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Paine will remain under sanction by accrediting body

Thursday, June 20, 2013 5:45 PM
Last updated Friday, June 21, 2013 2:09 AM
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Paine College will remain under sanction by its accrediting body for a second year after it failed to correct an array of financial deficiencies identified in 2012.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges voted Thursday to keep Paine on a warning sanction for another 12 months, finding that it is out of compliance with most of the same six standards for which it was initially placed on notice in June 2012.

Paine is in violation of standards related to managing financial resources, employing qualified staffers, being able to demonstrate financial stability, exercising control over finances, having control over sponsored research/external funding, and handling federal student financial aid, according to Belle Wheelan, the commission’s president.

Wheelan said SACS officials visited the campus in the spring for a compliance check but determined that not enough progress had been made to lift the sanction.

Paine’s vice president of institutional advancement, Brandon Brown, said the college continues to improve and “has put a plan in place” to address the issues.

“The college is getting stronger every day, and we are working very hard,” Brown said Thursday. “We are very pleased at the position the college is headed in, and the support of the community has been overwhelming.”

In addition to the in-person review SACS made on campus in March, it reviewed Paine’s financial audit covering July 2011 to June 2012, according to Brown. He said the college has made “significant changes” since that time that will be reflected in the audit covering July 2012 to June 2013, which is being compiled.

Paine received its first sanction in June 2012 after financial issues surfaced showing a mismanagement of federal funding and expenditures that surpassed income.

An audit of fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11 showed Paine did not change enrollment statuses or return unused financial aid to the government after some students withdrew. The audit detailed the school’s lack of resources and knowledgeable personnel dedicated to preparing financial statements and managing federal money.

Paine lost access until 2014 to the Federal Perkins Loan, a need-based program for students, after not properly accounting for the funding.

The audit showed Paine mismanaged federal student aid by giving money to two students out of a 40-student sample who did not attend the school, did not return leftover financial aid after students withdrew and did not properly record withdrawal statuses for students.

An April 2012 memo written by a Paine board of trustees member also showed that the school used federal money intended for students to pay payroll and past-due bills in December 2011 and January 2012.

Paine has declined several requests by The Augusta Chronicle for a copy of its 2011-12 financial audit, which is not subject to certain open records laws because Paine is a private institution.

However, Brown said he sees Paine’s coming out from under its sanction and “exceeding the expectations.”

Schools can remain under a warning sanction for only two years before progressing to the more severe probation period. The probation sanction is used as a last step before a school has its accreditation removed, according to the school commission’s policy.

Accreditation is the confirmation of a college or university’s integrity and financial stability by a federally recognized accrediting body. The distinction is vital for schools to be considered legitimate and maintain access to federal funding, according to Allan Aycock, the director for assessment and accreditation at University of Georgia.

Students can receive financial aid only if they attend an accredited college or university, and researchers are not eligible for funding if their institutions are not accredited.

Aycock said schools are often given recommendations by accrediting bodies on how to improve; however, sanctions are more rare, and the revocation of accreditation is even more uncommon.

“The idea is not to get rid of them, but to help them adhere to best practices in everything from financial stability to faculty governance to having legitimate programs and being sure that students are learning what you want them to learn,” Aycock said. “There are many opportunities even prior to warning and probation sanctions that universities get to correct problems.”

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showboat
330
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showboat 06/20/13 - 07:31 pm
0
0
The board of trustees really
Unpublished

The board of trustees really need to step up to the plate and make some changes at Paine College. They are going to try and start a football team with this kind of sanction hanging over their head. This is poor judgement, who is in charge at Paine the president or B. Brown?

studmuffin1533
264
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studmuffin1533 06/20/13 - 07:39 pm
1
1
The GRU-Borg

I see a conspiracy here. The GRU/MCG/ASU/AC cube is plotting to assimilate Paine into their Borg Continuum. Then it will be Augusta Tech. Then the goofy, unaccredited schools that dot the landscape...

gargoyle
16030
Points
gargoyle 06/20/13 - 08:31 pm
3
0
"Paine did not change

"Paine did not change enrollment statuses or return unused financial aid to the government after some students withdrew. " At what point does this escalate to charges of fraud and embezzlement?

WTFH
94
Points
WTFH 06/20/13 - 09:20 pm
3
3
Merge Paine College and the

Merge Paine College and the Arsenal Campus and we could have
Azziz-Paine in the Arse-nal University. I can see it now...hmmmm.

WTFH
94
Points
WTFH 06/20/13 - 09:23 pm
3
0
And why are they trying to

And why are they trying to get football which is very expensive? How are they budgeting for that? Who is leading this school?

...point to ponder
743
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...point to ponder 06/21/13 - 08:26 am
0
2
Football...

I questioned that decision too when I heard the announcement a few months back. In their financial condition how could they afford a football program.

Given the concerns over operational, continuing financial and fiscal matters, I don't believe Paine College is really capable of surviving in the crowded educational services business.

If ever a consolidation made sense it would be for Paine to be absorbed by MCG/GRU and continue as the Paine Campus.

rmwhitley
5542
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rmwhitley 06/21/13 - 08:46 am
0
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Nothing unusual
Unpublished

here. Look at DeKalb county and Clayton county school systems. Run by people who haven't a clue about running an educational system. Whites may not have all of the answers, but blacks just don't get it.

thauch12
6428
Points
thauch12 06/21/13 - 08:49 am
3
2
Yes and...

Football and finances are one thing...but why would anyone go to Paine in the first place? While it's all well and good to "get a diploma," one's investment in their education should mean something and unfortunately a PC degree is pretty much worthless because the school isn't particularly good at anything. It may sound mean but such is reality.

Bizkit
30698
Points
Bizkit 06/21/13 - 09:23 am
3
1
Paine has a great handle on

Paine has a great handle on how to beat the system. They have a core of faculty that have been there for decades and the rest turns over every 3-4 years because that faculty is treated so shabbily-no raises, unsafe work conditions. They don't pay their debts just find another vender and continue. Even though they still owe millions on the HEAL complex they are starting an expensive football program (and rumor has it the last VP left because they wanted him to move funds illegally to that program) and breaking ground on a new dorm. I'm curious about all the lawsuits against the school. They have had four VP of Academic affairs the last four years and all left suddenly (lawsuits pending). It is a shame that racism will prevent this school from being closed because they have broken so many laws-labor laws, etc. It will never be assimilated into GRU and will always be there.

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 06/21/13 - 09:47 am
0
0
in 5 years paine will be
Unpublished

in 5 years paine will be bankrupt like morris brown college...let the monkeys run it they will steal all the money they can then let the college fall into bankruptcy while they catch the fast thing smoking out of town with their bank accounts full of stolen government money....stay away from hbcu, diploma's from paine and some of the others aren't worth the paper they are printed on.....unless your major is "thieving and conniving pastoral adminstration or thuggin technology"

Sweet son
10075
Points
Sweet son 06/21/13 - 10:17 am
2
0
[filtered word]H asked this question.

Who is leading this school? I have the answer: no one! I'm sure they have some good dedicated faculty and staff but leadership has not been around since the days of Julius Scott. Now that was a fine man. Call him out of retirement again!

Sweet son
10075
Points
Sweet son 06/21/13 - 10:35 am
1
0
"filtered word"

I was trying to identify the 3rd comment's user name. I didn't say a dirty word! LOL!

rmwhitley
5542
Points
rmwhitley 06/21/13 - 11:28 am
0
0
Paine,
Unpublished

Morehouse, Howard. Systemic problems.

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