The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has voted to strip historically Black Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, of its accreditation. Paine College has been on probation for the past two years and the accrediting agency was not satisfied with the progress of the college to insure its financial stability.
On hearing of the accrediting agency’s decision, the college quickly responded by saying it would appeal the decision. Samuel Sullivan, president of Paine College, said that “although we respect their decision, we will pursue and avail ourselves of all appeal rights available to us.” While the appeal is underway, the college will retain its accredited status. Should the appeal fail and accreditation is revoked, students at Paine College will be ineligible for federal financial aid programs. Currently, about 95 percent of Paine College students participate in federal financial aid programs.
Paine College officials appeared confident that during the appeal process the college would have sufficient time to address the accrediting agency’s remaining concerns. Michael Thurmond, vice chair-elect of the Paine College board of trustees stated that “we are optimistic that the college is moving in the right direction and on the path to successfully addressing the institution’s fiscal challenges. Paine College will not close.”
President Sullivan added that “we are confident that with our submission of additional evidence regarding the strategy to improve financial conditions, our appeal will be successful.”