Quest University’s president is taking two months off to deal with the lingering effects of an accident that happened a year and a half ago.
Back in February 2019, George Iwama was struck by a vehicle while he was walking across an intersection in Abbotsford’s downtown area.
Iwama recently announced to the Quest community that he will be taking September and October off, and, in the meantime, vice president of finance Flora Ferraro and interim chief academic officer Jeff Warren will be in charge.
They will also taking the lead with respect to restructuring the school as it faces a financial crisis brought on by its biggest lender, the Vanchorverve Foundation, calling in a debt of $23.4 million in November 2019.
“I have not had time away from work in a long while, and have been focused on leading Quest through its current challenges,” said Iwama, in a written announcement to the school. “While my commitment to this institution remains unchanged, I need an uninterrupted break to rest and heal, and am taking this time off with the encouragement of my physicians.”
For now, the institution has bought itself some respite with financial protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.
The courts have granted the university a temporary shield from bankruptcy or receivership until Dec. 24.
“I have discussed the situation with the board and I have their support. We have worked through the administrative implications,” said Iwama.
“Flora Ferraro...and Jeff Warren...will report directly to the board, starting now, and will continue to steer operations and academics, respectively, as well as play leading roles in the restructuring process with our board, proponents, counsel and court monitor.”