The minority Board Members Speak out: An Open Letter to Louisiana Baptists from Concerned Trustees
This morning the minority group of the Louisiana College Board of Trustees released a letter of Concern. I for one am very happy to see this happen. Ultimately, what has happened at Louisiana College is the responsibility of the Board and I am glad that some are speaking to the seriousness with which they take this responsibility. This letter was released to several media outlets. But, it was also posted on the blog of Jay Adkins. I suggest you take the time to read his commentary on the letter (read here). It is worth your time.
Dear Louisiana Baptists,
Louisiana College has been embroiled in public controversy since December of 2012. During that time, the Board of Trustees have met at both regular scheduled meetings and special called meetings in order to deal with issues of grave concern regarding charges of impropriety and general lack of leadership on the part of the President of Louisiana College. It has been widely reported that the Board has been deeply divided. This division is due in part to the undue influence of the Executive Director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention and what has been his vocal protection and defense of the current President of the Louisiana College.
This issue has never been about theology, personal preference or a “satanic attack;” It has been about the abuse of power and authoritarian control. We are concerned with truth and transparency and we believe the Convention should be concerned about the same.
- We have requested information from the President’s office and been ignored.
- We have attempted to ask probing questions and been given partial truths and in some cases directly lied to.
- We have expressed concerns and some have been threatened with legal action.
- We have sparse communication with the President’s office at best and in at least one verifiable case, dissenting Board members were left out of a correspondence altogether.
- We were pushed to sign a confidentiality agreement when no such rule exists in our guiding documents.
- We have witnessed the undue influence of the Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Director on Board proceedings (it should be noted that most Baptist schools have no place for a voting State Executive Director on their Boards of Trustees and many schools have no place at all for the Executive Director).
- We have requested that those who have been accused of wrong-doing, by the President, be allowed to defend themselves and those efforts have been thwarted.
- We have been saddled with false accusations of conspiracy and are tired of being identified in such a way.
- We have been told that we are not permitted to speak to any member of the faculty, as all communication is supposed to “come through the President.” Further, we have been admonished that we cannot even speak to one another about Board issues outside of the full Board being in session.
- We have witnessed no fewer than five (5) Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs during the current President’s tenure, which is unheard of in the Academy.
- We have noted several years of ongoing litigation which have consumed important funds that are needed elsewhere.
- We have been told of the high caliber and integrity of certain employees and then witnessed their being summarily discarded without an opportunity to understand or know why.
- We have been told of soaring programs and spent a significant amount of money on such programs only to see them vanish away without being given satisfactory accounting.
- We have been deeply concerned over the lack of leadership and the little to no information given to us from the Board Chairman, especially over the last two weeks, while innuendo, rumor and published media articles abound.
Although this statement has been made by current members who have dissented in times past (meaning this list does not include any of the newest Board members), we do not want to suggest that concern is limited to only these signatories. In light of recent events as well as an outpouring of concern from students, alumni, and friends of LC, we encourage the entire board to be unified in charting a new direction for the College. We extend our appreciation to our fellow trustees for their dedication and concern for Louisiana College, and would encourage them with the words of wisdom found in Proverbs 16:9 “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”