Paul Quinn’s accreditation loss is loss for the whole city

Paul Quinn College is not dead, but the grim reaper is walking out the door and headed in that direction.

While most of us were following the developments in the death of Michael Jackson, a local story has gotten somewhat lost in the mix. Paul Quinn lost its accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools after two years on probation. During those two years, President Michael Sorrell has instituted a number of fresh approaches to try to save the school, but the Southern Association says it’s not enough.  Sorrell and Paul Quinn have appealed the decision.

Michael Davis of Dallas Progress makes a great point on why the accreditation is so important. “Because students at an unaccredited school can’t get financial aid” says Davis in a recent post about Paul Quinn.

I’ve got three questions for people reading this post.

#1 Do you care whether or not Paul Quinn is able to survive?

#2 If you answered yes, have you ever donated money (even $5) to Paul Quinn?

#3 If you answered yes, have you donated to P.Q. in the last year?

It all boils down to financial solvency. That goes for all of the black institutions that are struggling and in danger of fading away. I’m not suggesting throwing good money after bad. On the same hilltop in Southern Dallas, Bishop College was lost because they couldn’t pay the bills, and now the same thing could happen to Paul Quinn. But Sorrell has been a steadying force of the Purple and Gold, and the stability that’s been created is worth investing in.

The only overt sign of community support for Paul Quinn has been the Bishop 5 revival, which ran in the ’90s and made a brief comeback late last year. Without that type of support -from individuals and businesses- I fear that 3837 Simpson Stuart Road will become a black college memorial, a place dedicated to remembering the past instead of preparing students for the future. Paul Quinn will only go as far as the people of Dallas want it to.

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