Paine College was founded November 1, 1882 through an unusual collaboration between the white and black races of both, the United Methodist Church and the then Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, now Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The 132 year legacy of our college is on the line as loss of accreditation is drawing near. However, the great part about this is that we, as alumni, have a strong right to save our beloved institution. Paine College is bigger than any person who is leading it. The history and tradition at which the college has been built is great because of the alumni who love and support the college. Many people have said, we, who see the wrong effects of corruption and mismanagement, and who are speaking out against those issues, as bashing the school. I understand that sentiment. However, the bashing is not on Paine College, it is on the executive leadership that has had the audacity to not be transparent, open, and honest with constituents and stakeholders who have the best interest of the college, in their hearts.
Recently, there have been a plethora of events that have shaped the beliefs of the Paine College stakeholders. These events have been, to include: student protest, memos from concerned Board of Trustee members, The Augusta Chronicle articles, the new website known as “The Paine Project,” and national news coverage of events that hurt the reputation and viability of the institution. With everything that has been produced, the college has not made public statements against the issues, but has continued to say, “We are addressing those issues.” As in earlier correspondence, I have shared my concern for Paine College, out of the love that I have for the college. I believe that each of you share that same sentiment. There are several things that need to happen (which will be listed below) and I will continue to provide you with correspondence as we fight the last leg to save PAINE COLLEGE.
Updated Plan of Action:
1. I was going to create a website to share all the information that I had, but someone beat me to the punch and created http://www.thepaineproject.net, which has a lot of information. The site contains more information than I could ever have as a former Student Government Association President and student. Check out the website and get an understanding of he issues for yourself.
2. Make sure that you attend the National Alumni Association Meeting on this upcoming Saturday. The meeting will be in Augusta, Georgia at 10:30 a.m. in Candler Memorial Library on the Paine College campus.
3. Make sure that you all have questions that you want to ask, the questions will become issues, which will become part of the final plan of action that Sharyn D. Bergin, President of the National Alumni Association will have to take back to the Board of Trustees.
5. If the Board of Trustees refuses to make changes in leadership to the college, there are alumni members who are ready to file a lawsuit against the board for negligence. THIS WILL BE THE NEXT STEP IF THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT RESIGN OR IS ASKED TO LEAVE.
6. Remember, this is not about the President, but about saving Paine College. We have to get a group in there that cares and loves Paine College.
The Board of Trustees has not taken anything serious, but the college will have to take action now. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is watching the school closely, along with the Department of Education. Let us take a stand and save Paine College.