16 March 2011

louisiana college trustee heath veuleman responds to louisiana college concerns

Subject: Dear Trustee of Louisiana College, Many are praying for you!
To: [multiple email addresses withheld]
Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 10:14 PM

Greetings in the name of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior!

Prayerfully consider the information I am about to convey to you. As a Trustee of LC, I know you have a care for her and her future. Many of you are Alumni of the school, and some of your Parents attended there, and now your children. I quietly ask you to consider the attached documents that signal how her future is in jeopardy. You are not being told the entire truth.

This isn't about Politics or Religion, or even Social Issues. Regardless of the theological direction that you may take the school, her future is in danger and you need to take action to redirect before it is too late.

She has lost money 4 of the last 5 fiscal years. Her campus is in need of $35 million in repairs based on the study done by the nation's best campus maintenance and services company. A company that you approved to be hired. To question the credibility of the study, calls into question your own, or the credibility of the administration you have hired to represent you.

And we read of Law Schools, Medical Schools and failed diplomatic relations with Muslim countries, Divinty Schools, Film Schools, and other wonderful lofty dreams. Schools with endowments of a Billion dollars do not have all of these, and with our shrinking endowment of $20 million we think we can afford all these things? Dreams are necessary, even Scriptural, but they must be realistic. Our beloved LC is worth less today than it was last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. She has slipped in all measurements of the succcess of a college, including fine Christian, Bible based Colleges. And you are the key. Meaning you are the ones who can reverse this situation.

Many living alums have called on the souls of all departed LC alums and faculty to intercede on her behalf. As we are believers that our souls do not die and that our loved ones continue in glory in the presence of Christ Jesus, we also recognize that those souls, still living in eternity, can intercede on behalf of others, just as we believe in intercessory prayer from living human souls. Therefore, Drs Ware and Godbold, Cottinghman and Guinn, along with those thousands of Alums and Faculty who have faithfully served her for over a century, are praying for you right now. They are praying that a great revival will rise up among the Board to rescue our beloved Alma Mater from a slow and sad death. An Army of Souls, praying for YOU!

Dr Ware, in his speech to the convention when LC was being formed called for Louisiana Baptists to "see this project through to the finish." I pray that they "finish" of LC is not going to happen in our lifetimes. But only you have the power to influence the outcome.

Make the hard choice and remove the present Administration. Hiring mistakes happen all the time in the world of business and academia. But the worse thing is ignoring it, blindly accepting what you are told, and trying to cover up your mistake. Rise to this toughest of challenges, and do what God leads you to do. His Angels are praying for you. See this thing through to "the finish."

God Bless,

Bill Stubbs
Class of 83

From: heath@[partially withheld]veuleman.com
Subject: Re:Dear Trustee of Louisiana College, Many are praying for you!
To: bill[partially withheld]@bellsouth.net
Cc: [multiple email addresses withheld]
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 1:37 PM

Mr. Stubbs:

Allow me to preface this email, by saying I remember fondly (although according to a post made by you on the now defunct website “Save Our LC,” you thought I was less than intelligent) a phone conversation we had in late 2004. I will apologize in advance for not meeting your standards of intelligence, social status, financial prowess, spiritual depth, or other metric by which you evidence your superiority.

Unfortunately, I did not receive your email, so a fellow trustee obliged to forward it to me this morning. After reading the email, I thought it deserved a response. My response however is not representative of the Louisiana College Board of Trustees or Louisiana College or the Louisiana Baptist Convention. This response contains my personal thoughts as an alumnus of Louisiana College, a Louisiana Baptist, and a Southern Baptist.

Mr. Stubbs, we have disparate world views. These world views are diametrically opposed. I have been a reader of “Save Our LC” since its inception, and have been disappointed many times with the violent rhetoric and hateful diatribes that you have authored, as well as many others. You have created a narrative, Mr. Stubbs that is misinformed – either intentionally or unintentionally. Furthermore, this narrative that so many times devolved into bitter name calling and threatening speech has now been deemed to violate the terms of service of a secular, forum hosting website that has absolutely nothing to do with Louisiana College.

Though it’s disenchanting to know that such a small group of malcontents and embittered community members can actually garner so much press, it certainly does not surprise me. You and the disenfranchised former faculty members, staff, students and their sycophants and acolytes at the Town Talk and on anonymous gossip sites are masters at creating an illusion of impropriety.

While it’s admirable that both you and these other individuals have a cause, I sometimes wonder if your passion undermines your purpose. As you breathlessly wait for the next rumor or ad hominem attack in the tall weeds of a rarely visited internet forum, you reminisce fondly about times gone by when you controlled Louisiana College. After all, you claim it is “our” LC.

As a proud alumnus who contributes financially post-tuition, and who has a family who contributes financially, and who attends a church who contributes financially, I will be the first to admit I own no more of Louisiana College than any other Louisiana Baptist. The truth of the matter is that Louisiana College belongs to Louisiana Baptists. And Louisiana Baptists, after many years and much strife, removed a certain group of people who held a certain worldview from control of Louisiana College.

Arguments can be undertaken and accusations can be assailed regarding the how’s and why’s of the aforementioned removal, but the simple fact is that Louisiana Baptists removed them, and, understandably, the sting has yet to subside. In fact, there is a handful of those whose lives have become so consumed with the changing of the guard (I’m assuming from the vitriol you write, you are part of this group), that their sole purpose has become to discredit the institution.

While I do not agree with every decision that is made at Louisiana College, I understand that there are a variety of stakeholders who must be accommodated, and there are subtleties of higher education administration that I am simply will never understand; therefore I must trust as an alumnus, and ensure as board member, that Louisiana College has an administration who efficiently and effectively carries out the mission of the College, who prayerfully considers the decisions – even the seemingly mundane – affecting the students, staff, and faculty of the College, and incidentally Louisiana Baptists, and hopefully, our community, and our world, and those who diligently work to develop, sustain, and enhance the College both physically and fiscally.

Louisiana College is certainly not perfect, neither are its administrators, nor its trustees (I am certainly far from it, and readily admit it), faculty, staff, students, or stakeholders. And while imperfection does not excuse poor decision making, we should examine the merits of claims made by a vocal minority of the disgruntled and the disenfranchised, before jumping to irrational conclusions. We should understand their motivation and demand evidence instead of rhetoric. While hyperbole attracts attention – and probably sells a couple of newspapers – it devalues communication and sullies the truth, compromising integrity.

I find it ironic the very people who claimed to be politically liberal or progressive, those who disagreed with the conservative theological and social values of the majority of Louisiana Baptists, are now attempting to use racism and discrimination to advance their agenda. It should be no surprise these individuals were the same who encouraged the institutional racism and vast discrimination at Louisiana College, and were subsequently removed by Louisiana Baptists. It would be amusing if it was not so shameful that they are trying to use the ethnicity and location of a people group to besmirch their generosity. It makes one wonder if the potential donors would have garnered the same attention should they have been from Australia or Japan. I think the intimation is clear, and repulsive.

Though Louisiana College used poor discretion, whether undermined by an employee or employees who stole, and subsequently disseminated to the disgruntled and disenfranchised in the tall weeds, proprietary information from the College; or whether resenting The Town Talk’s continued negative and adversarial narrative forwarded by a few editors and reporters, who will soon meet the same demise as many of their Ganette colleagues, purposefully withheld information and chose to invoke their right as a private institution to limit the amount of information provided to the press and public – especially a newspaper whose entire goal is to challenge Louisiana College’s credibility and integrity – the truth of the matter remains the same, Louisiana College did nothing inappropriate.

Moreover, the College, in an effort to fulfill its mission, and dare to succeed in a community that struggles so desperately with success, attempted to gain funding for projects to ensure the future success of its students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders, notwithstanding our community, our state, our country – and from the disclosure of the medical school non-sense, even our world. I would suggest that you, and the disgruntled and the disenfranchised in the tall weeds, revel in evidence and not emotion.

While I’m sure I will be dismissed as someone just shilling for Louisiana College and its administration, it should be noted that, although I bleed orange and blue, I am committed to intellectual honesty. I will readily admit I am not the most intellectual, have the most parchment on my wall, have the most money, or am superior to anyone – certainly not to those with whom I disagree. Those people who know me – both my friends and foes – can attest I rarely bridle my opinion. This does not subside when I am participating in a conversation about Louisiana College – with both those who support and oppose the College. Vigilance requires an honest and unbiased examination of the facts, not just a remediation of individual prejudices. While I wholeheartedly support Louisiana College, and its mission, and those who have been empowered to carry out that mission, I am less than reticent about challenging the status quo or having difficult conversations.

I appreciate your email Mr. Stubbs, and I hope you appreciate my response – it’s not meant to be argumentative or demeaning. But, candidly, I have read so much over the years from your tagline declaring how gay you are (what does that have to do with the price of tea in China) to the “unrepentant old cock-sucker” remark. And correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you have multiple aliases on the now defunct forum? And have you not been caught in a couple of less-than-honest threads? The internet protocol addresses indicate you have multiple aliases, but I’m not sure. The reason I bring that up is to remind you Mr. Stubbs, that you are not the sole arbiter of truth. This is not an attempt to engage you or to dialogue - not that you are any less important than anyone else, but because we will never find common ground, except for, and hopefully, in Christ. Mr. Stubbs, people (myself included) acutal human beings and not departed souls, are praying for you - daily. They are not sarcastic or cynical prayers of the Pharisee, they are heartfelt pleas for Christ to bind up your wounds and allow His love to salve your bitterness.

Should you find yourself a supporter or a detractor of Louisiana College, these scriptures should give both solace: “He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. Job 5:12-13” There is no need to create a narrative, or to contrive a story-line to achieve your goals. The truth always wins out. Disagree with Louisiana College about its mission, disagree with Louisiana College about its pursuit of excellence, disagree with Louisiana College because you simply don’t like it, or its students, or its faculty, or its staff, but don’t disagree with Louisiana College because of an illusion created by the crafty.

With all grace,