Paine College Leadership Presents at the CSRA Leaders Luncheon

Posted by painewebmaster | 09/6/2016 11:50 AM

Paine College’s CSRA Luncheon was hosted by William C. Morris, III today, September 6, 2016 at the Augusta Marriott. Paine College President, Samuel Sullivan, and Chair-Elect of the Paine College Board of Trustees, Michael Thurmond presented the following TALKING POINTS:

1. In 1882 Paine Institute was founded in Augusta by leadership of the Methodist Episcopal Church South (now the United Methodist Church) and Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (now the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church). This collaboration between white and black religious denominations was an unprecedented example of racial cooperation in the post- Civil War South.

2. When Paine’s former president resigned in September 2014, the College faced a $10 million budget shortfall. Under the leadership of Samuel Sullivan, Interim President (at that time), the College budget was cut significantly in Fiscal Year 2015, including elimination of the football program and significant changes in fiscal oversight and accountability. The Board of Trustees unanimously adopted the balanced Fiscal Year 2017 budget presented by President Sullivan. 

3. In April 2016, the Paine College Board of Trustees elected new leadership, including Attorney Barbara Bouknight, Chair, and Attorney Michael Thurmond, Chair-Elect. As the governing authority of the college, the trustees acknowledged and accepted full responsibility for correcting the fiscal and managerial shortcomings that have plagued the college in recent years.

4. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has recognized the significant progress made by Paine College. In 2014, Paine was out of compliance with ten (10) standards of the Principals of Accreditation. After nearly two years of work, Paine has been judged compliant with seven (7) of those ten (10) standards. The three remaining sanctions involve questions concerning financial stability and sustainability, only. The Colleges' academics are strong.  

5. There is no question that Paine and other historically black and small liberal arts colleges experienced severe financial challenges in recent years.  A significant part of the problem can be attributed to the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to tighten credit requirements for the Parent PLUS loan program. Between 2011 and 2013, the number of Parent PLUS loan recipients declined by 45 percent at HBCU’s. The total loss in funding was approximately $166 million. The impact on Paine was particularly severe as nearly 95% of Paine’s students qualified for financial aid, compared to 45% at all HBCUs. Between 2011 and 2013, Paine experienced a 66% decline in the number of borrowers from 163 to 56 which resulted in a 73% percent decline in the loan amount approved -- $1,547,161 to $422,909 -- a decline of $1,124,252.

6. Paine ended FY 2016 with a net balance of $634,132

7. Paine’s liabilities declined from $18,460,607 in FY 2015 to $17,684,183 in FY 2016

8. Paine’s private gifts increased from $2.4 million in FY2014 to $3.1 million in FY 2015 to $4.2 million in FY 2016

9. Paine’s total net assets increased from -$2,408,411 in FY 2014 to -$1,303,948 in FY 2015 to $2,423,824 in FY 2016.

10. SACSCOC has stated on several occasions that despite the financial challenges, the College’s academic program remains strong.

11. The Uniqueness of Paine College - As an HBCU, Paine College plays a unique role in the regional higher education eco-system. We offer small classes and personal attention in an academic environment that is primarily African-American. Staff, faculty and administrators serve as role models and mentors and, together with students, create an environment that supports both high achievers and those with potential who may not have demonstrated the strongest academics in high school. 

The history of Paine College is a wellspring which influences our ability to help address some of the key social and racial issues facing our community and country at this specific time. Our history provides us with a deep pool of experience and relationships we can leverage to help address the specific challenges and stresses of our increasingly diverse community and nation.

12.  Strong Academic Programs


- Biology and Pre-Professional Sciences
- Business
- Media Sciences
- Cyber Security - Paine is part of a national collaboration funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and in partnership with 13 HBCU’s and two Department of Energy Lab.  The program focuses on helping to meet the nation’s growing demand for cyber security professionals. Summer programs on cyber security are available with stipends, free tuition, and free room and board. This program is ideal for partnership with Fort Gordon – Augusta as the epicenter of cyber security in the country; helping to ensure diversity in the field of cyber security.


13. Economic impact - With 140 employees and a $15 million annual economic impact, Paine College plays an important role in the region’s economy and social fabric.