Louisiana College’s (LC) strained relationship with former President Joe Aguillard has returned to the news.
The college has released a statement that Aguillard no longer has the title of “president emeritus” according to trustee action on April 12. Aguillard was LC’s president from 2005 to 2014.
The LC statement also reported that the trustee executive committee approved a recommendation from the college’s Faculty Affairs Advisory Committee that Aguillard be removed from his tenured faculty position stemming from what it called “violations of the LC Faculty Handbook.”
Aguillard, in an April 13 statement to Baptist Press, said he had not been informed by the college of any actions about his status. Aguillard is now pastor of Kelly Baptist Church in Kelly, La.
Aguillard said “three of my closest mentors … called me and told me that there were media reports; but, I haven’t read them in order to avoid triggers that would cause medical problems due to my fragile health…. It appears now that the College chose to give statements to the media before contacting me.”
The three Louisiana Baptist leaders, Aguillard said, are among those who “have always been and continue to be phenomenal pillars of strength to me” particularly during “these last two decades in our spiritual warfare for Biblical inerrancy and against Liberalism and Calvinism.”
The college, in a four-paragraph, 184-word statement, said the “violations of the LC Faculty Handbook” were considered in a hearing by the Faculty Affairs Advisory Committee but the college did not specify the date, the allegations or the committee’s specific recommendation.
The recommendation, according to its news release, was “upheld by the Executive Committee of the college’s Board of Trustees following a lengthy appeal hearing.”
The college news release concluded, “Dr. Randy Harper, Chairman of the Louisiana College Board of Trustees, speaking for the Board and the current administration, said that all LC stakeholders should be assured that school policy and procedures were meticulously followed throughout the dismissal and appeal proceedings. Louisiana College officials are not expected to have further comment on the matter.”
Aguillard, in his statement to Baptist Press, said, “I trust in my Lord totally and fully. I have forgiven each of those who have continued these attacks against me for these many years, and I remind all to remember: ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’
“James 4:17 says, ‘Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.’ I would rather stand in the storms of the consequences of standing for Truth with Jesus than in the peace of hiding Truth in the tent of my heart and living with it forever in sin. For, when public opinion becomes the measure of our actions, we are wrong every time.”
Aguillard joined LC’s faculty in 2000 as professor of education and chair of the division of education. He and his wife are 1977 graduates as are their daughters and, during the 1930s, his parents, with his father having served as a trustee chairman.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Art Toalston is senior editor of Baptist Press, the news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)