Laurentian University seeks more time to work through insolvency, confirms 30% drop in enrolment
Laurentian University is asking the courts to extend its insolvency period to Jan. 22 of next year to give it more time to work through the restructuring process.
And in court documents filed late last week, the university confirmed that first-year-enrolment has dipped by about 30 per cent, which the school said was anticipated because of the insolvency and the impact of COVID-19.
The current deadline under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act is Aug. 31. Ahead of a hearing Aug. 27, Laurentian also wants to extend the deadline for when emergency loans it received to continue operating come due.
Known as DIP loans, Laurentian also wants to extend the deadline from Aug. 31 to Jan. 22.
"The stay extension is required to enable the applicant to continue operating in the ordinary course while engaging in discussions in order to develop a plan of arrangement that is acceptable to its creditors, as well as completing the process of the real estate and governance/operational reviews being conducted to promote efficiencies and accountability," the court filing said.
In his affidavit, LU President Robert Haché said to date, the school has cut expenses by 25 per cent, saving $40 million a year in operating costs and putting it on a path to financial stability. He said less than 10 per cent of students have been impacted by program cuts, and just 165 students out of 9,300 won't be able to complete their programs because of the cuts.
"For those 165 affected students, LU has worked with MCU (Ministry of Colleges and Universities) in providing information to permit a program to be implemented wherein specific financial assistance was made available by MCU to allow those affected students to transfer to another university to complete their degree," Haché said.
"LU will continue to offer more than 270 online and remote courses during the fall 2021 semester. This demonstrates the continued leadership of LU in the university sector as LU was the first university in Ontario to fully transition to remote learning at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Read the full document here.