SACS to investigate Louisiana College. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools plans to investigate media reports that documents submitted leading to reaffirmation of Louisiana College’s accreditation in December may have been forged, The Town Talk newspaper in Alexandria, La., reported. The newspaper quoted Michael Johnson, senior vice president and chief of staff at SACS, one of six regional accrediting organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, as saying, “Obviously, it’s something of concern to us, and we will investigate.” The allegations surfaced after The Town Talk and Pulpit & Pen blog obtained previously internal documents indicating trustee leaders were aware of allegations that documents were doctored, but did not self-report the information to SACS. After SACS reaffirmed the Louisiana Baptist Convention-affiliated school, Louisiana College issued a press release declaring President Joe Aguillard “fully exonerated” of allegations in two whistleblower reports that led to a meeting last April where trustees voted 17-13 to let him keep his job.
Early CBF missionary Cleary dies. Tom Cleary, one of the first field personnel appointed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, died March 19 after suffering a ruptured aneurysm in Tampa, Fla. He was 76. Cleary and his wife, Joyce, joined CBF as field personnel in 1993 after more than 20 years as missionaries and campus ministers. Following pastorates in Florida during the 1960s, the Clearys went to Austria as Southern Baptist Convention Foreign Mission Board missionaries from 1971 to 1980. They returned to Florida and served as campus ministers for the Florida Baptist Convention at the University of South Florida from 1981 to 1990. After watching television reports of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the Clearys felt a call to serve in Eastern Europe, and left Florida for Poland the next year to serve again as FMB missionaries. Three years later, the Clearys were part of a group of 25 missionaries, mostly serving in Europe, commissioned as field personnel at the 1993 CBF General Assembly in Birmingham, Ala.