SACS continues Georgia Perimeter College sanction

Georgia Perimeter College remains sanctioned by an accreditation agency because of concerns over financial instability and a lack of financial controls.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools voted Thursday to keep the college in “warning” status and review the situation in 12 months, spokeswoman Pamela Cravey said.

Georgia Perimeter remains accredited and is on the less serious of two possible sanctions.

The group sanctioned Georgia Perimeter in December, an expected move because of the school’s recent $25 million budget shortfall.

The college “has taken the SACS warning very seriously and has made necessary financial adjustments during the current fiscal year,” interim President Rob Watts said in a statement. “There is every indication that our financial issues have been addressed.”

The college put in place new controls and policies, such as improved cash flow and new software for better monitoring of expenditures.

Georgia Perimeter will forward to SACS the state auditor’s report on the college’s 2013 fiscal year performance, Watts said. That report is expected in October.

The University System of Georgia removed the previous president and brought in Watts after the shortfall was revealed. Watts laid off about 9 percent of the staff and made other cuts to reduce costs. He also brought in new finance administrators.

Accreditation shows whether a college meets academic and financial standards. Students attending accredited colleges are eligible for federal loans and grants, and other colleges are more likely to accept their credits and degrees.

Georgia Perimeter is the state’s fourth-largest public college, serving nearly 23,600 students throughout metro Atlanta.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.