News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, March 28, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Paine College President George Bradley is now giving News 12 the inside story after students complained of checks bouncing and mold in the dorms.
"This is a time of transition," he said. "We'll take the hit at this point, but I think next semester we'll be back."
Bradley spoke out on our weekly radio segment on 96.3 Kiss FM with Fattz and Cher one week to the day after students protested on campus and raised major concerns.
"Checks bouncing. Mold in the dorms. What's the deal?" we asked Bradley.
"We had a clerical error that we corrected in our business office," he replied. "That's always unfortunate, but we caught it."
Bradley said the college is working to make sure the error never happens again.
"We have a national search for a financial officer," Bradley said. "We are going to take our time and do a good job."
Sources tell News 12 the board of trustees has approved borrowing $3 million from the school's endowment as a safety net.
"It sounds pretty serious," Bradley said, "but it's not quite accurate. We haven't made any transaction with $3 million. And as any institution we have a credit line. If we need to use a credit line, we will do that."
We also asked Bradley about the recent faculty and administrator turnover at the college.
"In any institution, we want to find the right fit," Bradley said. "[We want to] make sure we accomplish our mission and move toward our vision."
As for the mold? Bradley said they have tackled the problem that sources tell News 12 mainly persists on shower curtains in the dorm restrooms. It all comes as the college battles down enrollment.
"More than 60 students," we noted. "That has to impact the college finances?"
"Definitely, when students are not there," Bradley said. "But we have several new programs."
The college is kicking off a new pre-nursing program that, with the right grades, promises a chance to study at the International School of Nursing in St. Kitts.
"The Virgin Islands," Bradley said. "And the only thing that disgusts me about the program is they have all that water in their backyard, which is the Atlantic Ocean."
News 12 was also there last Friday as Bradley finished collaboration talks with Dr. Ricardo Azziz, president of Georgia Health Sciences University. The collaboration would promise research opportunities and a chance to play football at a possible new riverfront athletic complex being pitched by the Ripken Group.
"It's an old African proverb ... one hand can't clap," Bradley said. "We are going to come together, and as it pertains to football, we are doing a feasibility study on football."
That study is expected to be complete as early as next month. Bradley said the search for a new director of finance will take about six weeks.
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