Earlier this month, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) placed Louisiana College on warning and denied reaffirmation of its accreditation. And perhaps not surprisingly, Louisiana College’s leadership, in full-damage control mode, has consistently sought to downplay the seriousness of the warning, even while unwittingly acknowledging its importance. Currently, this is what appears on LC’s homepage:

Louisiana College’s response has been amateurish, at best. At worst, it’s been cynical, dishonest, and deceptive.

But before we even consider this, we should consider the ways in which Louisiana College attempted to bury the news of its warning by purchasing the services of American Registry, a company that apparently specializes in promoting and publicizing good news about its clients (They’ll even create a plaque for your wedding anniversary).

On the same day I published the news of Louisiana College being placed on warning, LC put out a press release extolling its inclusion in the US News and World Report‘s annual college survey. With all due respect, LC and its PR Director Allison Brucchaus must take us all for fools.

Quoting from the first sentence of the press release (bold mine):

PINEVILLE, La., Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Announcing a special recognition appearing in the September, 2011 issue of U.S. News & World Report published by U.S. News & World Report, Inc., Louisiana College was selected for the following honor: “Best Regional Colleges.”

Louisiana College paid to recycle months-old news about LC’s inclusion in a magazine report about “regional colleges” (no offense, but hardly anything worth writing home about) in an attempt to shield itself from the real news. And how do we know that LC paid for these services? Because LC’s payment is disclosed in the press release itself. Quoting (again, bold mine):

This press release was written by American Registry, LLC, with contributions from Louisiana College on behalf of Louisiana College and was distributed by PR Newswire, a subsidiary of United Business Media. American Registry, LLC, recognizes excellence in top businesses and professionals. The Registry™ includes over 2 million significant business and professional recognitions, including all those included in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Regional Colleges” list. For more information, search The Registry at http://www.americanregistry.com.Contact Info: Louisiana College Phone: 318-487-7194 Email Address: bruchhaus@lacollege.edu

Students, parents, alumni, and donors: This is where your money is going. You’re now underwriting the deceptive efforts of a small group of LC administration officials and paying for the distribution of a months-old story, a story that, insofar as I can gather, was only published once online… by The Sacramento Bee, though it was republished on December 24, 2011 by LC itself. And again, with all due respect, as great as it may seem to be named as a “best regional college,” the honor is really meaningless. Louisiana College was simply included in a list of regional colleges, and this happened months before LC was denied reaffirmation of accreditation.

Louisiana College was ranked 38th in “regional” “colleges” in the American South. 38th. Again, 38th… of “regional” “colleges” in the “American South.”

Joe Aguillard and the other leaders at Louisiana College are blatantly attempting to manufacture deceit.

I, for one, am tired of it.

Aguillard needs to resign immediately. Every single member of the Board of Trustees should, at the very least, offer their resignation as well.

LC needs to clean house.

You’re  holding LC hostage.

Resign Joe. Trust me.

4 thoughts

  1. LC is still worth saving. I encourage readers to contact members of the Board of Trustees. Several are local. Aguillard needs to be removed. He won’t resign. Here’s the board as listed in the 2010 Louisiana Baptist Convention Annual:

    Term Expiring 2011 Term Expiring 2012 Term Expiring 2013
    * Lana Bel Roy Davis * Jill Kidder
    First, Hackberry North Shreve, Shreveport Istrouma, Baton Rouge
    * Sam Camp James Foster * Mike Francis
    First, Covington Utility, Jonesville East Bayou, Lafayette
    * Blake Cooper Jim Garlington * Jack Hunter
    Calvary, Alexandria Oak Grove, Bentley First, New Orleans
    * Clay Crenshaw Michael Moore * Glenn Wilkins
    First, Bossier City Mooringsport, Mooringsport Martin, Coushatta
    * Roxane West Tommy French Gene Lee
    First, Pine Prairie Jefferson, Baton Rouge First, Rayne
    Larry Allen David Willoughby Kris Chenier
    Hosston, Hosston Calvary, Monroe Trinity Heights, Shreveport
    Jay Adkins * Mark Taylor * Lyndon Dawson
    First, Westwego Cook, Ruston First, Ruston
    * Jonathan Forester Tony Perkins * Ryan Gregory
    Kingsville, Pineville Greenwell Springs, B. Rouge First, Oak Grove
    * Judy McClelland Porter * Reggie Smith * Steve Thomas
    Longview, Deville Northside, Slidell First, DeRidder
    Shawn Thomas Lonnie Scarborough * Carlton Vance
    First, Moss Bluff Fair Park, West Monroe Philadelphia, Deville
    * Heath Veuleman * Jerry Chaddick Ray Werline
    The Gathering Place, Tioga Open Door, Moss Bluff Ebenezer, Hammond

  2. I saw a couple of days ago that LC was pulling this ploy. It is really sad. But, even worse people fall for it. I saw at least one person on Facebook post the LC news release as proof that everything is okay. There has been some discussion about this on Saveourlc.org. Below is part of what I wrote there which sums up my thoughts:

    I can’t help but think of Onion News when I read this story. I can hear the Onion Radio News story now…”College cited for academic deficiencies buys a plaque to prove otherwise.” You know you are in a sad situation when the truth sounds like an Onion satire!

    Of course almost every college in the country gets on the best something list with US News. Though I can’t be too hard on LC for playing this misleading game, most colleges do…at least the ones that don’t have a major reputation on their own. I think the Registry of Business Excellence is one of the funniest things of this all. According to the website there are over 2 million achievements in the registry, so not terribly exclusive. 🙂 Looking through the webpage I found amazing achievements like “10 year anniversary.”

    It also cracks me up that this was post on Saturday Christmas Eve. The whole SACS situation seems to be a serious enough public relations issue that someone in administration or PR worked on Christmas Eve to put out information to counter the “LC has lacking academics” narrative. The sad part is that some people believe this. I saw a facebook friend had posted this as proof that all is well at LC.

    I can’t count how many times I’ve been contacted by Who’s Who organizations wanting me to pay to receive an honor. I would never do it. I also felt that it was dishonest to pay to receive an honor. LC doesn’t seem to have that concern.

    Interestingly, in 2006 I received the National Leadership Award from the National Republican Congressional Committee. I was also made an Honorary Chairmen for the NRCC’s Business Advisory Council. This was all very impressive to have a Democratic Visual Artist who had almost finished his graduate degree receive such honors. Of course it was a scam of sorts. They got my studio number out of the phone book and were trying to get me to pay “donate” money to the NRCC. But, since there were no strings actually attached I made them send me the awards (some of the cheapest awards I’ve ever seen produced) and I never sent them a dollar. But, the point is that I never did a press release about it. I never put it n my c.v. Why? Because they were vanity awards not real awards. I found literally hundreds of people who proudly put these fake awards or their business websites. But, that always struck me as unethical. But, this is essentially what LC has now done with the Registry of Business Excellence. As, a side note I kept my award from the NRCC in my office at LC as a gag for the years I was there. It was such a cheap little award that most people never noticed but I did explain it once or twice…it is all the funnier now with this new press release from LC…ummm….American Registry, LLC.

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