Paine College makes key leadership appointments Thursday

Paine College announced appointments to two top leadership positions Thursday, which President George C. Bradley said are key to meeting the college’s core values and mission.

Edward Patrick, the former controller for Clark Atlanta University, was named vice president of administrative and fiscal affairs. Samuel Sullivan, who was named interim provost and vice president of academic affairs in March, will now move into that position permanently.

“These two gentleman I have the utmost confidence in,” Bradley said. “They have had the opportunity to work with our faculty, our staff and our students and are involved with our community.”

Patrick will take the lead in steering the college out of a financial crisis that has caused it to be placed under a warning sanction from its accrediting body for two consecutive years.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College sanctioned Paine in 2012 and 2013 for failing to correct deficiencies ranging from financial stability to the handling of student financial aid.

Patrick said improving the school’s communication network will be key to fixing these issues. He said there are processes and procedures in place, but they may not all be documented, which is important to complete so they can be evaluated.

“Overall, this didn’t happen overnight, so we don’t plan on turning it around overnight but you’ll see significant improvements each year,” said Patrick, a certified public accountant with more than 20 years of finance experience.

Patrick replaces Roger Mclean, who served as vice president of administrative and fiscal affairs for about a year and will now serve as internal auditor, according to Bradley.

Sullivan, a retired vice president at the former Augusta State University with 40 years of higher education experience, said his role is to “refresh” Paine and bring it to the next level.

His first goal will be to focus on improving recruitment strategies to draw high-achieving high school students and potential leaders to campus. He will also work to expand research opportunities for faculty and reach out to local media to offer Paine professors as experts for interviews or community discussions.

Students will also be held to higher standards in terms of academic responsibility and completing courses on time so they enter the workforce prepared.

Sullivan said education in the 21st century is the difference between those who achieve success and those who barely survive, and his expectations for Paine are clear.

“The purpose of Paine College is to be responsive to the needs of constituents, to bring students to their full potential and to do so by creating every possible avenue to intellectual achievement without compromising academic excellence,” he said.

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