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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.

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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.

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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 …

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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.

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Louisiana College: Heads will Roll, 10 Steps for Moving Forward

President Joe Aguillard
President Joe Aguillard

Rumors are flying that President Joe Aguillard has been given the choice of stepping down as President and being allowed to take medical retirement or being fired. For seemingly personal reasons, not ethical standards David Hankins has apparently removed his long-standing and important support of Joe Aguillard and that is proving to make the difference. A year ago, when it looked like Aguillard may no longer be president I wrote an article entitled Louisiana College…Moving Forward. That is an important article for people to go back and read. It explains why the wrongs LC has done over the last nine years can’t just be swept under the rug. But, I thought in this post it would be helpful to republish my thoughts about how LC can move forward.

  1.  Remove Aguillard from the Presidency. I don’t see any way around this. There is so much baggage with his presidency. As bad as what has been made public is…there is so much more. I pray that Aguillard will repent and turn his life around. But, whatever happens he should not remain as president.
  2. Publicly Admit Wrong. There has been so much damage over the last decade that has been swept under the rug. People’s lives have been destroyed and students have been emotionally and spiritually scarred. There are serious trust issues with LC right now. The only way for LC to get past these issues is to admit they blew it. Anything else will simply look like more of the same. Public sins need to be dealt with publicly.

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Louisiana College: Satan is Working Hard, Stand with Joe

Louisiana College

Recently,  Dr. Joe Aguillard, President of Louisiana College, sent out an e-mail (Joe Aguillard’s Request for Faculty and Staffinviting LC Faculty and Staff to a meeting where they would be briefed about the recent “attacks” against the College. Essentially the message was, “Satan is working hard. Stand with Joe.”

Louisiana College © 2013 Pamela Reynoso-2It has been rough recently for Aguillard.

First, recordings of Aguillard condescending to an employee with provocative statements such as:

The employee was “here to serve the President and show 1000% loyalty to whatever he does.”

“I am the employer and I sign your contract. You don’t work for the College. The College is not an employer. It’s a place of work. The employer is me and the employee is you.”

“Every office on campus is mine.  (pause for effect) Every office on campus is mine.”

“There is no freedom of speech here. I didn’t make that up. That’s the law. When a student says, “I have freedom of speech…” We have three attorneys who will laugh them into the ground because there is no such thing here.”

“I’ll put loyalty over competency with everybody that I allow to voluntarily work here, including student workers.”

“I’m going to make it very clear before people re-sign up. Don’t sign up here if you aren’t on board with Joe Aguillard. Cause it ain’t going work, it’s just not gonna work. That’s the way it is. Like my Momma and Daddy, you gonna live under my roof and eat my food and wear my clothes you will live by my rules.”

This story was picked up by the nationally followed Podcast Pulpit & Pen which has been interested in the issues at LC since Aguillard got rid of three Calvinist faculty last year.

For some reason Aguillard then decided to release a press release where he dishonestly claimed full exoneration of every accusation against him and publicly drew the integrity of Dr. Chuck Quarles into question.

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