12 OYS: Paine College feels pain of probation by accreditation commission

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / June 20, 2104

Paine College (WRDW-TV)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) - Paine College is facing some pains of its own. "SACS has been very fair. They've given us two years under warning to make sure we hit the mark," said President George Bradley.

With that second warning, Bradley said the school has been placed on a one year probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, also known as SACS.

"SACS determined we still need to strengthen some of our processes," said Bradley. While he said Paine has corrected non-compliance issues found in a 2012-2013, things like money control and financial stability, there are several other unresolved issues. They include finances, safety protocol and administration.

"We have to lean on our credit line. Well, we're going to tighten the belt and we're going to back off that," said Bradley. Paine's problems are not isolated. Other historically black colleges and universities are facing similar financial problems, including South Carolina State University, which is also on probation. Cuts in federal Pell Grant funding is part of the problem.

Only 83 institutions nationwide have as many at 60% of their students receiving Pell Grants. Fifty of those institutions are HBCU's. In addition to funding, how the school handles its finances is another reason Paine is on probation.

"We have not met the criteria on certain things," said Bradley. In the past 2 years, the college has had 3 chief financial officers. SACS is recommending Paine strengthen how it manages its money, or risk having its accreditation pulled. "There has been some improvement, but we're not there yet," said Bradley.