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Louisiana College to Keep President Following Financial Investigation

(UPDATED) Thanks to additional evidence not made known to media, Joe Aguillard will remain at the Baptist school even after he was accused of misusing school funds.

Update (May 14): Although Louisiana College president Joe Aguillard announced that the school would receive an anonymous, $10 million donation, the school also lost a $60 million, pledged donation from the Cason Foundation as a result of the trustees' decision to retain Aguillard as president.

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Update (May 6): Baptist Press (BP) reports that additional information not made known to the media–evidence contained in a "folder approximately one inch thick with documents"–helped exonerate Louisiana College president Joe Aguillard last week.

"The folder contained an abundance of information in the form of e-mails, handwritten notes, photographs and more, which contradict statements made to the Kinney law firm during its investigation and, at the very least, cast doubts on the report's conclusions," says BP reporter Kelly Boggs, who was allowed to examine the documents.

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Trustees at Louisiana College, a private school affiliated with the Louisiana Baptist Convention, have announced that Joe Aguillard will continue in his role as president. Their decision clears him of charges that he "engaged in falsehoods and misrepresented material information to the board of trustees on countless occasions."

Shortly after the trustees' announcement cleared his name, the school also announced that it would receive an anonymous, $10 million donation–the largest in the school's history–from '"a Baptist couple who wish to remain anonymous ... as a reflection of their trust in [the] leadership of President Aguillard.'"

The accusations had come from members of Aguillard's own administration, two vice-presidents who said he had misappropriated funds and lied to administrators and trustees. Following those complaints last December, the trustees hired an independent, New Orleans-based law firm to conduct a review.

The review found the charges against Aguillard to be true, but a seven-person committee representing the trustees nevertheless voted 4-3 to clear his name.

Other tensions arose earlier this year when the school became the poster child in the Baptist battle over Calvinism and Arminianism. In February, the administration decided not to renew the contracts of three faculty members. Associated Baptist Press reports that a personal column from Aguillard posted around the same time "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."

Related Topics:Higher Education
Posted:May 3, 2013 at 10:04AM
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