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Urgent Post #4 – UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Friends, Students, Faculty Members, and Alumni

We at the Paine Project have taken a hands off approach as we patiently waited and watched to see if Dr. Samuel Sullivan would take the reigns of leadership and guide our beloved Paine College through the turbulent storms that have beset her.  We silently were thrilled at the considered and deliberate pace at which he examined, evaluated, diagnosed then acted to surgically remove most of the remaining cancerous cells left over from the King George administration.

But just as he was catching stride, and the patient was showing signs of improvement, we just as soon realized that although the patient’s body was healing the patient is beset with a mental disease.  The brain of the College, its Board of Trustees, is sick and in need of therapy.  Silas Norman, chairman of the Board of Trustees, is still paying homage to King George.  By his decision to terminate Dr. Sullivan, Silas Norman and his gang of Bradley servile sycophants demonstrated that there is major Unfinished Business yet to be undertaken if Paine College is to make a full recovery.

To The Students of Paine College:

Let this be a teachable moment.   Henry David Thoreau lectured before the Concord Lyceum in January of 1848 on the subject “On the Relation of the Individual to the State.” Later published as “Civil Disobedience”.  Thoreau’s movitavition for penning “Civil Disobedience” was his experience of having spent one night in jail in July of 1846 for refusal to pay his poll tax in protest against slavery and the Mexican War.  Although Thoreau’s themes througout the essay are varied its essential meaning can be boiled down to this –

Majority rule is based on physical strength, not right and justice. Individual conscience should rule instead.  One should deplore the lack of judgment, moral sense, and conscience in the way men serve the state. A man cannot bow unquestioningly to the state’s authority without disregarding himself.  The verbal expression of opposition to authority is meaningless.  Only action — what you do about your objection — matters.

On February 1, 1960, at 4:30pm four freshmen students from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, an HBCU, sat down at the lunch counter inside the Woolworth store at 132 South Elm Street in Greensboro, North Carolina to protest the refusal of white establishments to serve black patrons.  The next day, more than twenty black students joined the protest.  This peaceful student protest lead to the establishment of the Student Non-Violent Cordinating Committee, one of the foremost student groups during the 1960’s civil rights movement.  These students did something to manifest their protest.

In March of 2012, a group of about 30 Paine College Students lead by then SGA president Jabal Moss, protested the lack of judgment, moral sense, and conscience of the George Bradley administration in the way it treated its most precious resource, its students.  They wore black and carried signs demonstrating their protest on the main campus of Paine College.  This is your history.  These students did something to manifest their protest.  Their protest brought attention to the ineptitude of the Bradley administration and eventully lead to his ouster.

Now its your turn to do something to manifest your protest of the firing of a good and decent man, Dr. Samuel Sullivan, as the interim President of Paine College. This is your moment to make your mark on the history of Paine College.  Whether you take decisive action, or show yourselves to be a do nothing student body, you will make history.  We at the Paine Project say – “Don’t talk about it Be about it.”  It’s your future that is at stake.

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Featured Post #8

When a Caucasian police officer killed an unarmed Black man with raised hands in Ferguson, Missouri, a justice probe was launched. Let’s multiply those raised hands by symbolically placing them in a Paine College classroom.

How many “unarmed” black men and women stand on the threshold of being systematically killed by the documented abuses attributed to the George Bradley administration as revealed on the pages of this website? Are the raised hands of 800 students who are the victims of black-on-black crime committed in the context of failed collegiate leadership any less worthy of a Department of Justice investigation? Certainly, one conducted by the Department of Education is merited.

With regards to The Paine Project website’s Human Resources Mismanagement section, just how many of the sixty-plus faculty and staff Bradley has fired in his six year tenure is Black in comparison to white? And, with regards to strictly student affairs, what is the expulsion disparity contrasting the treatment of black students with white?

There is little doubt that if Paine College were a predominantly white institution (PWI), the revelations presented on this website would be more than sufficient for the Paine College Board of Trustees to demand Bradley’s resignation, or effect his immediate termination along with his entire executive staff. But, only because Black incompetence at Black institutions, and abusive behavior performed by Blacks against Blacks is viewed as being less reprehensible, is such tolerated with both white and black political indifference and indolence.

Bradley exists because he has been allowed to exist. The snake that slithers its way into the garden cannot be faulted for doing what it does when it’s allowed to remain untouched by the gardener’s hoe. So, those who whisper foul, and cry ouch when finally bitten have nobody to blame but themselves.

In the 132-year history of Paine College, George C. Bradley is the institution’s sixth Black president. Unfortunately, the legacy he will leave is not only an ancestral disgrace, but a disservice to all the Paine presidential leadership that’s come before.

Kendra

Furloughs vs. Football

Paine College to Impement $2.4 Million in Cuts

According to an article appearing in the Augusta Chronicle and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dr. Bradley has announced that the college will implement furlough days, salary reductions and layoffs to save $2.4 million over the next fiscal year.  (College outlines $2.4 million in cuts)  That amounts to roughly 10% of the college’s annual budget. According to the press release by Bradley, the cuts are necessary due to funding changes in federal and state financial aid programs to students and not to his ineptitude and mismanagement of the college’s fiscal affairs.  Yet football, which according to some sources is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, in the form of staff salaries, scholarships, equipment costs, travel and lodging, and other operating expenses, remains fully funded.

Looks like football is winning the race for funding dollars at Paine College.  Apparently, Dr. Bradley has chosen to de-fund faculty and staff salaries, employee pensions, and other essential expenditures critical to the educational mission of the college in favor of fully funding a fledgling football program.  (Expectations low for Paine football team) Currently, football is a drag on the budget of the college.  Consequently, we ask how can one justify defunding the core educational mission of the college in favor of extracurricular discretionary activities that add red ink to the bottom line of the financial statement.  Particularly, at a time when the college is in a fight for its existence financially and from an accreditation standpoint where the accrediting agency has cited sound financial management as a standard of accreditation which Paine fails to meet.  It makes no sense to us.  Only a person oblivious to the world of finance and money management would countenance such a course of action.

We Ask ….

Question #1:  Should a person with little to no financial acumen be at the helm of running a college in today’s challenging economic environment?

Question #2: Who is the chief financial officer of Paine College and what is her background, accomplishments, and experience?  Or do we even need to bother to find out because she is another in a long line of short timers, just warming a seat, waiting for the Bradley ax to fall on her like it did on her 4 predecessors.

P.S. – Odessa you are so right …

Question #3: How much of a salary reduction will Dr. George and Tina Bradley impose on themselves? Or is that a stupid question?

Urgent Post #3 – Establishment of Legal Action Fund

Rescue Paine College: An Open Letter to Paineites and Friends

After two years under a warning status, on June 19, 2014, Paine College was placed on probation for nine violations of compliance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ (hereafter SACSCC) standards related to finances, governance, qualified personnel, and mismanagement of federal student financial aid. Those are the very same issues that caused the warning status. The immediate consequences for Paine College are a sharp decline in freshmen enrollment for the 2014 fall semester, a state of uncertainty of the value of education for current students, an exodus of current students, a decline in giving, and a severely diminished confidence in President Bradley’s leadership and administrative capabilities.

Because of a failure to adequately respond within the granted two year time frame under a declared warning status, it is reasonable to expect rigidity and inflexibility from SACSCC to any and all future submissions by the Bradley Administration. http://thepaineproject.net and other Paine College graduates have called for new leadership. George C. Bradley is not equipped for the job, will not honor requests for his resignation, and the Board of Trustees refuses to dismiss him. Time is of the essence because roughly ten months remain to satisfy conditions for continuing accreditation.

This sense of urgency has given birth to the Action Committee of Paineites and Friends. Like other efforts under way, the supreme aim of the Action Committee is the preservation of Paine College. However, this Committee is distinguished by the single goal of rescuing the school from the destructive grip of George C. Bradley. The only remaining course is to take him and the Trustee Board to court. Litigation will seek to pierce their veil of secrecy and ascertain whether or not they have been faithful to their mandated duties. Action is required sooner rather than later. A legal fund has been established solely for this purpose. The Committee’s account has been opened at (bank) with $1,000.00 contributions each from Tammye’ M. Lee, ’98, and Grady L. Cornish, ‘69. Disbursements from the account require signatures from the above names mentioned previously and must be associated with the established purpose, e.g., solicitations, maintaining donor lists, communication with donors, selecting an attorney, and initiating and sustaining legal action. Join the effort to rescue Paine College from the destructive grip of George C. Bradley.

Send a contribution to Tammye’ M. Lee, Chair, Action Committee of Paineites and Friends Fund, PO Box 492, Augusta, Georgia 30903. Donors will receive quarterly expenditure and progress reports on litigation efforts, as well as decide how unexpended funds will be used. Because of the time constraints, the account openers will select an Attorney within the next week. Email: actioncommittee_pf@yahoo.com (Please use the _ symbol between committee and pf) Tammye’ M. Lee, PhD, 1998 Graduate, Chair Action Committee of Paineites and Friends.

Tammye’ M. Lee, PhD, 1998 Graduate, Chair
Action Committee of Paineites and Friends                                                           P.O. Box 492                                                                                                     Augusta, Georgia 30903                                               actioncommittee_pf@yahoo.com

 

Sound Familiar? Has Paine lost its way?

Alumni of Oldest Historically Black Private University in US Fight to Help Ohio School Survive

CINCINNATI (AP) — Alumni of the country’s oldest historically black private university are committing money and other support to help their alma mater’s fight for survival amid the risk of accreditation loss and financial deficits and low enrollment.
     The alumni association of southwestern Ohio’s Wilberforce University, founded in 1856, says graduates have committed to raise $2 million in cash donations, including $400,000 pledged at last weekend’s alumni conference. The university has already received $200,000 of that, alumni and university officials said Wednesday. The university also says it has a strategy for upcoming changes, including realigning Wilberforce’s board, modifying facilities and academics, revising financial procedures and finding a president to move the school forward.
     Talbert Grooms, president of Wilberforce’s alumni association, said in a statement that alumni believe change is a “critical part of staying relevant.”
     Last month, the Higher Learning Commission issued a “show-cause” order, which stressed serious financial issues, lack of leadership and a deteriorating campus among other problems at the school. It requires Wilberforce to show why the commission shouldn’t withdraw its accreditation.
     That loss would be a major blow. It could result in lack of eligibility for federal financial aid for the estimated 80 to 90 percent of Wilberforce students receiving such assistance and cause problems with transferring credits. Wilberforce must respond by Dec. 15 and schedule a commission team visit to the campus by Feb. 9.
     Interim President Wilma Mishoe has said Wilberforce is committed to complying with the commission’s accreditation standards.
     But Richard Deering, president of the Wilberforce Faculty Association, says deteriorating dormitories, declining enrollment and accelerating debt over several years are huge obstacles.
     “It’s not a matter of being pessimistic or optimistic,” said Deering, who has taught at Wilberforce since 1968. “It’s the facts on the ground, that Wilberforce — for whatever reason — lost its way.”

Featured Post # 7

Second Open Letter to the Board of Trustees, Paine College, Augusta, Georgia

August 6, 2014

 
As perhaps you know, or should know, the continuing viability of  Paine College ultimately depends upon you.  Its academic standing and relevance, fiscal soundness and accountability, and future depend upon you.
 
Georgia law governing Trustee Boards is quite clear about duty. You have mandated duties of care, loyalty, and obedience. More specifically, board members are mandated to actively participate in planning and decision-making and to make sound and informed judgements. When acting on behalf of the College, board members must put the interests of the college before any personal or professional concerns and avoid potential conflicts of interests. Members must also ensure that the College complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and, that it remains committed to its established mission.
 
The most important measure of the viability of Paine College is fiscal soundness and accreditation, not the state of buildings and grounds.  Accordingly, the facts are present and the failure of the Bradley administration is definitive.  An immediate consequence is a drastic decline in fall recruitment.  Now, the question is what will the Board do about it.   Outcome of the latest meeting suggests nothing.
 
You should know that efforts are under way to legally pierce your veil of secrecy and to ascertain whether or not you have been faithful to your mandated duties. Be advised that a legal assault will subject the Board and the Bradley administration to a high degree of transparent scrutiny. Until the proper time, the formation and actions of this emerging concerned group will shroud itself with the same degree of secrecy the Board has maintained. 
 
 
Grady L. Cornish, PhD, 1969 Graduate

Featured Post #6

On Sunday, July 27, 2014 a Current Paine College Faculty Member Wrote:

Since the authors of “The Paine Project” wish to maintain anonymity, so do I. Since I am a current member of the Paine College untenured faculty, my reasons for doing so should be obvious.

The academic program at Paine College compared to other benchmark colleges and universities is disgraceful. There is a dual school system that boasts a School of Arts and Sciences and a School of Professional Studies. The Arts and Sciences division has functioned without a dean for an entire academic year, and is approaching a new season of our discontent with the position still unfilled by Paine College faculty input on any new or prospective appointments.

Yes, Dr. George Bradley’s wife, Tina Marshall-Bradley occupied the School’s deanship this previous academic year. But, she also held the position Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, not to mention her various college committee memberships.

The School of Arts and Sciences has three departments with only 17 faculty members. The division of Arts and Sciences is being allowed to languish. Instead of President Bradley mandating a national search for replacement of the former Arts and Science’s dean whose resignation he orchestrated, he appointed his wife. The School of Arts and Sciences houses over half of the 800 plus students that attend Paine College.

The School of Professional Studies has three departments. Those departments are Business, Media Studies, and Education. The Business and Media departments have the highest number of student majors of all departments at Paine College. The Department of Business only has six faculty members and the Department of Media Studies only has two. Neither of the two media faculty members have doctorate degrees. And, only one even has a master’s degree.

Dr. David Chamblee is the dean of the School of Professional Studies. Yes, Dr. Chamblee has speech pathology issues. But, even more disconcerting is his leadership abilities. Drawn from Chamblee’s online resume, he has no credible collegiate experiences that qualify his appointment to lead a collegiate faculty that is academically accomplished. Chamblee just showed up out of the blue two years ago and was announced as the new dean for the School of Professional Studies. Over the two years marking Chamblee’s deanship, this division has also been allowed to languish with no discernible growth that may be directly attributed to his existence, but any growth at all rather to the efforts of the School’s department chairs, and their individual faculty.

The School of Professional Studies offers radio production classes without radio or audio equipment. The School offers television production classes without television production equipment. And, the School under Chamblee’s purview offers drama and theatre courses without any theatrical stage or theater production equipment. Students taking these media classes are being academically cheated as a result of do-nothing leadership.

Clearly, Dr. George Bradley has not defined the role of a Paine College dean other than one of being a micro-manager, or overseer who is directed to report directly to him.

But, more blameworthy than the absence of qualified deans is the absence of an energetic chief academic officer. As Paine College faculty, we had great expectations upon the announcement of Dr. Samuel Sullivan as Vice President of Academic Affairs. Given his former association with Augusta State University, we assumed his presence would be a boost od adrenalin. Unfortunately, Sam came out of retirement to Paine College seemingly like he must have just been taken off of life-support himself. In the year, going on two, Dr. Samuel Sullivan has been at Paine College, he has shown himself to be just another Bradley lackey. And, that’s not “lackey” in the pejorative sense, but lackey as it applies to lacking any substantive ability to be a leader as opposed to being a taker or drawer of a comfortable salary.

Paine College, it’s faculty and students require better than what’s being offered by this current administration. It’s time for a complete overhaul if this college doesn’t want to see a mass exodus of students to way more academically capable institutions of higher learning.

A Paine College Current Faculty Member