The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges has recommended that Paine College, a private HBCU which has faced turmoil in leadership and finances since 2011, lose its accreditation and access to receive federal student financial aid disbursements.
Paine, which earned reaffirmation of its accreditation in 2011, was placed on probation in June 2014 for lack of financial oversight and instability. That same month, an anonymous website, ThePaineProject.net, began publishing charges against Paine administrators for financial mismanagement, including former president George Bradley, who resigned from the position four months later.
The Augusta Chronicle reported last year that by the end of 2014 Paine lost $2.9 million in assets, the fourth consecutive year it had lost assets, and the amount owed on a line of credit went from $3.8 million to $5.4 million. But under Sullivan, the school had embarked on an aggressive fundraising campaign over the last several months.
The school held a press conference last month to celebrate having reached its $3.5 million fundraising goal. While the school refused last week to make Sullivan available for interviews, he penned a Guest Column for The Chronicle that appeared earlier this week where he wrote “our struggle is not yet over.”
Paine officials have 10 days from the official receipt of accreditation notice to appeal the decision, and to maintain its full accreditation status throughout the appeal process.