Squeezed by financial pressures, missing payroll and locked out of its Cincinnati headquarters, Union Institute & University moved the start of its fall semester from Monday, Aug. 28, to Sept. 11.
The private, nonprofit online institution made the announcement Friday that it would delay the start of the semester. On the same day, the university once again missed payroll, which employees have told Inside Higher Ed has been a recurring issue since the end of last year.
“The two-week delay has been put in place to address crucial matters related to finances and financial aid,” Tom Frederick, Union Institute’s interim vice president of academic affairs, wrote to employees in an email that was obtained by Inside Higher Ed. “Our main priority is to ensure our students continue to receive the same high-quality services that they have come to expect from Union.”
Union’s website has not been updated to reflect the change.
On Thursday, Union president Karen Schuster Webb revealed in another email to employees that the university had been placed on heightened cash monitoring status by the Department of Education, WCPO 9 News reported. Under HCM 2 status, Union Institute faces additional oversight of how it manages federal student aid.
Webb’s email, obtained by the TV station, also announced that Aug. 25 paychecks were delayed.
“Just recently Union was informed that the university will not be able to draw down government funds, which include tuition, until after the Fall Semester starts,” Webb wrote. “This is devastating news for all of us, but that said, Union remains open and fully accredited. We are exploring all options, including pathways for partnerships that would provide sustainability.”