AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Paine College's newest president, Dr. Jerry Hardee, has only been on the job for a few weeks but enters the position with a lot of questions surrounding the college; questions that include its ongoing accreditation and the financial woes.
With over forty years of experience, including tenure at previous universities, it's his sixth time coming out of retirement. "My wife prayed I hope they find someone better than you to lead Paine College," says Dr. Hardee.
But the board of trustees believes Hardee is the man for the job.
"Paine College is a viable entity that supports this entity and it should be supported too," says Dr. Hardee.
During Thursday's Commission Meeting, Dr. Hardee introduced himself to the commissioners, letting them know his hefty goals, which includes doubling student enrollment from 500 to 1000. "I already have a goal of visiting 200 11th and 12th-grade classes in the area and around the state. Because I've been recruiting students for forty years I know how it's done."
Among his goals is raising close to $15 Million, despite Paine College not yet officially requesting funds from the city.
"I would consider it but I can't speak for my colleagues," says Commissioner Ben Fennoy. These goals won't be accomplished in just a day But Dr. Hardee says he wouldn't have taken this job if he didn't believe he could turn it around. "If not me then who, if not here then where? If not now then, when? Why not me? Who do I think might be better and I can't think of anyone who can be better for Paine College than Jerry Hardee."
Dr. Hardee says he hopes within the next 6 months the city can contribute money to the struggling college.