By Associated Press - Saturday, February 22, 2014

PINEVILLE, La. (AP) - Louisiana College officials say the school’s president, Joe Aguillard, has been “fully exonerated” of allegations raised against him last year regarding restricted grants.

Charles Quarles, the former dean of the Caskey School of Divinity at the college in Pineville, had lodged a formal complaint against Aguillard with the school’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Town Talk of Alexandria reports ( ) that Quarles’ complaint claimed the college had failed to adhere to the terms of restricted grants.

College officials said in a news release that SACS President Belle Wheelan had closed the complaint file.

Wheelan said in a letter to Quarles that the problems pointed out by the former dean did not rise to the level of “significant noncompliance.”

Quarles’ complaint that Louisiana College “had failed to adhere to the terms of restricted grants given to the college” also was a central charge last year in efforts by a group of members of the LC Board of Trustees to remove Aguillard as president. Aguillard was accused of taking $60,000 in contributions designated for the School of Divinity and using the funds for LC’s projects in the African country of Tanzania.

“There did appear to be a misstatement to the board and in some published materials concerning the use of restricted gifts after the institution had received written instructions from the donor’s representative,” Wheelan wrote in in a letter to Quarles, which Quarles provided to The Town Talk on Friday. “It also appears that potential donations may have been represented as firmer than they were. Nonetheless, the standard of ‘significant noncompliance’ is needed when processing a complaint.”

Quarles, who now teaches New Testament and biblical theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., released a written statement to The Town Talk on Friday disputing claims in the LC news release.

“The press release gives the impression that the college is aware of the specifics of SACS’ response to me,” Quarles said in the statement. “I am puzzled that they would regard the response as an exoneration of all charges.”

Aguillard said, in a brief interview with the newspaper, that the college’s news release brings a sense of finality to the controversy.

“I feel totally exonerated,” Aguillard said. “I just feel like it’s time to move on.”


Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk,

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