31 May 2011
former louisiana college professor rondall reynoso releases follow-up to letter of concern for louisiana college
Dear Louisiana Baptists and Friends:
A few days ago, I read through 1 John and was impressed by John’s insistence that there is no disconnect between orthodox faith and orthodox practice. In fact, the strength of his insistence is humbling. He is clear that faith is always and inseparably followed by Christ-honoring behavior. In his gentlest terms John says, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk as He walked. “ (1 John 2:6) It is my desire that the Louisiana College community walk as He walked. But in our zeal to wage war against the ills that we see, we must be sure that we have not, as Jesus said, “neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.” (Mathew 23:23) I write this letter to illuminate what has followed my Letter of Concern for Louisiana College. My hope is not just to be informative but hopefully to encourage the Louisiana College and Louisiana Baptist communities to Christ-honoring action.
The mission that LC proclaims is of great importance. I want nothing more than for central Louisiana to be served by a conservative Christian college that serves the Kingdom with great honor. It should also be noted that my initial letter was neither hyperbolic nor exhaustive. I sought to mention only items that would get the point across and for which I had firm evidence. There are many other issues that could have been brought up including a faith healer teaching on campus and a professor who taught aura alignment (eastern mysticism) in the classroom. The letter was a scratch on the surface of the situation at LC. It was a call for Louisiana Baptists to lay aside their apathy and for some at LC to change their ways.
Following is a narrative of what has happened since my letter.
In the days after I sent out my Letter of Concern, I had two meetings with the Louisiana College administration. After the first meeting, it was clear that I was being dismissed and banned from campus. However, I was told in the second meeting that I was only banned, not technically dismissed. When I was finally allowed to clear my personal belongings from my office, I discovered that the locks had been changed and a 24-hour guard had been posted at the door. Two classes that normally met in my office had to find alternate meeting space; at least one of them held class on the floor in the foyer, without access to the presentation technology the class required. The fervor of the administration to penalize me undermined the college’s goal of academic excellence.
Prior to my second meeting, the administration confiscated a painting which one of my students had painted the previous school year. When the student artist and her parent met with the administration, the president refused to return the painting and held it for two more days. Meanwhile, the figure painting had been photographed and an image of it leaked, which is a copyright infringement, in an effort to discredit me. When the student’s property was finally returned a week after its confiscation, it was banned from campus for the first time, despite that the administration had known about its existence for a year.
The Louisiana College Faculty Handbook contains clear procedures for how both non-renewal of contracts and dismissals are to proceed. In short, the dismissal procedures include (section 2.7.4) a letter from the VPAA informing the faculty member of a proposed dismissal. This letter must include a reasonably clear articulation of the reasons for the proposed dismissal. The faculty member then has the opportunity to request a hearing before the Faculty Affairs Advisory Committee to defend himself against the charges. After the hearing the committee makes recommendations to the president who then decides if dismissal is appropriate. The faculty member has additional remedies with the Board of Trustees, but those are post termination.
In my case, when I next heard from the administration, Dr. Aguillard refused to send the requisite paperwork to me or my lawyer, insisting that I come to his office rather than follow my lawyer’s advice to have the paper work sent to me. The next morning an LC security guard delivered a letter which notified me that if I did not meet with the President my “salary and benefits would be terminated today.” This was a clear violation of the Faculty Handbook (section 2.7.4) which provides no mechanism for immediate dismissal and assures due process. Twice the administration (once Dr. Aguillard and once Acting President Tim Johnson) produced documents requiring that I admit to being found in breach of contract, dishonest, and insubordinate. Further, the documents prevented me from saying anything about LC while not restricting what the administration could say about me. I obviously was unable to sign such one-sided documents, especially with their claims of my dishonesty, insubordination and breach of contract. When my lawyer sent a mutual release and settlement agreement to the College which provided greater protections for both parties and released both parties from further legal action and fault, the administration refused even to discuss such an arrangement.
Dr. Tim Searcy then sent me a letter on April 5th stating that my employment had been severed as of that day. However, the letter violated the Faculty Handbook on several fronts: the VPAA only has the authority to propose dismissal, there is no allowance within the Faculty Handbook for immediate dismissal, and the Faculty Handbook requires the reasons for dismissal be stated with “reasonable particularity.” None of these were done. My lawyer pointed out these errors to the administration, and on April 20th I received a letter from Dr. Searcy notifying me of my proposed dismissal, reinstating my insurances, and providing reasonable particularity of my alleged offenses.
In compliance with the Faculty Handbook, we requested an administrative hearing with the Faculty Affairs Advisory Committee which was scheduled for May 4th. The Faculty Handbook guarantees me the right to present witnesses in my defense. Despite my appeals, the administration continued to deny me access to campus and refused to lift the e-mail protocols which blocked my e-mail address from campus. These actions severely limited my ability to contact witnesses and to prepare my defense.
The administrative hearing on May 4th was highly unusual. Administrative hearings are typically fact finding events and can be informal. It is the responsibility of the committee to find the truth and make recommendations accordingly. There must be a clear separation of legal counsel between the committee and the administration; charges should be clearly levied, with the faculty member having the opportunity to respond to those charges. However in this hearing, the legal counsel for the administration also functioned as the counsel for the Committee, representing a clear conflict of interest and ethical violation. The procedures which the college’s lawyer instituted were extremely unusual including having me present my defense prior to the administration presenting their case and seeking to exclude hearsay, which is always permissible in administrative hearings due to the lack of subpoena power. Further, when my first witness was on the stand, I discovered that the Committee was totally unaware of the charges against me. How could they reasonably seek truth about the charges without any knowledge of the charges? When I spoke to my legal counsel after the first day of hearings, they were appalled by the lack of normal procedures. College employees are guaranteed due process, fairness, both through college policy and constitutionally. In the course of this hearing, my due process rights were so egregiously violated that a judge granted me a Temporary Restraining Order against the college to stop the proceedings.
When the restraining order was signed, the hearings were stopped. However, Dr. Aguillard had the audacity to ask me to rescind the restraining order and then asserted that even filing for such a restraining order was against college policy. Though Dr. Aguillard insisted on this being part of the official record of the hearing, I cannot provide the exact quote because, in violation of the Faculty Handbook, I have never been presented with the transcripts. In essence, Dr. Aguillard was arguing that the civil rights of school employees are superseded by college policy.
Through the work of my lawyer the College was unable to breach my contract, as it had several times tried to do while failing to follow the Faculty Handbook procedures. The restraining order issued by the court stopped the continued violation of my due process rights. While I had initially wished to keep these issues out of the courts and media, they were forced into those areas through the aggressive actions of the college. I was able to protect my rights, but it came at a still undetermined price in legal fees.
Prior to the hearing being stopped, one student and one faculty member testified on my behalf. The student who testified broke down in tears at one point, out of fear, and asked the committee if she would be allowed to return to LC next year, to which Dr. Aguillard vigorously objected. The faculty member confessed under oath that she feared her honest testimony would cause her to lose her job, despite her stellar annual review. Prior to the hearings, she had received a letter promising her a contract for the 2011-2012 academic year, however, she was not offered one when contracts were issued ten days after her testimony. The head of her department was not even notified of her non-renewal. She was eventually told by Acting President Tim Johnson that she would not receive a contract. This behavior is exactly what faculty and students fear and clearly illustrates why such fear is justified. Further, this sort of blatant dishonesty and abuse of power discourages faculty and students from even testifying on behalf of members of the college community and has no place in a Christian institution.
At 6’5” and almost 250 pounds, I do not think much about abuse. But when my wife began sharing some of our ordeal with friends, comments were repeatedly made comparing our situation to spousal abuse. One friend sent my wife a section of a blog post on abuse:
An abusive system is a closed system, whether it is found in a family, a work place or a church. The abuser has absolute power and uses his power to dominate, exploit, control, manipulate and oppress those under him. The enabler tries frantically to keep the peace by doing whatever it takes to soothe both the rage and shame of the abuser. Enablers also work to control how others perceive the abuser and how they behave when he or she is around. There is no room for truth in an abusive system.I have thought a great deal about the enablers over the past few months. Certainly there are those who frantically fight to keep the peace at the cost of truth as mentioned in the quote above. But, there are also those who enable through their apathy. Either way, those who witness abuse and do nothing to stop it are morally culpable.
According to the prophet Jeremiah, those who say, “Peace, peace!” when there is no peace should be ashamed. I hope that those who receive this letter will choose to seek out the truth about what is happening at Louisiana College. In order for the college to fulfill its mission, the administration of the college must lead with honesty and integrity. They must be held accountable for their leadership and be able to withstand the scrutiny of honest critics. I have seen the current administration make choices that harm the faculty, staff, and students of Louisiana College. These letters of concern are my way of asking those with power to intervene and stop the abuse.
When I first moved to Louisiana, I was rightly resistant to believe claims that LC administrators behaved differently than what I had witnessed. How could those who seemed so loving to me truly behave so poorly toward others? The same comment has, understandably, been made to me over the last two months. However, Christ is clear that we must behave well not just toward those who treat us well but toward everyone. The character of a person or an institution can best be judged by how critics are treated. Christ pointed out even the tax collectors, who behaved abhorrently toward many people, loved those who loved them. (Matthew 5:43-47) My positive experiences early on did not make the experiences of others untrue. My wife and I have a friend who was abused by her husband. When she finally left him, her family refused to believe that he was abusive. How could he be? He was such a good Christian. In reality he was like the tax collector- loving to some and abusive to others.
I pray that the situation at Louisiana College will improve. But, it will not happen on its own. It will not happen unless the apathy of our convention subsides and we demand better. It will not happen unless those of us who say we abide in Him remember the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. The role and mission of Louisiana College is crucial. We need academically strong institutions based on a love for Christ and the authority of Scripture. However, without a foundation of integrity and a commitment to truth all Louisiana College does is in vain. As the Apostle John wrote, “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.”
P.S. Attached you will find the following documents:
1) A PDF version of this letter entitled “Follow-up to Concern for Louisiana College letter.” My original Letter of Concern can be found at http://www.thetowntalk.com/assets/pdf/DK17414559.PDF
2) The statement I prepared to read to the Faculty Affairs Advisory Committee entitled, “Response to Dismissal Letter (adjusted & redacted).” This document is a thorough response to the charges that were brought against me and has been redacted to protect the identity of students and former students. This statement documents many of the claims made in my original letter.
3) “Overhauser Testimony” is the written statement by faculty member Beth Overhauser which resulted in her termination.
(1) Follow-up to Concern for Louisiana College letter.pdf
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the louisiana college label
in the footer of this post
navy names next aircraft carrier uss john f. kennedy
the jfk label
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29 May 2011
max blumenthal gives his view on sarah palin and other gop presidential nomination pretenders.
Me on AJE discussing Palin's Rolling Blunder tour http://t.co/zUWzklX #p2
Posted by wst... at 19:52
the first time we viewed this scene we thought that it would make for a blog post titled something like "best example from a tv series for not driving high."
however, after viewing the scene several times we cant see for sure that the bus driver or the mascot were reaped.
further, how the occupants eventually died was never shown -- so it's entirely possible they died in a manner totally unrelated to an automobile crash or any fault on the bus driver's part.
anyway, by the time we pondered all that out, we had already taken the clip and figured why waste it?
click here to view/download this clip from its watch page
"dead like me" episodes are currently available to view free from hulu.com at: http://www.hulu.com/dead-like-me
27 May 2011
via: twitter @navynews
we found this tweet too good to pass up due to navy news' very clever wordsmithing:
If U look close, you can see WTC in NYC skyline: It's on the left in USS New York: http://ow.ly/53Vzx
click picture to enlarge (higher-res at link)
110525-N-JP566-142 NEW YORK (May 25, 2011) The amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) participates in the Parade of Ships during Fleet Week 2011 parade of ships.
Fleet Week has been New York City's celebration of the sea services since 1984.
It is an opportunity for citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, as well as see first-hand, the latest capabilities of today's maritime services.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Patrick Gordon/Released)
Posted by wst... at 15:07
denny crane ... down on the bayou...
boston legal's treatment of the katrina euthanasia case. dr. anna pou, lori l. budo and cheri landry were arrested and charged with second degree murder for suspicion of euthanizing patients at new orleans memorial medical center during hurricane katrina. the grand jury refused to indict them.
this clip is from the third season, episode eleven, "angel of death." that aired on 09 january 2007.
boston legal episodes are available to view free at tv land here.
Posted by wst... at 12:32
click here to download this clip from its internet archive watch/download page
we crossed paths with this beauty a couple of days ago and was fortunate enough to be able to capture this short clip to share of this fine specimen of louisiana's natural world.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. ~ genesis chapter one verses twenty-four and twenty-five kjv
louisiana department of wildlife and fisheries
Posted by wst... at 12:05
21 May 2011
link to video watch/download page
alas, for another year there will be no triple crown of thoroughbred racing. the world hasnt seen a triple crown winner since 1978 and affirmed.
link to video watch/download page
(1) the call to the post
(2) united states naval academy men's glee club "maryland, my maryland"
(3) horses entrance
Posted by wst... at 22:32
15 May 2011
wst... note: all photos and text for this post reader submitted:
Flagon Creek that also runs into Catahoula Lake will also back up as well as areas in Deville from the "Swamp" like it did in '73.
Posted by wst... at 09:54
13 May 2011
we found that post in drafts and so we republished it and it seems to be live ... for now anyway.
so if you saw a post on here and now its gone, this is the reason; we didnt remove it.
now we've noticed that there is another recent post that is missing however it's not in drafts.
Posted by wst... at 13:05
11 May 2011
we unexpectedly stumbled across this political sign today and we will get a better picture to replace this one with.
in the meantime, this brings the total to three announced candidates for rapides parish clerk of court:
(1) jamie lawton floyd the "in god we trust" candidate.
(2) robin l. hooter a deputy clerk of court and the court house crowds' anointed candidate.
(3) and ms. stewart -- claim to fame: daughter of b.g. dyess.
the rapides parish clerk of court election 2011 label
in the footer of this post
admittedly these pictures arent that great. it seems like it takes a long time for our cam to reset itself between pictures. however, who knows, in the future they could be useful to someone.
kalb: main weather page
kalb: weather blog
kalb: lakes and rivers
kalb: flooding concerns: business and road closures (2011)
lake charles, la. radar
new orleans/baton rouge, la. radar
shreveport, la. radar
national weather service: louisiana state information
national weather service alexandria, la.
weather observations at alexandria international [aex]
weather observations at esler field [esf]
Dial 511 for DOTD Road Updates
La. State Police - Road Closures
alexandria & pineville la flooding in the past.. 1927 and 1940's (photos)
Posted by wst... at 18:35
we hope to learn more [NOT GOSSIP] about ms. hooter in the months leading up to the . so, when we receive or locate her platform literature and push card we will post it..
our clerk of court issue is: why is the tax $600.00 [presently 422 eur] per year for access to the clerk of court files such as petitions and what are you going to do to lower that outrageous and as far as we can tell unjustified huge tax to something more reasonable for us commoners to afford like $5 - 10 dollars per year?
10 May 2011
Posted by wst... at 16:50
former louisiana college art professor rondall reynoso has sued louisiana college over his sketchy termination.
his petition is courtesy of gannett/the alexandria daily town talk; read their report "lc professor cites letter as reason for contract not being renewed."
while we wish professor reynoso well in his suit, we couldnt help but notice the many typos it contains, such as referring to the professor as "her" in more than one place and referring to him as "they" and "their" in another, that isnt exactly inspiring of a lot of confidence in the legal acumen of his alexandria, la. attorney, victor h. sooter.
save our louisiana college forum
removal of rondall reynoso from the lc website
the louisiana college label
in the footer of this post
Readers, have chosen to recognize excellence in our community for great service, top quality products, outstanding leadership, show stopping performances and excitement on the playing field.
We had record participation this year! Of course, if one of your favorites didn’t win this year, it’s never too early to start pushing for 2012!
So, without further adieu, the 2011 Best of Cenla Reader’s Poll Award winners are: -- read more
Posted by wst... at 08:48
09 May 2011
now this fellow came out of the tall-tall grass presumably; judging from all those lumps in its body, to find a place to lie still for awhile.
over the past week there has been an abundance of birds fledging so perhaps its been picking up stragglers.
obviously, when you encounter any snake you have to be cautious and when its a snake this large you have to be even more careful.
snakes, regardless of size can move around very quickly.. you never know what direction they are going to dash off in and in the um, excitement, you dont want to accidentally step on it because that could result in a reflexive strike or bite -- although this snake is harmless and non-poisonous to human beings, who wants to go through that trauma? or you could injure the snake.
this snake was not harmed in any way whatsoever and continued its journey unimpeded.
we cant say that would have been the case had it turned out to have been a cottonmouth or copperhead.
louisiana department of wildlife and fisheries
snakes of louisiana
Posted by wst... at 10:42
07 May 2011
link to video watch/download page
we were pulling for the #7 horse pants on fire. on 26 march 2011, it won the louisiana derby [vid]. also a nice angle to that story would have been its female jockey anna napravnik. they finished ninth.
during the race call it seems that nbc sports didnt have the announcers sound volume turned up high enough over the track noise. we also noticed during the broadcast that nbc sports had a lot of trouble with their graphics too.
link to video watch/download page
(1) riders up
(2) call to post
(3) "my old kentucky home"
Completing the order of finish were Shackleford, Master of Hounds (Kingmambo), Santiva (Giant's Causeway), Brilliant Speed (Dynaformer), Dialed In (Mineshaft), Pants on Fire (Jump Start),
Twice the Appeal (Successful Appeal), Soldat (War Front), Stay Thirsty (Bernardini), Derby Kitten (Kitten's Joy), Decisive Moment (With Distinction), Archarcharch (Arch), Midnight Interlude (War Chant),
Twinspired (Harlan's Holiday), Watch Me Go (West Acre) and Comma to the Top.
Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) was an early and well-publicized scratch on Friday.
Archarcharch was vanned off after the race, and his status was unknown at publication. According to analyst Gary Stevens, the saddle slipped forward on the near-black colt during the running of the race, leaving jockey Jon Court with very little control. ~ read more
animal kingdom shocks derby in front of record crowd
Posted by wst... at 19:21
Posted by wst... at 16:38
click here to view a short vid clip of a passion flower bloom opening and for links to more information.
And God said, Let the Earth bring foorth grasse, the herbe yeelding seed, and the fruit tree, yeelding fruit after his kinde, whose seed is in it selfe, vpon the earth: and it was so.
And the earth brought foorth grasse, and herbe yeelding seed after his kinde, and the tree yeelding fruit, whose seed was in it selfe, after his kinde: and God saw that it was good.
And the euening and the morning were the third day. ~ genesis chapter one verses eleven through thirteen kjv (1611)
1926 - 2011
Musician. A trumpeter, he will be best remembered for his playing on The Beatles' classic hit "Penny Lane".
He attended Christ's Hospital School and the Royal College of Music before his service in the band of the Scots Guards.
His professional career began with the Royal Opera House, followed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Philharmonia Orchestra (the latter he remained with the rest of his career). In addition, he served as a teacher at the Royal College of Music.
An impressed Paul McCartney who watched Mason perform requested him to play on the "Penny Lane" track in January 1967 and he was paid reportedly a $45.00 fee to do so.
His contributions helped yield one of the band's most popular hits, as he provided the unique B-flat piccolo trumpet sound heard throughout the song.
He also played on their classic hits "A Day in the Life" (1967), "Magical Mystery Tour" (1967), "All You Need Is Love" (1967) and "It's All Too Much" (1968). He died from leukemia. ~ find-a-grave
los angeles times
david mason dies at 85; 'penny lane' trumpeter
brass musician magazine and forum
david mason: a trumpet icon has died
comma to the top
pants on fire (louisiana derby winner)
master of hounds
twice the appeal (jockey: calvin borel)
mucho macho man
watch me go
originally posted 30 april 2011
Posted by wst... at 11:00