Lousiana College- Independent Special Investigation Concludes Aguillard Lied

Tomorrow morning the Town Talk will be running a story on Louisiana College which highlights an internal investigation commissioned by the Chairman of the Louisiana College Board of Trustees which concludes that President Aguillard “engaged in falsehoods and misrepresented material information to the Board of Trustees on countless occasions.” The investigation was commissioned to investigate the accusations made by Vice Presidents Chuck Quarles and Tim Johnson.

LC © 2013 Pamela Reynoso-2Honestly, to me, the most shocking part of all this is that LC has a whistle-blower policy! I was on faculty at LC for four years and looked through all the policies made available to the faculty and a whistle-blower policy was nowhere among them. In fact, as a part of the newly discovered whistle-blower policy complaints against the President of the College are to be made to the Chairman of the Board. However, in my case charges were brought up against me for speaking to the Chairman of the Board. In my “hearings”, I was told by Dr. Aguillard that faculty members were not allowed to speak to Board members about LC issues even if they lived together. If the whistle-blower policies were made available to the faculty I could have made sure to follow it completely. It was clever of the administration to keep such information hidden from employees. It left me with only one alternative as I had exhausted every option- writing an open letter to Louisiana Baptists for which I was banned from campus and more.

This report highlights the erroneous assumption that many people have. I had the same assumption when I wrote my letters two years ago so I don’t blame them. But, change will not happen until people understand it. Many people assume that the Board doesn’t have enough information to make an informed decision. They do!

This report details multiple lies by President Aguillard and the misappropriation of almost $60,000 which ended up costing the college the support of the largest donor in school history. Included in the misappropriation were two $1000 suits which Aguillard bought for himself, with school funds, while in Tanzania. Despite all this, the board does nothing. An independent investigation finds that “the Board of Trustees has more than enough evidence to terminate Dr. Aguillard’s contract on any of these three grounds.” Yet David Hankins, Executive Director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention which owns the college,  was brass enough to motion that the charges against Aguillard be dismissed “as without cause” in the last Board meeting. Despite all the evidence the Board continues to allow Aguillard to occupy the presidency. What’s interesting to me is that Aguillard was able to refuse to cooperate with an investigation mounted by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and there are no apparent consequences. It is the responsibility of the Board to hold him accountable.We will see at the special called Board Meeting on the 30th if they intend to honor that responsibility. Rev. Kris Chenier chairs the committee that will be reporting back to the entire Board next week and claims that the committee “finds that the President has not acted improperly and no further action on this matter is needed.” The donor of the funds that were misappropriated strongly disagrees, the independent investigators disagreed, one has to begin to wonder if a committee which includes David Hankins is really acting in the best interest of the college? When did spending someone else’s money, without their permission to buy yourself $1000 suits, become okay??

It is interesting to note that the whistle-blower rules are protecting Dr. Quarles but they did not protect the three faculty under him who share his Calvinistic theological convictions. According to the timeline, they were told shortly after the whistleblower investigation began that they would not receive contracts. It can’t be proven but given the vindictiveness of Dr. Aguillard one has to wonder if these events are associated.

Finally, while I applaud that Quarles and Johnson filed whistle-blower complaints against Aguillard, I feel compelled to point out that these are the same two individuals who actively worked against the truth of my letters in 2011 which leveled essentially the same claims pertaining to Aguillard’s character as they are now making. In fact, Tim Johnson was acting President when he decided not to renew Beth Overhauser’s contract as retaliation for testifying on my behalf, though she had been guaranteed a contract in writing. It wasn’t until much later, seemingly when their skin was on the line, that they suddenly developed the conviction to stand for what is right.




Rondall Reynoso

Rondall is an artist, scholar, and speaker. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. He holds an MFA in Painting and an MS in Art History from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and is completing a Ph.D. in Art History and Aesthetics from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA.

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