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The University of the Arts hires consulting firm Alvarez and Marsal to handle the closure

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The University of the Arts board of trustees says it has hired Alvarez and Marsal, a Philadelphia consulting firm, to handle the closure. Meanwhile, UArts students, staff and faculty still don’t have a clear picture of what’s next after the the resignation of President Kerry Walk.

The university has not realigned any informative town hall for studentsnor have officials set a time to begin negotiations with United Academics of Philadelphia, the union that represents faculty and staff.

On Monday morning, Judson Aaron, the chairman of the board of trustees, sent faculty and students an email saying they had hired Alvarez and Marsal to help develop the next steps.

The email reads:

“Last week’s announcement of the upcoming closure of the University of the Arts on Friday, June 7, 2024 was devastating to every member of this community. With the resignation of Dr. Kerry Walk from the role of President has hired Board of Trustees Alvarez & Marsal, a firm with deep experience in advising and managing educational institutions on complex challenges. They will help us urgently meet the needs of our students, faculty and staff as we move through this process.

Our next steps include developing an educational plan so that our students can continue their studies seamlessly at other high-quality institutions. We also remain committed to taking every measure possible to support our incredible faculty and staff during this challenging time.

We understand how painful and difficult the past few days have been, and the board is committed to doing everything we can to support our beloved UArts community as we move forward. We recognize that you have many questions and we will share more information as this process continues.”

CBS News Philadelphia has reached out to Alvarez and Marsal, as well as the UArts press team, but has not heard back.

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The union said it has received no direct contact from the Board of Trustees and that all meetings to negotiate the collective bargaining agreement have been canceled by university officials.

On Wednesday morning, faculty and staff planned a march from Hamilton Hall to Conrad O’Brien, Judson Aaron’s former law firm.

Temple University, Drexel University and the Moore College of Art and Design released statements in the past week offering UArts students paths to portage in the wake of the shutdown.

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