Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Paine tightens security, announces health, finance measures

Monday, June 16, 2014 2:26 PM
Last updated Tuesday, June 17, 2014 1:35 AM
  • Follow Education

After two sexual assaults on the Paine College campus since 2012 and a series of shootings in May in which a student was shot in the head, President George C. Bradley on Monday announced stiff security upgrades.

Bradley said that by July 1, all students and faculty and staff members will be required to wear identification badges at all times on campus, and visitors will be required to sign in at the security office and wear a badge.

Bradley said that security cameras have been installed in “strategic” areas and that Paine police officers will be present 24 hours a day at all vehicle access entries.

“With these additional systems in place, it is important to ensure that all Paine College remains a safe learning environment for our campus and our community,” said Bradley, adding that the college hired four additional police officers in recent weeks for a total of 12 officers.

Bradley announced the upgrades at a news conference Monday, at which he also discussed various health and wellness initiatives and fiscal changes.

The college will launch an outreach campaign to promote wellness in the community by offering classes, seminars and other health-related activities on campus. On July 1, Paine will join 1,300 other colleges and universities across the nation by becoming tobacco- and smoke-free.

Helene Carter, the assistant vice president of institutional advancement, said the wellness outreach is part of the college’s agreement with the city of Augusta for obtaining $2.5 million of special purpose local option sales tax funding to build the Health Education Activities Learning Complex in 2009.

In the contract for receiving the money, Paine was required to make the complex accessible to the community outside of the students and staffers of the private school.

Carter said Paine already has made the complex available to nonprofits, private groups and other organizations for events but will launch the Healthy Living Series in the fall to expand that outreach. Events will include health screenings, exercise classes, cooking seminars and other activities for the public, Carter said.

In addition to the health and safety initiatives, Bradley said his administration will restructure the college’s operating practices over the next 120 days to save $2.4 million.

Carter said that will include restructuring procurement practices and reducing staff travel, but she did not elaborate on other strategies to cut costs.

“We’re tightening our belts, trimming the fat,” she said, adding that she does not foresee any staff reductions.

In May, the college announced it would implement 10 furlough days throughout the summer months to offset reductions to student aid programs.

Along with receiving less money in federal student aid, however, Paine’s financial base is riddled with expenditures that exceed the college’s revenue, high credit lines and bookkeeping failures, according to the fiscal years 2012 and 2013 audit conducted by professional services firm BDO and obtained by The Augusta Chronicle.

As of June 30, Paine was operating at a loss, with expenditures exceeding revenues by almost $300,000. Revenue fell by more than $2 million from the previous year ,and Paine maxed out its nearly $4 million line of credit with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC.

The BDO audit on the year ending last June 30 also found some of the same bookkeeping failures identified in the fiscal 2011 by independent auditor Cherry Bekaert and Holland.

BDO found that Paine did not have internal controls over financial operations, so ledger accounts were not being reconciled. At the end of the year, management had to record activity that occurred months earlier.

Both audits found errors with Paine’s ability to track and reconcile cash, and BDO stated “some documentation could not be located by the college in a timely fashion or in certain cases at all.”

Paine has been under review by the U.S. Department of Education since 2012, and in July the department identified 12 violations ranging from withholding refund checks from students to inadequate bookkeeping.

As of March, Paine had rectified all but three of those violations and was still in noncompliance for keeping inaccurate records on the amount of federal aid being drawn from the government, withholding refunds from students and using current-year funding to pay for previous year charges.

Comments (12) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
jrsc429
404
Points
jrsc429 06/16/14 - 03:06 pm
2
2
smoke free

I hope the new Smoke Free Policy includes gun smoke.

Little Lamb
47272
Points
Little Lamb 06/16/14 - 04:21 pm
0
2
Badges?

Somehow, I don't consider just making people wear badges to be a "stiff" security upgrade.

I hope they don't put tacky signs up all over the place telling visitors that they need to go somewhere and obtain a badge.

This is so un-college-like.

corgimom
34719
Points
corgimom 06/16/14 - 05:02 pm
0
4
They don't have any choice,

They don't have any choice, LL, it's either do that or close the doors right now. They are struggling as it is, and this has been a terrible blow to them.

corgimom
34719
Points
corgimom 06/16/14 - 05:03 pm
1
2
I personally think that Azziz

I personally think that Azziz is just sitting back and making plans to purchase their dorms at a fire-sale price.

Pops
10933
Points
Pops 06/16/14 - 05:48 pm
3
1
Paine is loaded with

incompetence........nothing will change in the long term.....they are just trying some damage control sound bites to get the Feds off their rear end.......

Bizkit
33336
Points
Bizkit 06/16/14 - 08:37 pm
1
0
Paine needs to tighten it's

Paine needs to tighten it's belt financially and quit being so incompetent in that department-two years of fiscal incompetence should be addressed by their board to fire the president before the school loses their accreditation. He needs to be the fall guy because he is in charge and it is all his fault. I don't know if its incompetence or just stupidity to just ignore SACS. I really feel sorry for the students because they have been had that they think they got a decent education. From what I hear from GRU-both MCG and ASU, Plant Vogel, SRS, and other possible employers or looking for grad, medical, or dental school that few graduates have a chance of getting in. Course publicly they sound supportive-but if you want their true opinion it isn't very high. The school is getting a bad reputation academically too. Course with no continuity in faculty the students heads are probably spinning. New chairmans every year or so, new faculty every year or so. I don't see why SACS doesn't pull their accreditation. The VP gets a DUI which that is a great role model for students. School shootings, rapes, who would want to send their kids there?

GiantsAllDay
9975
Points
GiantsAllDay 06/16/14 - 09:11 pm
4
0
What other college in the

What other college in the world requires a visitor to report in and wear a badge? I've used the libraries at both Augusta State and UGA to do some research. I was not a student. I just walked into the library and went about my business.

IBeDogGone
3015
Points
IBeDogGone 06/16/14 - 10:29 pm
2
1
Badges

I have to wear a badge at work because it is my key to access in each building on my work campus. This is crazy to think just because someone has on a badge the campus is safe. If I g from one building to the next and there is a bad situation at hand my badge is not going to protect me. With this kind of reasoning the only the thing the badge is going to do is help identify the victimns.

Truth Matters
7304
Points
Truth Matters 06/16/14 - 10:44 pm
1
3
Okay, let's be sensible here.

Okay, let's be sensible here. The purpose of a badge on a college campus is the same as one worn by a staffer at a hospital or a patron at The Masters. It allows security to quickly determine if one has cause to be where he/she is. That is just a baseline determination, after which additional info can be ascertained if needed.

There maybe plenty to criticize the school about but at least be sensible about the badges. In an effort to belittle this school some make themselves look small and petty.

Bizkit
33336
Points
Bizkit 06/16/14 - 10:55 pm
3
0
GRU and the VA have had

GRU and the VA have had badges for years. Paine is just finally catching up. You can't get into much of old MCG campus without an ID badge that opens the door. Seems at Paine there has been no investment in infrastructure or improvements in decades till the present administration to be fair. They seem to have a five year plan that is admirable-you can check it out on their site. But I don't think it was reasonable nor implemented well. The move to build a football team now was like Bush going to war in Iraq-a bad move. They should tear down most of the building or gut and completely refurbish them and build up their faculty and research efforts. A small historic black school should qualify for funding pretty easily compared to GRU which is competing on a whole different level. There are many excellent schools the same size as Paine and it is a shame that this school wasn't managed to produce the same. I don't understand why they weren't prosecuted for spending federal funds for students on their bills?

jbenny2010
263
Points
jbenny2010 06/17/14 - 10:45 am
2
1
It never ceases to amaze me

It never ceases to amaze me how so many people who probably have never set foot on the property of Paine College have so many negative opinions. You cannot compare a private Methodist college to a public college. I agree that Paine has had some problems and I am so happy that they are beginning to address these situations. Paine was established by a partnership between black and white Methodist churches. Paine has always had white students/faculty/staff as well as other nationalities. I don't understand why those of you on this forum have the attitude that those [black] people need to get their act together. Paine has always been an important part of this community and those of us who are alumni and friends of Paine will ensure that our legacy continues in spite of the naysayers.

Bizkit
33336
Points
Bizkit 06/17/14 - 12:51 pm
1
1
No one stated anything about

No one stated anything about "black people"-it is a historic black college but as you point out everyone knows it has a mixed faculty and student population. The Paine site covers everything and then their FACT book too=it is open to the public. People are talking about the problems the AC has covered in the paper with SACS, lawsuits, and then rapes and violence. It doesn't have anything to do with black-that is a racist attitude. Sure you can compare Paine to public schools as SACS accredits both. Which you should be concerned that it will lose accreditation which would mean no federal student support-and with the continuing pattern of using those funds properly maybe should be the case. You should be demanding the President and Board explain why they haven't addressed all the SACS issues. I would hate for the school to close because of gross mismanagement. It could be a gem for the area=rather a source of potential embarrassment. Paine receives federal dollars so should scrutinized just as much as everyone does GRU-which they do. Seems to me you are playing the race card to diffuse a lot of bad press-when you should be mad at the school for errors. I would have no problem if my child wanted to go to a historic black college-just not Paine because of all their problems.

jimmymac
43300
Points
jimmymac 06/17/14 - 02:21 pm
0
0
PAINE
Unpublished

With all the negative news at Paine why would a parent want to send their child to that school? Worry about rape, shootings and fiscal calamity should be enough for most to go somewhere else.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Search of alleged dealer's home found drugs, firearms

An Augusta man who alleged sheriff's officers have used illegal steroids, some for years, came to the attention of a Richmond County Sheriff's narcotics officer twice, according to an ...
Search Augusta jobs