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Paine College placed on probation by its accrediting body

Thursday, June 19, 2014 4:47 PM
Last updated Friday, June 20, 2014 7:50 AM
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Paine College was placed on probation by its accrediting body Thursday, the most severe and final sanction possible before accreditation is revoked.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges implemented the sanction after Paine failed to correct the same problems for two years on the less-severe warning status.

Compared to the six violations Paine faced in 2012 and 2013, the private college this year is in violation of nine standards relating to fiscal stability, institutional policy, qualified officers, control of finances, control of sponsored research, institutional environment, and federal student financial aid programs, according to commission spokeswoman Pamela Cravey.

Paine College officials refused to comment Thursday, according to spokeswoman Tonya Williams. Calls to various members of the Paine Board of Trustees were not immediately returned.

Paine has been under review by the United States Department of Education since 2012 and in July was notified for violating a dozen areas of federal student financial aid regulations.

As of March, Paine was still in noncompliance in three areas: keeping inaccurate records on Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loans posted to student accounts, leading to a discrepancy in how much was applied to student accounts versus how much was drawn from the government; paying late financial aid refunds to students or withholding them altogether, which the education department said could have been caused by diverting student aid money to payroll; and using current year funding to pay for a student’s previous year charges.

In addition to the federal financial aid violations, Paine is facing fiscal instability and operational mismanagement, according to a financial audit on fiscal years 2012 and 2013 obtained by The Augusta Chronicle.

According to the audit conducted by professional services firm BDO, Paine was operating at a loss in 2013, 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 June 30 also found some of the same bookkeeping failures identified in the 2011 fiscal year audit conducted by independent auditors Cherry Bekaert and Holland.

Both audits found Paine was not reconciling ledger accounts, so management had to record activity that happened months earlier.

Both audits found Paine did not prepare required documentation showing how an institution spends its federal money.

BDO found in fiscal year 2013, students paid required charges but the college did not appropriately charge student accounts, leaving credit balances in the sub-ledger. The audit showed Paine had $2.2 million in student receivables not yet collected as of June 30, compared to $974,000 the year before.

Accreditation is the review of a college’s financial stability, mission, educational quality and operations by a private, non-governmental agency to ensure the institution is legitimate, according to Ben Miller, the senior policy analyst for New America Foundation.

A school must be accredited to receive federal funding and for the students attending that institution to be eligible for grants and loans. Miller said a degree from an unaccredited institution is often a red-flag for employers and not deemed adequate.

Miller said colleges placed on sanctions often bounce back into compliance, but the return is more difficult for small, non-profit colleges that rely heavily on tuition and receive less private and pubic funding.

“If you lose accreditation, you almost certainly go out of business,” Miller said. “The vast majority of colleges that have accreditation trouble don’t end up losing accreditation, but the longer they spend (on sanction) the likelihood of improvement decreases.”

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rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 06/19/14 - 04:51 pm
0
0
The naacp,
Unpublished

aclu, obama and holder's DOJ will claim racism.

Pops
10408
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Pops 06/19/14 - 05:00 pm
10
1
Could it be that

Paine does not have the qualified people in place to do the right things? Sounds like it's time for double secret probation..............where are you at Dean Wormer.......???

dichotomy
34354
Points
dichotomy 06/19/14 - 05:27 pm
17
2
If Paine was not a

If Paine was not a "historically black" college it would have had it's accreditation revoked years ago...for many reasons....not limited to the ones cited. Augusta commissioners and Mayor (elect)......this is NOT the place to spend $6 million dollars of taxpayer money for a cultural center or anything else. I suspect that proposed SPLOST money was nothing more than a financial bailout anyway. $1 million or so to stick up some kind of little building and $5 million to cover the cooked books.

corgimom
34004
Points
corgimom 06/19/14 - 06:11 pm
8
3
What dichotomy said.

What dichotomy said.

Riverman1
86854
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Riverman1 06/19/14 - 06:23 pm
7
3
Prediction

I predict the Commission will vote for the county to take over Paine before it's over.

nocnoc
44842
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nocnoc 06/19/14 - 07:56 pm
6
1
What Pop, dichotomy, CM & RM said.

Not a bad comment yet.

Just My Opinion
5858
Points
Just My Opinion 06/19/14 - 07:39 pm
13
1
Two words seem to jump out at

Two words seem to jump out at me as I read this....."football team"!
Didn't everyone wonder how in the world Paine could justify starting a football program when they've been having all these problems, including financial. Foolish spending. Just no excuses for their CONTINUED problems.

studmuffin1533
294
Points
studmuffin1533 06/19/14 - 07:50 pm
3
8
Absorbed by GRU

The one institution that would benefit from being absorbed by the Azziz mafia is Paine.

Sweet son
10729
Points
Sweet son 06/19/14 - 08:31 pm
4
3
Riverman, even our Commission is not dumb enough to take on

this albatross! I hope your comment was sarcasm because no one or nobody needs to take on this mess. Where are the black ministers? Where are Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson? With it's rich history it is a shame for this institution to fail but it needs to be closed and GRU should work with them to accommodate their students.

As far as the Physical Plant it should be offered to GRU for the land for usage for it's programs. It would be a perfect spot for GRU to build the student housing especially to get away from Deek's field of dreams.

just an opinion
2718
Points
just an opinion 06/19/14 - 08:48 pm
5
2
An issue with "Qualified Officers"

Who are they? Why were they hired? How much do they make? How much do they work? Why have they not been replaced?

Little Lamb
46902
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Little Lamb 06/19/14 - 09:35 pm
8
2
St. Paul’s

It may seem draconian, but in the end it will be best for Augusta and all of society —>

What should happen to Paine College is what happened to St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. Strangely enough, St. Paul’s was once a Methodist-affiliated historically-black college. These schools were created through benevolence to educate black high school graduates in the Jim Crow south to give them the chance to excel, lead, and prosper.

The experiment worked. But now, these colleges are no longer needed. Blacks are exceeding without benevolence, but instead on their own merits and abilities.

Look at this story about St. Paul’s College:

Immigrants

Paine College needs to dissolve itself, holding its head high over all its successes and triumphs over the decades. The trustees should place the property up for sale. Hopefully they will see a better fate than becoming a holding facility for illegal immigrants.

I think their chances are good, because Lawrenceville, VA, is tiny. Augusta is big. Grooo might want some of the property. Private landlords might want some more to turn into apartments. Maybe an entrepreneur will want to open a barber shop. Whatever will be will be. Let the free market work its wonders.

Riverman1
86854
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Riverman1 06/19/14 - 10:18 pm
3
4
Sweet Son, yes and no

Sweet Son, yes and no. It's not unheard of for cities to fund colleges. The city has already built Paine's gym and will give them $5 more million if the SPLOST passes. Then you have the upcoming Commission. It will probably have 6 black commissioners and the black mayor. Paine has to be bringing in some money now, so it's not like the city would be totally funding everything. I consider city takeover a real possibility. Remember the city gave MCG the property where the housing project was worth about $8 million. The new Commission may think it's only fair to fund Paine.

showboat
346
Points
showboat 06/19/14 - 10:20 pm
0
0
I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY PAINE
Unpublished

I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY PAINE COLLEGE WILL NOT GET THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN PLACE TO GET THE BOOKS RIGHT. PAINE COLLEGE HAVE NEVER STATED A FOOTBALL TEAM. WHO IS IN CHARGE???????

to tell the truth1
142
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to tell the truth1 06/20/14 - 04:49 am
4
0
This isn't nothing new

This isn't nothing new. Way back in the late 90's when my daughter was enrolled there, she was receiving 100% in scholarships and grants but their business manager at the time Quincy Robertson was making her and other students alike pay $500
.00 a semester, when I questioned it, he said that money has to be generated into the college ????

bohica
431
Points
bohica 06/20/14 - 06:32 am
3
1
Has there been anything

Has there been anything positive from Paine College in the last 20 years ?

Riverman1
86854
Points
Riverman1 06/20/14 - 06:38 am
4
2
City Funding Paine Conversation

I’m not necessarily in favor of the city taking over Paine, but it’s interesting to point out possibilities. Realize if Paine closes, the population of the old city will decrease by hundreds. The way the city throws tens of millions at studies and schemes to gain residents and businesses such as the Laney Walker initiative fiasco, funding Paine to keep the jobs and residents seems pretty mild. I believe it's in the realm of possibility with this NEW Augusta government.

Dixieman
15963
Points
Dixieman 06/20/14 - 06:51 am
4
2
Close it

Sorry to have to come to that conclusion but there just is no "there" there anymore. Pull the plug and DNR, and for God's sake DON'T spend any more taxpayer money there.

corgimom
34004
Points
corgimom 06/20/14 - 07:21 am
3
3
Azziz will use the dorms,

Azziz will use the dorms, there won't be a drop in population. It'll be a great deal for him.

Riverman1
86854
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Riverman1 06/20/14 - 07:56 am
2
2
Corgimom Good Point

Corgimom, that's a good point and could happen, but let's examine the possibility. There will be a loss of blacks in the hundreds and a gain of whites. How would that influence this commission if the question of the city funding Paine is on the table?

AFjoe
3664
Points
AFjoe 06/20/14 - 08:30 am
2
3
ASVAB testing

Years ago I was a recruiter in Augusta. The whole time I was here I never had one person pass the test even to enlist. Were talking 8th grade math and reading. Glad Augusta did not dump SP-"LOST" money into the place.

nocnoc
44842
Points
nocnoc 06/20/14 - 08:14 am
2
1
IF ARC takes over Paine college

They'll just give it to GRU/ASU/MCG, for the promise of having the word "AUGUSTA" added in tiny print somewhere.

avidreader
3377
Points
avidreader 06/20/14 - 08:18 am
3
0
Bradley!!

Why is Bradley still in charge of Paine? Are there any rumblings about his dismissal?

Eagle 1
13
Points
Eagle 1 06/20/14 - 09:49 am
4
0
The unraveling of an institution

It is so sad that the Board of Trustees of Paine College seem to sit silently and allow a proven incompetent administration to continue to lead this long standing institution into vanishment. I am a firm believer that there is no benefit when “ignorance leads ignorance”. I am not upset with Dr. George Bradley for it seems that he has done only what he knows to do during his presidency . Clearly it has been demonstrated that he does not have what it takes to lead this institution. He is often absent and silently hides behind those whom he has put in place and they often do not have the skill sets needed to accomplish the tasks required to turn this failing institution around.

I am confused by Dr. Bradley's released statement to Alumni that says, I quote: “We are continuing to see a steady improvement in the College’s financial situation”. This one line does not hold water when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges released in their findings that “Compared to the six violations Paine faced in 2012 and 2013, the private college this year is in violation of nine standards relating to fiscal stability, institutional policy, qualified officers, control of finances, control of sponsored research, institutional environment, and federal student financial aid programs…”. In three years there seems to be no valued improvement by the present administration. These stated findings will not only greatly diminish the schools ability to receive federal funding but will also drive away private individuals, research grants and cooperate donations to the institution which more than likely will lead to the closing of the doors – FORGET THE SPLOST.

With the present president and his administration, Paine College is on track to become the Morris Brown College of Augusta, Ga – What a shame! One thing I truly believe is that an incompetent leader often will never quit or resign. I just hope that the Paine College Board of Trustees do not continue to sit silently and allow the unraveling of this long standing institution to continue.

Simple math: A Do Nothing Board of Trustees + An Incompetent President and Administration = GRU Ownership. Please do not allow Paine College's fate to be like that of Gilbert Manor – a small monument sitting on property that is now owned by GRU.

-A Dissatisfied Alumni (1985)

AFjoe
3664
Points
AFjoe 06/20/14 - 08:34 am
1
1
What they make

Just asking the question out loud...what kind of salary do the administrators make? Anyone know.

dsterling9
968
Points
dsterling9 06/20/14 - 08:48 am
2
1
AS GOVERNMENTS DO

It would appear Paine is being run as our local/state/federal government is being run. Keep hiring the incompetent and keep paying them to do a minimal or incompetent job, always giving glowing performance evaluations (if anyone ever evaluates), and letting them eventually retire draining more resources. Those in charge failing should be removed and replaced, even if temporarily, to get the institution up and running again. Sorry this is a historically founded institution; however, NO taxpayer funds should go into it. Any SPLOST resembling the last failed one will not get this taxpayers approval!

savannahdreams
2
Points
savannahdreams 06/20/14 - 01:26 pm
0
0
wow, looks like there is a double standard.

In reference to the person who stated that if it weren't a historical black college, it would have already been shut down.....I think you're onto something. In today's Augusta Chronicle is an article that after being warned last year, South Carolina State University in Orangeburg has been placed on accreditation probation for similar reasons and has been given only 1 year to correct...by the exact same accrediting agency too.

Here is the link to the article. http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2014-06-20/sc-state-placed-prob...

mrenee2003
2946
Points
mrenee2003 06/20/14 - 05:22 pm
0
1
AFjoe

It's we're not were. I learned that in third grade.

Riverman1
86854
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Riverman1 06/20/14 - 09:53 pm
2
0
mrenee2003 About We're and Were

MrRenee2003, with people using electronic devices and so on typos are common. I’m sure AFJoe knows the difference in we're and were. It’s likely he simply left off the apostrophe. Obviously, you didn’t like his message, but could find nothing factual to say. By the way your screen name, mrenee203, does not begin with a capital as names should. I learned that in first grade. See Spot run.

mrenee2003
2946
Points
mrenee2003 06/21/14 - 10:42 am
0
0
rm1

I doubt it was a typo since he managed to put quotes around "LOST." Obviously, you didn’t like my message, but could find nothing factual to say. Obviously, you sent your message from an electronic device.

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