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USIU President Says $15-Million Loan to Ease Debt

December 06, 1989|GREG JOHNSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

United States International University has received a commitment for a $15-million loan that would complete a "major step" in the financially troubled university's debt restructuring, USIU President William C. Rust said Tuesday.

Rust, in a prepared release, said the loan will "result in the repayment of all monetary encumbrances secured by the university's San Diego campus." The long-term loan was arranged by Federal Home Loans Corp., a private company, and involves a "consortium of lending source," said Rust. The university did not identify the individual lenders.

USIU's planned financial restructuring includes "selling some of the University's assets," according to Rust. One of USIU's major non-university assets is a majority share of a corporation that owns San Diego-based WUSI-TV (Channel 51).

Word of the loan commitment came as USIU was responding to an accrediting organization that recently threatened to revoke USIU's accreditation.

In July, Oakland-based Western Assn. of Schools and Colleges, which accredits senior colleges and universities in California and Hawaii, uncovered "serious financial problems," inadequate staffing and low morale.

In July, USIU Provost Joseph Merante dismissed the association's bleak report as "a value judgment." Merante contended that USIU was suffering from a short-term cash-flow problem. He said serious financial deficiencies mentioned in the report were the result of a "difference of opinion" on whether USIU should sell some of its assets to alleviate seasonal cash-flow problems.

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