Incarnate Word President Fired

August 30, 2016

The University of the Incarnate Word fired longtime President Louis J. Agnese Jr. Monday, ending the three-decade tenure of the president days after it was revealed that he'd been accused of making offensive remarks about African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Mormons and a student with low test scores.

“The board voted unanimously today to remove Dr. Agnese from the office of president, permanently, effective immediately,” university board President Charles Lutz said, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The board made its decision in a closed-door afternoon meeting. The decision was unanimous.

Earlier in August Agnese, 65, had been placed on a 90-day medical leave due to what a board announcement called “sporadic uncharacteristic behavior and comments" causing “considerable concern for his well-being.” Agnese initially threatened a lawsuit but later backed off of those comments. The board's comments at the time did not point to a specific incident, prompting broader discussion about length of tenure and health among university presidents.

Agnese, known as a colorful and even blunt character, oversaw the Roman Catholic university in San Antonio since 1985, steering it through significant growth from 1,300 students in 1985 to nearly 11,000 in 2015.

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