PINEVILLE, La. (ABP) — Trustees of Louisiana College don't plan to revise the new policy that requires textbooks to be approved by administrators, says chairperson Joe Nesom, despite student and faculty protests and threats from alumni to withdraw financial support.
“Why would we?” Nesom asked. “I know academic freedom is not being violated here.”
The new policy requires faculty to submit all class materials to their department chairs and the dean of academic affairs for approval. Previously, faculty members were given sole responsibility to choose their class materials.
Most of the faculty opposes the new policy, calling it “censorship.” But Nesom said he is unaware of any other school that has an academic freedom policy that gives faculty absolute power over their materials. He said other schools “would probably be amazed LC had such a policy.”
Trustee Ed Tarpley said he doesn't fear many alumni will withdraw support to protest the new policies. “I think it's a very small minority of alumni that opposes this,” he said. “I think once they understand the actions we've taken and why, they will support.”
Some faculty members worry the new policy may be used to remove liberal teachers. The board of trustees has become significantly more conservative in recent years due to the conservative swing of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, which owns the school.