By Bob Allen
Louisiana College trustees met all day April 30 before voting to retain Joe Aguillard as president of the private school affiliated with the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
“After a long, thorough investigation, the board has exonerated Dr. Aguillard of all allegations that were brought forward in the whistleblower complaints,” board Chairman Gene Lee read in a statement quoted and captured on video by the Town Talk newspaper in Alexandria, La.
Aguillard and Louisiana College have nearly daily headlines in the local newspaper since news broke that two vice presidents filed a 13-page whistleblower complaint accusing the president of misappropriating funds and intentionally deceiving administrators and trustees.
An independent investigation by a New Orleans law firm found that Aguillard “engaged in falsehoods and misrepresented material information to the board of trustees on countless occasions.” A foundation that has awarded $5 million to the college over the last couple of years pulled its support.
A special committee appointed to investigate decided by a 4-3 vote that Aguillard “had not acted improperly.”
Blogs have criticized Aguillard in recent months since it became known that the administration had decided not to renew the contracts of three faculty members, two of them with doctorates from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
About that time, Aguillard posted a personal column stating that, “My love for all Baptists including Calvinists, does not constitute our approval of its being advocated at Louisiana College.” That prompted speculation that he intended to purge faculty with the Reformed or Neo-Calvinist views gaining popularity in some circles of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“I just want to say to all of Louisiana College family and our Louisiana Baptist and other Baptist friends, we look forward to working together in unity and going forward for the best days that Louisiana College has ahead,” Aguillard said following Tuesday’s trustee meeting.
Recently the Town Talk reported that Louisiana College was putting a Shreveport building purchased in 2011 to house a new Judge Paul Pressler School of Law up for sale.