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      Darton makes changes, interim president explains

      After hearing chatter in the community about changes taking place at Darton State College, FOX 31 dug a little deeper and spoke with Interim President Dr. Paul Jones about what's going on.

      Dr. Jones confirmed but did not comment on the resignation of Tracy Goode, the Dean of Institutional Advancement and Public Relations and Dr. Gary Barnette, the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Dr. Jones did say, however, that Dr. Barnette is not completely resigning from the institution, he's just going back into the classroom.

      When asked why they're making these changes Dr. Jones said, "yes we've talked about change here at the institution, some of that change will hopefully make us more efficient as an institution to align ourselves more properly as an institution. So yes, we've been talking about some restructuring both from the administrative side and the academic side."

      FOX 31 asked Dr. Jones if there would be more personnel changes in the future and he replied, "well, there will be changes. To what extent as we engage the institution we'll make whatever the best decisions are for this institution as we go forward."

      With the recent news of the Assistant Athletic Director Glen Eames being let go, we also asked Dr. Jones if the athletic program was in jeopardy. Jones said, "no not at all, we support athletics. I think what we're trying to do is make sure we have an athletic program that is sustainable going forward. I think some of the changes we're having to make are a result of, as we saw in the internal audit, some of the issues that arose in the audit that caused us to shift some resources back to the athletic department that the institution was covering with general institution funds which was not allowable."

      We also reached out to Tracy Goode for a comment on his decision to resign who sent back the following statement: Earlier this year, I decided to step down from my position at Darton State College to focus on growing our production company, The Levee Studios, LLC. We have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to direct and produce projects for various organizations throughout the southeast and with this momentum, now is the perfect time to make this transition.

      As a proud alumnus of Darton State College, I will continue to support this fine institution in the future and will be ready and willing to help if called upon by its administration, faculty and staff.