- Associated Press - Thursday, June 19, 2014

PINEVILLE, La. (AP) - Louisiana College has been placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to correct “administrative” issues, interim President Argile Smith said Thursday.

The commission cited issues related to trustee board governance, institutional integrity, personnel policies and audit findings that pertain to some financial control matters and student financial aid. Smith said the school would receive further written details later.

Smith, who is leading the small private, Baptist college while a search begins for a permanent president, said college officials learned of the probation status following a June vote by the accrediting agency’s board of trustees.

“Although the decision is disappointing, it represents an opportunity for Louisiana College to address the issues in preparation for the arrival of a new president,” Smith added.

The school’s former president, Joe Aguillard, becomes president emeritus on Aug. 1 and will take a yearlong paid sabbatical before returning as a tenured faculty member in the school’s Graduate Teacher Education program.

“Fortunately, the issues don’t bring into question in any way the excellent classroom work being done by our professors and students. The issues have to do with administrative areas,” Smith said.

Despite the probationary status the school remains fully accredited. “The biggest concern students will have is whether their degrees will be accredited and they need not be concerned about that,” Smith said.

In 2009, the latest enrollment data available, 1,459 students were enrolled at the school.

Smith said the school will compile a monitoring report on how it addresses the issues cited in advance of the accrediting agency’s visit next April.

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