Commission recommends loss of accreditation for Paine College

Paine College Campus Photo
Paine College Campus Photo

[UPDATED AT 10:02 PM]

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Coverage you can count on begins with the status of Paine College.

Following a recommendation that Paine should lose its accreditation, President Samuel Sullivan held a press conference to explain his and the staff’s shock.

Despite challenging times, the Paine College President and his staff are calling for the rebirth of Paine College,”I can assure you that we will avail of ourselves in every way possible.” A spokesperson for the Paine College Board of Trustees.

Institutions under the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges have to meet the standards outlined in its “Principles of Accreditation.” The historical institution failed to meet 10 sanctions, which until Wednesday’s meeting with S.A.C.S.O.C., Sullivan says he believed the college had worked to comply with.

“I was disappointed. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was. The S.A.C.S. committee did not vote to reaffirm us,” Sullivan said.

Despite the ample evidence presented to S.A.C.S.O.C., Paine College came up short failing to meet three big requirements – all pertaining to the schools financial situation.

“The issue is a little bit of money.” The Paine College President said.

Through donations totaling nearly $3.1 million dollars, the school was able to eliminate the projected budget deficit for this fiscal year. Still they need more than a $1 million dollars to meet S.A.C.S.O.C. financial stability requirement for years to come.

Some current students say they fear they will be left with a degree of no value if Paine College does not meet those requirements.

“None of them involve academic integrity or equality. None of them involve instructional programs. That said the students who are enrolled are receiving a high quality education,” said Trustee Thurmond.

The administration says the college will appeal the recommendation and during that time it will still maintain its current status.

“Paine College has not lost its accreditation,” Trustee Thurmond said.

Paine College administrators say they are still waiting for details to begin the appeals process. They could go before S.A.C.S.O.C. as soon as August.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – NewsChannel 6 has learned new details regarding the potential removal of Paine College’s accreditation in a press conference with school President Samuel Sullivan, in which he stated that they will push for an appeal and fight for reaccreditation.

Sullivan says that the school originally did not meet 10 criteria but worked to resolve those issues.

The three remaining criteria are financially related. The school had a projected $3.5 million deficit in April.

The school is still asking for people to make contributions to the university.

As of now, Paine College remains accredited.

NewsChannel 6 will have more details following our 11 p.m. broadcast.


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has voted to remove Paine College from its membership, thereby recommending it lose accreditation. That’s according to Dr. Pamela Cravey with SACSCOC.

Cravey tells NewsChannel 6 there are three reasons for the recommended loss of accreditation:

  1. Failure to comply with Core Requirement 2.11.1 (Financial resources and stability)
  2. Failure to comply with Comprehensive Standard 3.10.1 (Financial stability)
  3. Failure to comply with Comprehensive Standard 3.10.4 (Control of sponsored research/external funds) of the Principles of Accreditation.

A press conference is scheduled for later this afternoon at Paine College, and we’ll have more details on NewsChannel 6 at 5, 5:30 and 6.

Augusta University’s President, Dr. Brooks Keel, has released a statement on the matter.

We extend our support to Paine College during this very challenging time. Paine’s roots run deep in our community and today our hearts are with their students, faculty, staff and alumni. Augusta University and Paine College aren’t only neighbors, but partners in a common goal to create a community of scholars invested in the success of Augusta. Like our own institution, Paine College is focused on the success of its students and we are committed to finding ways to help their students reach their academic goals.

-President Brooks Keel on behalf of Augusta University

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