By Kelly Boggs, Editor
Almost a year ago the Louisiana College Board of Trustees met on the last day of April. Though there were no public utterances, the rumor was LC President Joe Aguillard’s job was in jeopardy.
The news prior to the LC board meeting was overwhelmingly negative in regard to Aguillard and focused on whistleblower allegations that he had misappropriated $60,000 intended for the Caskey Divinity and used the money on LC projects in Tanzania, Africa and had mislead the board about a $10 million pledge concerning a new building on the Pineville campus.
An LC special committee was formed to investigate the finding of a law firm’s report in which the LC president was found to be guilty of the whistleblower complaints. The vote of the committee was leaked to Alexandria’s daily newspaper. The Town Talk reported the seven person committee found in favor of Aguillard by a vote of 4-3.
The entire LC board met on April 30 and, after a ballot vote, Gene Lee, LC Trustee Chairman at the time, read a statement wherein he said the LC president had been “exonerated” of the whistleblower charges.
The Town Talk was told the vote concerning the whistleblower complaint, which was taken during an executive session, was 16-13 in Aguillard’s favor.
A few days after the trustee meeting it was learned Aguillard had compiled his own report which he maintained proved him innocent of the whistleblower charges.
The Baptist Message reported on the reality of the report that was shown to some trustees.
The LC board is scheduled to meet April 14-15 on the Pineville campus and events are somewhat similar to last year’s April gathering.
The news in reference to Aguillard has been anything but flattering. Following a press release by LC in mid-February, in which it was declared the president had “been fully exonerated” of the whistleblower charges, negative information began to pour out about Aguillard.
Information about the attempted blackmail of the LC president by a former special assistant and a resulting severance tied to a confidentiality agreement made news. The blackmail incident also raised the specter of forged documents being given to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the organization that oversees the accreditation of LC.
Secret recordings made by Charles “Chuck” L. Quarles, former Dean of the Caskey School of Divinity were released to The Town Talk. The newspaper was more than willing to share the information with the Baptist Message.
The recordings challenged and called into question previous assertions made by Aguillard concerning money given to the Caskey School by the Cason Foundation and his narrative concerning the issue of Calvinism on the Pineville campus.
The reality of a lawsuit filed by Timothy “Tim” Johnson was made known. Johnson’s suit says Aguillard retaliated against him after Johnson filed a whistleblower complaint against the president. Johnson contends he was fired from his vice-president position at LC because he filed a complaint.
Other information called into question Aguillard’s leadership at LC. All in all, the information is uniformly bad for the president, leading many to conclude that, once again, the LC president’s job is once again in jeopardy when the LC Board of Trustees meets next week.
Louisiana Baptists need to fervently pray for everyone involved with the coming trustee meeting. I do not think it is a hyperbole to state that the very future of LC is a stake. Any decision other than the right decision, directed by the Lord, will be disastrous.
Prayers need to be offered for each and every trustee. Pray they would have the mind of Christ as they deliberate next week.
Following is a list of current LC trustees.
Tommy French, Chairman
Randy Harper, Vice Chairman
Roy Davis, Secretary
Lyndon E. Dawson, Jr.
Glenn R. George
David Hankins (Ex Officio)
Steve Horn (Ex Officio)
Pray for Dr. Aguillard. He has lead LC for nine years and recent developments must be difficult with which to deal.
Pray for the faculty and staff at LC. These are good people doing their best. They do not deserve the negative repercussions with which they have had to deal.
I want to mention the trustees again. Pray that going forward from the upcoming meeting they can work through issues that have, thus far, proved to be divisive. Pray they can pray, discuss and come to an understanding of how they are to work together for the good of LC.
Pray for Louisiana Baptists as a whole. The past year has been difficult in many respects. There are relationships that need mending and reconciliation that needs to occur. Pray revival might spark from the ashes of a difficult year.
Pray for the future of Louisiana College. Pray that the best is yet to come for the campus situated, in the words of LC alumnus and long-time public address announcer Hymie Bradford, “on a beautiful hill in Pineville.”
Louisiana Baptists the time is come to pray, pray and pray some more.
More than the president’s job is at stake at next week’s LC board meeting, the future of LC hangs in the balance as well. So, pray!