PINEVILLE, La. -- Trustees of Louisiana College decided not to revise the new book policy that requires textbooks to be approved by administrators despite student and faculty protests and threats from alumni to withdraw financial support. Previously, it was solely under the discretion of the faculty in selection of their class materials.
"Why would we?" chairperson Joe Nesom asked, "I know academic freedom is not being violated here."
Most of the faculty opposes the new policy, calling it "censorship," but Nesom said he is unaware of any other schools that allow faculty absolute power over the selection of class materials, including textbooks. He said other schools "would probably be amazed LC had such a policy."
Trustee Ed Tarpley said he is not overly concerned of the withdrawal of the financial support from the alumni to protest the policies: "I think it's a very small minority of alumni that opposes this," he said. "I think once they understand the actions we've taken and why, they will support."
Some faculty members worry the new policy may be used to remove liberal teachers. The board of trustees has become significantly more conservative in recent years due to the conservative stance of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, which owns the school.