***UPDATED 10:20 p.m. 9/17/16***
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Paine College leaders are responding to the news of the loss of its accreditation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) issued a press release late Saturday informing the public of its decision.
Paine College released the following press release in response to the news:
Paine College has been notified that the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) denied its appeal. Paine has instructed its attorneys to file a lawsuit in the United States District Court seeking an order compelling SACSCOC to restore its accreditation. It is anticipated that this lawsuit will be filed in the next 48 hours. Paine will ask a federal district judge to prevent SACSCOC’s ruling from taking effect until the conclusion of the lawsuit, and is hopeful that the Court will enter such an order in the next few days.
Attorney Barbara E. Bouknight, Chair of the Paine College Board of Trustees stated, “We are disappointed that SACSCOC chose to ignore the voluminous evidence demonstrating that Paine College is a vibrant, financially stable institution. She added, “It is deeply distressing that SACSCOC has removed us from membership when our financial condition has improved so markedly over the last few years. We are also deeply disturbed by the process that led to this result.
Paine College President Dr. Samuel Sullivan stated, “This was not a review process that was governed by standards of due process. “ He further stated, “Although we presented abundant evidence that we had satisfied the issues SACSCOC identified, SACSCOC chose to ignore such evidence. Fortunately, SACSCOC does not have the last word. We believe that a court of law, following standards of due process which are guaranteed by federal law but completely absent from our proceedings before SACSCOC, will vindicate our position and ultimately order our SACSCOC accreditation restored.”
Attorney Michael Thurmond, Paine College Board Chair-elect, stated, “Our students, faculty, and staff should know that Paine will take every action to maintain its accreditation. In the meantime, our students, faculty, and staff should know that Paine will take every action necessary to maintain its accreditation during the pendency of this lawsuit. Paine College family and supporters should know that we are exploring all alternatives.”
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has decided to terminate the accreditation of Paine College.
According to SACSCOC.org, the school was denied for financial reasons.