to get at me. Further, he has absolutely nothing with which to go after Dr. Culpepper so he tries to associate him with my perceived ‘evils’. This sort of ad hominem tactic is unbecoming of any Christian much less the President of a Christian college. The fact remains that the ethical and academic deficiencies which Dr. Culpepper and I have pointed out on this blog and which others have addressed both on blogs and in traditional media are true. Change needs to come to LC.

Below is the letter which I sent to the Faculty and Staff of Louisiana College.

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The Most Selective Christian Colleges in the Nation

Wheaton College
Wheaton College
Wheaton College

**Click HERE to see current rankings**

Student Selectivity is the final of the four categories that are calculated as a part of the overall Faith on View Christian College RankingsPrestige,  Student Satisfaction & Success, and Faculty Resources were previously published. Below is the methodological description of this category for most selective Christian colleges in the U.S. . For other aspects of the full study please consult the methodology page.

Student Selectivity

Student selectivity is an important part of ranking a college. But, student selectivity should be broadly understood. The pedagogical concern in this section is how bright, motivated, and prepared students are to pursue college level work not how many students are not admitted. As a result while the acceptance rate is a part of the calculation here, more important are standardized test scores and student success in high school.

There are five institutions that rank in the top 20 of all four categories: 

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Top 20 Christian Colleges in Faculty Resources

Union University
Union University

Faculty Resources is the third of the four categories that are calculated as a part of the overall Faith on View Christian College RankingsPrestige and Student Satisfaction & Success were previously published.Below is the methodological description of this category. For other aspects of the full study please consult the methodology page.

Faculty Resources

A base assumption of these rankings is that the faculty are  the core of an institution. Faculty who are well cared for and not over worked are more able to properly instruct and mentor students. This ranking category takes into account faculty salaries, course size, percent of faculty who are full-time, and student faculty ratios. Future rankings plan on adding to this area faculty teaching loads and percentage of faculty with terminal degrees.

There are six institutions that have ranked in the top 20 of all three categories published so far: 

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Top Christian Colleges in Student Success and Satisfaction

Thomas Aquinas College
Thomas Aquinas College

Student Success and Satisfaction is the second of the four categories in “Top Christian Colleges in Student Success and Satisfaction”  that are calculated as a part of the overall Faith on View Christian College Rankings. Prestige was the first. This category calculates student retention, graduation, and giving rates to assess both how successful students are in pursuing their degrees and their long term satisfaction with their college experiences. As apposed to the prestige rankings in this category one begins to see the successes of lesser known, even little known, schools that are really succeeding in these categories.

There are ten institutions that have ranked in the top 20 of both categories published so far: 

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Louisiana College: Outgoing Vice President Tim Johnson Writes Letter Against President Aguillard

tim-johnsonThe tragic Whistleblower controversy at Louisiana College has centered around two Vice Presidents, Tim Johnson and Chuck Quarles, who filed a complaint against President Aguillard. Both are currently still under contract with the College, for a few more days at least, and College policy prevents them from speaking to the press. However, the Town Talk has discovered a letter written by Tim Johnson to the board of Trustees where he continues his assertion that Dr. Aguillard has behaved unethically. Additionally, he alleges that Dr. Aguillard violated the Colleges Whistleblower policy in relation to him. Johnson also points out what I, and others, have been saying for months, Calvinism is not the issue it is a distraction.

Tim Johnson also points out that “It is tragic that the only avenue for reporting issues involving the President is a Whistleblower Policy.” There is significant irony here since employees at Louisiana College did not even know about the Whistleblower policy at LC. The faculty and staff were not notified about the policy when it was passed in 2009 and it was not included in the faculty handbook. As a result before Johnson and Quarles learned about the policy there was no recourse for informing the board about issues with the Presidents behavior which is why I had to resort to an open letter to the board.

One of the most ironic statements in Johnson’s letter is:

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The Most Prestigious Christian Colleges

Pepperdine University
Pepperdine University

I’ve been very pleased with the reception of the Faith on View Christian College Rankings. Several colleges have shared the findings and there have been almost 40,000 views on this site related to the rankings. I know for some sites that is peanuts but for this site that is some pretty good traffic.

There are four categories that go into the overall ranking score for “most prestigious Christian colleges” : Reputation; Student Success and Satisfaction; Faculty Resources; and Student Selectivity. I’ve planned for a while to post the leaders in each category but it fell into the cracks. I recently received an e-mail saying it would be great to sort the rankings by the separate categories. That is a bit of an arduous project and I am not sure how helpful it would be especially at the lower end of the rankings. But, I do think it would be helpful to list the top performers in each category. So, over the next few days I will be posting the top twenty in each category after which I will add those lists to the rankings page.

So here are the twenty top scoring schools when it comes to their reputation score:

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David Hankins, Joe Aguillard, and the Train Wreck Louisiana College has Become.

The problems at Louisiana College are well documented at this point and likely even more details will become known over the coming weeks. What, I believe, remains unclear for many is how did this all come about and how has it been allowed to go on for eight years?

The beginning was before my time at LC so I can only give my impressions. I took a position at Louisiana College because of the introduction of a conservative theological approach. Being a part of a movement that had returned a school from “liberalism” to “Biblical Christianity” was very appealing to me. What became obvious within a short period of  time was that many good people also got hurt in the transition. I think there were some changes that needed to be made but they seem to have been accomplished in an acrimonious rather than a loving way.

Dr. David Hankins

As I went about my work at Louisiana College, it quickly became apparent that the administration did not have the proper focus. There was one announcement after another about plans that sounded great to the public but left those working at LC wondering about the lack of support for the institution’s core academic programs and facilities. Further, the rapid turnover of the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) was troubling. There were three VPAA’s in the four years I worked at the college and there has already been another turnover in the two years since. To me personally, I was troubled by the consistent lies I was told in my numerous meetings with the President.

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Top Christian Colleges

Erskine College

I discovered that there were previously no rankings of Christian Colleges in the United States. As someone who is very interested  in Christian Higher Education, I saw this as a real gap. As a result, …

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