The 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:
You, as a Board, have now guaranteed that NO ONE employed at Louisiana College will ever raise troubling issues for fear of retribution from the President and lack of Board support. You have now silenced Godly Men and Women for standing up and speaking the truth.
This of course is true. But, it was also true two years ago when as Acting President he refused to renew the contract of Beth Overhauser (who had a letter promising her a contract and excellent evaluations) because she had chosen to testify on my behalf in faculty hearings. It was also true when Johnson, as Acting President, interfered in my faculty hearing. I do not contest the truth of Johnson’s statement. I affirm it. The board has made sure that no one will speak against their semi-messianic President. But, it was also true two years ago when before he lost his faith, in Aguillard, he performed actions accomplishing the same end as what the board recently accomplished. Johnson rebukes the board stating that their actions have “done more damage than you can ever repair in your lifetime.” While I may not state it that strongly, what is true now was also true two years ago.
Below is the entire text of Tim Johnson’s letter. Or, the PDF may be accessed here: Tim Johnson Letter.
OPEN LETTER TO THE BOARD
(Violation of Whistleblower Policy – 830.8)
What I am seeking to achieve by this letter is to 1) ensure that my personnel file and my integrity are intact, and 2) that my voice is heard on the violation and the necessity of the Whistleblower Complaint.
While letters of this type are not pleasant to write and it is understood that this is not a letter intended to win friends, I am very disappointed that supposed men and women of God would ONLY hear one side of an issue and arrive at a decision. If the pastors on the Board handle counseling in their churches in this manner, God help our churches.
You refused to hear the other side of the issue and did not allow well-meaning men concerned about the future of Louisiana College to speak. And, you can choose to not even read this letter.
When you choose to only hear one man, anyone and anything can be exonerated. Further, you decisions have ended any future “whistleblowers” from ever filing a complaint with this Board because who would ever advance such knowing that you refused to even listen to the complaints of two College Vice-Presidents…not to mention the repercussions we both have suffered because we dared to speak against the President of the College. Putting aside how you ultimately would vote, not evening allowing us or anyone else involved in the process to be heard by you as a governing board, has done more damage than you can ever repair in your lifetime.
This is a letter to inform you that Dr. Aguillard has violated policy 830.8 (Exhibit 1) that the LC Board of Trustees passed in 2009. Dr. Aguillard violated the Whistleblower Policy (which most of you never even read). Does that mean that your policies do not matter, or do you pick and choose which policies you choose to enforce? In our Country, we are a nation of laws. This Board is a Board of Policies. Or, does every man do that which is right in his own eyes?
Yes, there was enough evidence to convict and yet it was all ignored. Your vote was recorded on April 30, 2013. However, history will tell the story of the results of that vote.
The Board has spoken and I accept that fact. However, in order to protect my own integrity, I present these documents to you. You can read them, trash them or burn them. They are recorded and will be retained by my Lawyer and in my personnel files, because now my own work ethics have been brought into question.
In order to properly address my Whistleblower Violation Complaint (which was never heard by this Board), I must – 1) Show why the Whistleblower Complaint was necessary, and 2) Go back and look at how things have transpired to show why the Interim Evaluation and the violation of the Whistleblower Complaint took place.
What grieves my heart the most about what we are discussing is that it could have all been avoided. On Dec 6, 2012, I went to Dr. Aguillard – ALONE –as I felt a Christian brother should do. Nothing was accomplished.
Dr. Aguillard met with Dr. Quarles and me at about 3:00 that afternoon and again, nothing was accomplished. We asked Dr. Aguillard to quit misleading the Board and to come clean with the Board. He said, “We are getting nowhere. This meeting is over.” So Dr. Quarles and I left.
I could not notify the Board because of School Policy 1.2.3 (Exhibit 2)
So, on Sunday, December 9, 2012, I filed my Whistleblower Complaint.
Instead of dealing with the issues, Dr. Aguillard began demonizing people. And, with the help of our Convention leaders, he began an attack on Calvinism. This was not about Calvinism, but was it used by Dr. Aguillard to detract attention away from the real problems. It was Convention Politics using the political football of Calvinism. No concern for truth and integrity. In the process, good men and their families have been damaged, while pastors and people all around our state KNOW that Calvinism was NOT the real issue. If our President is going to be allowed to mislead those in our community on issues like this, one can only imagine how easy it is to mislead us on the bigger issues we face.
It was not about Calvinism but I could not notify the Board because of School Policy 1.2.3 See “Calvinism” Document (Exhibit 3)
Bro. Steve Fulmer knows it was not about Calvinism in the classroom. Dr. Aguillard had reported to him (after his complaint) that Calvinism was not taught in the classroom but was being discussed by students in their assemblies.
Bro. Darryl Hoychick knows it was not about Calvinism in the classroom. Dr. Aguillard had me report to him (after his complaint) that Calvinism was not taught in the classroom but was being discussed by students in their assemblies.
Bro. Tommy French knows it was not about Calvinism. Last year Dr. Aguillard, Dr. Quarles and I made a trip to Bro. French’s home because Dr. Aguillard was concerned that Dr. David Hankins would use undue influence on LC to push Dr. Eric Hankins paper as a litmus test.
Another issue that developed this past year and the Board has TOTALLY MISSED deals with Tanzania…but again, I could not notify the Board because of School Policy 1.2.3
What was told to the Board originally is “the land is free”, but that began to take a different shape. But I could not notify the Board because of 1.2.3
See –“Caskey Building at LC and Tanzania” – (Exhibit 7)
I was told that the land presented to the Board as free would now cost $120,000 to pay for roads and water pipes. The Board has seen no plans nor have we even seen anything in writing as to what the $120,000 would be used for, yet we are running pipes and building roads. It is a Muslim nation being handed $120,000 from a Christian institution and the purpose is STILL not clear. Is the LC Board even aware of the attempted transfer of funds? If Dr. Aguillard had proceeded without the knowledge of the LC Tanzania Board of Managers or the Great Commission Ministries, Inc. Board, then he was acting on behalf of Louisiana College. The layer of protection (Great Commission Ministries) put there by the LC Board of Trustees is no longer valid. If the Tanzania government wants to come against LC with legal issues it will not be directed to LC Tanzania it will go directly to Louisiana College.
But, I could not notify the Board because of School Policy 1.2.3
Then in the Fall of ’12, Dr. Aguillard, Dr. Esters and I met to discuss the land and positioning of buildings when I was told that we have to pay for the relocation of the residents. Again, nothing in writing as to what the money was for. Which was it – pipes and roads or displaced residents? And, why does the story keep changing? Again, I could not notify the Board because of 1.2.3
In a meeting, Dr. Aguillard was asked by a Board member about paying for tickets to Tanzania when we had to put a freeze on our budgets. Dr. Aguillard denied the tickets and said it was just Dr. Esters going to Tanzania to check on “his” land. I confronted Dr. Aguillard (alone)- after the meeting – about the Board member being right about his question because I was in the meeting when all of that was discussed. Dr. Aguillard denied that he (Dr. Aguillard) was going to Tanzania. Two days later, Dr. Aguillard showed me an email from Dr. Esters that he had just written in which he stated that he needed to go check on “his” land. Well, Board members, if you think clearly – why was Dr. Esters waiting on approval from the Business Office for spending money on his ticket to Tanzania if he was going to check on “HIS” land?
I could not tell anyone on the Board because of School Policy 1.2.3
On about March 20, I was asked to pray at a meeting of nurses on our campus (March 22, 2013) because they had asked Dr. Aguillard and he was going to be out of the country. I knew there were no trips planned to China or Korea so that only meant one place – Tanzania.
On the afternoon of Thursday March 21, John Willie received a phone call from The Town Talk asking if Dr. Aguillard had gone to Tanzania. I told John that I did not know but I would find out. He said that Daniel had said he was still here.
I called Mr. Hargis to ask about the trip and he confirmed the purchase of 3 tickets – Dr. Aguillard, Dr. Esters and Dwayne Rogers. I asked about money and he said yes, he was told to transfer $100,000 to Tanzania.
I immediately went over to Dr. Aguillard’s office and called Bro. Gene Lee while I was walking over. Dr. Aguillard’s office lights were out and Daniel was in the hall. I informed Bro. Gene that the lights were off and I asked Daniel if Dr. Aguillard was here. He said yes. I had Mr. Hargis check and he did confirm that only 2 of the 3 tickets purchased were used.
On March 22, I sent an email to all 5 members of the LC Tanzania Board of Managers asking the transfer to be stopped because our Board of Managers had not met and authorized the transfer of funds (Exhibit 14 – Tanzania). With the exception of Dr. Esters, the LC Tanzania Board of Managers concurred with my request and Dr. Aguillard said that he would call a meeting. That was March 22. Dr. Aguillard has yet to call a meeting of the Board of Managers to discuss the details of Tanzania.
After emailing LC Tanzania, I received counsel and properly notified our parent organization, The Great Commission Ministries, Inc. Both of these Boards were duly appointed by the LC Board of Trustees when it adopted The Great Commission Ministries, Inc. and all of its subsidiaries.
INTERIM EVALUATION – VIOLATION OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER POLICY
On March 25, about 4:15 PM, Dr. Aguillard summoned me to his office. He asked about the emails on Tanzania. I briefly explained what I had done (even though he had seen them all). Dr. Aguillard then informed me that he was performing an Interim Evaluation on me. I signed my copy and kept it with me to take to my attorney. NO other Administrator received an Interim Evaluation.
In all of my previous years, I had never had an Interim Evaluation.
In all of my previous years, I received a perfect score of 48 out of 48.
This Interim Evaluation, I received 8 out of 48.
This all changed because of December 6 when I confronted Dr. Aguillard. This all changed because I filed my Whistleblower Complaint. This all changed because of my LC-Tanzania involvement.
WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO FILE A WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT?
1. IRS expects it – Read “Governance and Related Topics – 501(c)(3) (Exhibit 15)
2. Whistleblower Policy requires it – Read highlighted parts of policy (Exhibit 1)
3. The Whistleblower Policy was passed by the Board of Trustees on July 21, 2009 because the IRS expected it.
I filed my Whistleblower Complaint (Exhibit 16) pointing out these facts from the Whistleblower Policy (Exhibit 16 ).
It is also necessary to note that in the Whistleblower Policy, it was obvious that the IRS and the LC Board of Trustees in 2009 wanted protection for those who needed to file a complaint.
LC Board Policy 830.8 states in Letter C, Number 1, “No trustee or employee who, in good faith, reports a violation of this standard shall suffer harassment, retaliation or adverse employment consequence.”
LC Board Policy 830.8 further states in Letter C, Number1, letter a., “Any employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment.”
As a result of these incidences, I have answered Dr. Aguillard’s Interim Evaluation (Exhibit 17 – Attachments not included) and filed a letter approved by my attorney ( Exhibit 18)with Dr. Aguillard, our CFO and Human Resources Department, and our Board Chairman. My attorney has also sent a formal letter to Dr. Aguillard (Exhibit 19) pointing out Dr. Aguillard’s harassment and retaliation. I will not have Dr. Aguillard, through his Interim Evaluation of my work performance; declare that I am not a hard and thorough worker. I cannot sit by and let him destroy my work ethic.
THREE CLOSING THOUGHTS:
1) It is tragic that the only avenue for reporting issues involving the President is a Whistleblower Policy by virtue of School Policy 1.2.3.
2) If this Board can be deceived and misled by a smokescreen of Convention politics and Calvinism, then it can be deceived by anything because of a lack of appetite to seek the TRUTH.
3) You, as a Board, have now guaranteed that NO ONE employed at Louisiana College will ever raise troubling issues for fear of retribution from the President and lack of Board support. You have now silenced Godly Men and Women for standing up and speaking the truth.
You can continue to bury your head in the sand and blindly follow your Convention leaders whose only concern is Convention politics and the same dictatorial administration that they have convinced you to hand over to Dr. Aguillard.
This is a Board matter because it is Board Policy that has been violated. The President answers to the LC Board of Trustees. The Board DOES NOT answer to the President or the Convention leaders. This is also an IRS problem and a SACS problem because LC policy is not being followed.
May God help us all!