With a rich history and legacy that spans over 132 years, I am convinced that Paine College will continue to be the guiding light that will move forward with purpose to meet the growing needs of the community, state, nation and the world.
I am honored to have been selected to serve as the Interim President during this special time in the life of Paine College. It is a time when we must pool our talents and resources to assure the preservation of this institution for generations to come.
I am grateful to our faculty, staff and to the Paine College Board of Trustees for their support especially during these arduous times.
During the past months, news regarding Paine’s financial challenges reached throughout the community and traveled to corners across the nation. As we continue to address the College’s fiscal issues, I am appreciative for the many friends, alumni and constituents who have shared with me their intent to support Paine College during this time.
Many of our constituents are coming together and standing united in support of this great institution that was founded during the year of a great recession that lasted 38 months. In 1882, the leadership of the Methodist Episcopal Church (now United Methodist Church), and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (now Christian Methodist Episcopal Church) envisioned a place where the underserved population would have a supportive and stimulating learning environment, a community of learning that would prepare them for work, for life and for change in the new world.
Today,nearly 133 years later, Paine College remains the beacon of hope that shines brightly in the community offering infinite opportunities for students who are our most important assets. Students come to us from points throughout the country and abroad seeking direction and embarking upon the path of intellectual discovery. During this time, we have the greatest opportunity to produce exceptional leaders who will depart Paine College to address the challenges and contemporary issues that face our global society.
Our academic programs remain strong despite our efforts to cut costs. We continue to offer academic experiences beyond the boundaries of the campus where students engage in study abroad programs, conduct research in their disciplines, and take on service learning projects in the community.
Dr. Samuel Sullivan
Interim President, Paine College
Together, We Can
Paine alumni, the backbone of the College, have demonstrated unwavering support. Recently, the executive leadership of the Paine College National Alumni Association launched a campaign appeal that calls for 1,000 alumni to give $1,000 in support of the College’s Annual Fund that will ensure our students continue to receive a premier liberal arts education at Paine.
The Together, We Can Campaign, launched by the Office of Institutional Advancement, targets all of the College’s constituents (administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends). Appropriately named, I am convinced that together, we can uphold this institution.
Together, we have the capacity to build partnerships with businesses and corporations that are designed to generate collaborations between the College and the participating partners. These types of partnerships can generate internships for our students and create networking opportunities between students and executives. Thus, this diverse group of students will be well-prepared to enter the workforce.
We must increase and sustain premier offerings for our students to make certain that the environment in which they learn and live fosters a holistic experience, one that allows students to develop as ‘whole’ persons (intellectually, spiritually, morally, socially, and physically).
As Paine College moves forward, we are dedicated to building and strengthening a better institution, one that will offer access to a premier liberal arts education.
The College’s Accreditation
I’m sure that many of you have concerns and questions regarding the College’s accreditation status. Let me assure you that Paine College is accredited by its regional body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Largely due to recent financial challenges, while remaining accredited, the College has been placed on “Probation” by SACSCOC.
SACSCOC has requested that the College demonstrate compliance with The Principles of Accreditation in several broad areas: governance, financial resources/stability, qualified administrative/academic officers, sponsored research/external funds, and institutional environment. Members of the College’s administration carefully reviewed the SACSCOC standards and developed detailed Implementation Plans that include a reflective, systematic, and outcome focused action plan to ensure that the College produces an evidenced based written response to all concerns raised by SACSCOC.
The College’s next review by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees will take place in June 2015.
In conclusion, the College has endured a great many hurdles since its founding in 1882. Together, we can ensure its survival. We can move the Institution to even greater heights.
I am advancing a call for continuous improvement, and I appeal to all of you to join me in that call with renewed energy, creativity, and enthusiasm, and by that, Paine College will become:
- a College that accepts no substitute for quality, and no excuse for mediocrity;
- a College that challenges itself every day to become better;
- a College that recognizes and realizes its essential and overriding goal of transforming lives through knowledge.
I pledge my full energies toward fulfilling our mission together.
Samuel Sullivan, Ph.D.