facebook

Louisiana College Board Chairman prophesies a curse upon fellow board member

Tommy FrenchTommy French looks like an unassuming elderly preacher. He was the founding pastor for Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1959 and served as the Senior Pastor there for 50 years. For the last several years, he has served as pastor emeritus. He has been respected within the Louisiana Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention, previously serving as both Vice-President and President of the Convention. He also spent a decade on the Board of Trustees for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as well as two years as the Chairman of that board. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of Louisiana College.

With a resume like that one would expect behavior fitting the consummate man of God. Unfortunately, that is not what Tommy French has so far demonstrated in his role as Chairman of the Louisiana College Board of Trustees. French first gained attention for his behavior as Chairman of the Board when in March he threatened Trustee Jay Adkins for speaking publicly about ethical issues at LC and accused him of possessing materials which he had no right to have. French later became even more notorious when he lied to the Board of Trustees about SACS requiring an expanded confidentiality agreement. In July, French was one of two persons who received a copy of the damning letter from SACS. He ,shortly thereafter, promised trustee members who wanted to see the letter that he would “send information when it becomes available.” Despite that promise French held onto the letter for  a while two months until forced to release it because the Town Talk had obtained a copy. This failure frustrated trustees, including Jay Adkins, who in an e-mail to the board pointed out French’s failures at keeping his word.

Read more

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) confirms Louisiana College culture of dishonesty

Louisiana College LogoThursday Louisiana College posted the letter that they received from Belle Weelan president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC or more commonly referred to as SACS). This is a letter that LC officials (the president and the chairman of the board) received two months ago but refused to release even to the Board of Trustees until this week. Presumably, the reason that LC released the letter now is because the TownTalk newspaper obtained a copy of it and contacted LC to ask for comments.

southern-associationThe letter is a scathing indictment against both the Louisiana College Administration and the Board of Trustees. This is particularly interesting because many of us are watching LC to see if having Joe Aguillard out of the presidential office will actually indicate a change  in the way the college operates. Some of us are skeptical. Trustee, Jay Adkins, has even said publicly that nothing has changed. That certainly seems to be the case. Last week Joe Aguillard was praised in the first chapel of the academics year when the school held a ceremony to bestow the President Emeritus status on Aguillard.  During that chapel Aguillard was even compared to Jesus in his commitment to “[telling] it like it is.” Interestingly, the college for two months had this letter from SACS which tells a very different story. Yet, the college still chose to honor him. The TownTalk rightly pointed out that the letter from SACS vindicates the minority group of the board who have for almost two years been raising concerns about the college. It also vindicates former Vice-Presidents Timothy Johnson and Chuck Quarles for the concerns they raised about Aguillard’s leadership when they filed whistleblower complains in December 2012.

Read more

Woes continue for Louisiana College even without Aguillard

Louisiana College LogoSeveral months back Dr. Joe Aguillard denied that the Southern Association of  Colleges and Schools (SACS) had reopened an investigation into Louisiana College. However, this afternoon LC released the following Press Release:

Louisiana College Placed on Probation by SACSCOC; Maintains Full Accreditation 

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact John Willie, (318) 487-7194
[email protected]

PINEVILLE, LA. June 19, 2014 – The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has placed Louisiana College on probation because of issues related to trustee board governance (3.2.4), institutional integrity (1.1), personnel policies (3.2.9; 3.2.10), and audit findings that pertain to some financial control matters and student financial aid (3.10.3; 4.7).

The announcement comes following a vote of the accrediting agency’s Board of Trustees at their annual June meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

“Although the decision is disappointing, it represents an opportunity for Louisiana College to address the issues in preparation for the arrival of a new president.” said Dr. Argile Smith, President pro tempore. “Fortunately, the issues don’t bring into question in any way the excellent classroom work being done by our professors and students. The issues have to do with administrative areas.”

The decision by SACSCOC does not change the status of Louisiana College as a fully accredited school. Louisiana College has been continuously accredited since 1925. In fact, the accrediting agency reaffirmed Louisiana College’s accreditation in December 2013. The faculty has worked diligently to maintain and exceed the standards set by the accrediting agency.

In accordance with its probationary status, Louisiana College remains fully accredited. A monitoring report will be prepared in advance of a SACSCOC team visit to the campus in April 2015.

To learn more about the recent SACS ruling and Louisiana College’s steps moving forward, a question and answer session with Wildcat Media’s, Al Quartemont, and Interim President, Argile Smith, will be available tomorrow.

Read more

Louisiana College: Judgement shall come

This is why I try not to get my hopes up when it comes to leadership within the Louisiana Baptist Convention doing what is right. Despite all the evidence about the dishonesty and ethical failings …

Read more

D-Day (again) at Louisiana College.

I feel a little guilty. I know there are literally thousands of you out there who keep an eye on this site to find out and read analysis on what is happening at Louisiana College. …

Read more

The Louisiana College Board of Trustees: Sycophants and Heroes

Heath Veuleman
Heath Veuleman

When all is said and done it is the responsibility of the Louisiana College Board of Trustees to make sure LC is a healthy and properly run institution. As I have been in conversation with academics, legal professionals, and media members around the country, the consistent bewilderment has been…”How does the board let this continue?” We’ve known the answer for a while but have had no proof. There is a majority of the board that has seemed to support Joe Aguillard’s presidency no matter what immorality or incompetency he perpetuated. But, there has also been a minority that has sought to do the right thing. These ethical board members have been marginalized, attacked legally, and removed from their important posts on the board. They were almost able to remove Aguillard from office last year in response to his misappropriation of funds. But, due to the influence of LBC Executive Director, David Hankins, Aguillard was able to survive. 

Read more

Louisiana College: Learning from Star Wars

Darth HankinsOne of my favorite events that I organized when I was at Louisiana College was a panel on the Philosophy & Theology of Star Wars. We had a panel with two theology professors, a history professor, and me. We discussed the Philosophy of Star Wars (which often is not consistent with Biblical theology) and then watched the movies all night long. It was a good exercise in how to think through the philosophy presented in popular culture. Over the last month I have been thinking about Star Wars, especially episodes 1-3. Those movies are really about the struggle of good and evil and the political maneuvering of the evil Sith. All throughout the movies the Sith Lord is manipulating the political scene. There is also in each movie a “public” face of the Sith.

One of my favorite quotes in the first movie is from Padme who, while in the senate chamber, says, “This is how liberty dies… to thunderous applause.” This speaks to an important truth. Evil often manipulates the situation so that people excitedly think they are doing the right thing. I can’t help but think of when Joe Aguillard was made President of Louisiana College.

Read more

>