Head of the United Negro College Fund Blasts Decision to Pull Paul Quinn's Accreditation

On Friday, Kimberly spent the afternoon on the campus of Paul Quinn College, which is appealing the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' decision to yank the school's accreditation; said president Michael Sorrell, "It is not time to write Paul Quinn's obituary." This morning, Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, seconded that emotion and then some with a statement that condemns the SACS's actions, blasting it as "a disproportionately harsh penalty ... a death sentence for this historic institution."

Says Lomax:

"We have worked closely with Paul Quinn to ensure that they address the concerns that SACS has raised. We believe that the College has acted thoughtfully and affirmatively to improve its financial position and to provide educational programs that meet SACS' appropriately rigorous standards. Paul Quinn President Michael Sorrell and his administration have worked to earn the confidence of our member presidents and our corporate Board of Directors. As a demonstration of our collective belief in the school and in Paul Quinn's determination to complete their turnaround successfully, the UNCF Board last week forgave the $525,000 balance on a loan made a decade ago that the College has steadily paid down.

While we understand the concerns raised by SACS, we believe that withdrawal of accreditation is a disproportionately harsh penalty, in fact a death sentence for this historic institution. We will do all that we can to defend Paul Quinn and protect it from so harsh a sanction that does not recognize the substantial progress the college has made. We will fight to allow Paul Quinn to continue in its work to provide a college education for its students. We believe that the college's probation should be reinstated and that it should be given more time to proceed with its work to meet SACS' standards. We pledge our continued advocacy and support in behalf of the college."

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