Paine woes require action

In 2011 the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges found at Paine College mismanaged student financial aid; unqualified personnel preparing financial statements; and expenditures exceeding revenues. It issued a warning and granted two years to remedy the findings.

A 2013 fiscal audit showed many of the same issues still remained, with ledger accounts not being reconciled; a failure to track and reconcile cash; and discrepancies in what was paid and charges posted to student accounts. On June 19, Paine was placed on probation for nine violations of compliance with the commission’s standards related to finances, governance, qualified personnel and mismanagement of federal student financial aid.

Paine President George C. Bradley has failed to adequately address the issues, and as a consequence Paine College, a 132-year-old institution, stands at the door of possible revocation of accreditation. Based upon the foregoing, I hereby call on President Bradley to resign immediately so a qualified and capable president can take the helm and resolve the issues that have put a historical institution with a rich legacy at great risk.

The current predicament of Paine College also results from failure of the Board of Trustees to fulfill its oversight and fiduciary responsibilities. Accordingly, if Bradley does not resign and the board does not take the compelling and necessary corrective action within the next couple of weeks, I respectfully ask all alumni with legal qualifications to explore and execute all legal options to hold responsible and mandate the Board of Trustees to execute its obligations and duties under law. I am prepared to make a substantial contribution toward the effort.

(The writer is a 1969 graduate of Paine College.)

 

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