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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.