Lou Agnese made some comments about student’s skin color. He is apparently known for his slightly off-color and blunt comments. But, at a recent gathering of students, he mentioned to the students that some were not wearing the school colors, black and red. To one African-American student, he commented that even though she was not wearing red or black, her skin color would suffice.  He then asked if there any Native American students in the audience. If so, he went on, their skin color would work as Cardinal red. See San Antonio Express News report.

The President of the University of the Incarnate Word then quipped that Mormons were taking over the computer graphics and design school. He then asked a student where she was from. When she responded, “Dallas,” he persisted, “No, where is your family from? You’re Indian, right?”  He asked another student to stand up. He commented she was lucky to get into UIW, because her test scores were so low.

The President was forced to take a 90 day medical leave by the Board of Trustees for UIW. Mr. Agnese insists there is nothing wrong with him medically. He also insists no students were offended by his comments. Yet, it was a student complaint that lead to his 90 day involuntary leave. Isn’t that how it always goes? The person who makes racial jokes is convinced everyone finds them as humorous as he does. It is a safe principle: never makes jokes about skin color or race.