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Paine College's accrediting body responds to lawsuit, denies wrongdoing

(WRDW)
Published: Nov. 28, 2016 at 6:53 PM EST
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Monday, Nov. 28, 2016

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The bells at Paine College still ring out on 15th St.

The flags still hang and students still walk the campus fully believing they will also walk across Paine's graduation stage.

"I am going to fulfill my dream of graduating from Paine College through this.. I am still going to graduate from Paine," Dana Bradshaw.

Paine is still fighting with their accrediting body, SACS, to even keep the doors open.

Paine claims "two years into a new administration" they were in the" best financial shape in years"

SACS denies that's true.

SACS also says Paine's financial statements claim more than "18 million dollars" in revenue in 2016 over a 2 million dollar surplus in the budget, But SACS says that "does not accuratly reflect the condition of Paine College."

The accrediting body did admit the Director of Legal Affairs dined with the chair of the appeals committee the night before the appeals hearing, but SACS denies she was high ranking or that she discussed the Paine appeal during dinner.

"I was devastated there for a while," said Augusta Chapter Paine Alumni President George Bailey.

Devastated over the first decision to revoke the school's membership, Paine alumni like Georgia Bailey continue to raise money for the school

"We need to treat it as if this schoool is going to be here forever," said Bailey.

Paine also claimed that same SACS employee was advocating for the removal of Paine College from membership outside the appeal hearing. SACS denies those allegations as well.