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O’Keefe Describes the Pros and Cons of State Receivership for Finlandia University

Since being appointed by the state of Michigan to oversee Finlandia University’s liquidation, Patrick O’Keefe and his team are focusing on paying back creditors to the university. In the situation of a university like Finlanida going into receivership, there are two tracks that the entity can go through. State receivership, or a federal one. O’Keefe says there are advantages to Michigan’s receivership process, such as a speedy system.

Are really the speed, general that receivers can mover, and you still have court supervision. Many state court judges don’t like receivership, they feel like you should be in the bankruptcy arena. They’re not happy when these cases roll into their courts on occasion. Which is why they generally are assigned to judges in business courts.” – Patrick O’Keefe, Finlandia University Receiver, O’Keefe LLC.,

He also says that the disadvantage to Finlandia’s situation involves the Department of Education. As a federal agency, it can choose to take what is called a federal priority claim.

And the state court judges generally understand that we act as an arm of the court. And generally give us some broad authority, but they will ask questions on ocasion. As to why we’re doing what we’re doing. But generally they support the process. And so the only time you get into something that could be hairy, is when a federal agency will say that they are not bound by the state court. So you go along thinking you’ve got something accomplished and done. And the federal agency kind of unravel it.” – Patrick O’Keefe, Finlandia University Receiver, O’Keefe LLC.,

O’Keefe says that while the Department of Education has made it clear that it will do what it can to protect its own interests in the liquidation of the university. He hopes that he and department officials can continue to work together toward viable solutions.

In some way I wish this was in federal receivership. But we’re not there. So we’re in the state court, and we’ll function within it. And I don’t anticipate any problems. Just headwinds.” – Patrick O’Keefe, Finlandia University Receiver, O’Keefe LLC.,

If you missed yesterday’s episode of Copper Country Today with state receiver Patrick O’Keefe of O’Keefe and Associates, find the full episode here. Links to our previous coverage of Finlandia University’s closing can be found below.

March 2, 2023 Finlandia University Announces the School will Close After the Spring Semester

March 9, 2023 Hancock Will Make the Best Out of the Circumstances

March 15th, 2023 Finlandia Foundation National President Anne-Mari Paster Assures the Community Preservation Efforts are Underway

March 15th, 2023 Finlandia University Officially Votes to Dissolve, Plans Education & Employment Fairs for Later this Month

April 24, 2023 O’Keefe Speaks On the Early Stages of Closing the University

April 4, 2023 Michigan Tech Plans to Adopt Finlandia’s Nursing Program by Fall 2023

April 17th, 2023 Finlandia and University of Dubuque Finalize Teach-out Agreement

April 18th, 2023 Final Honors and Awards Recipients at Finlandia

April 26th, 2023 Finlandia’s Final Graduation Speakers Announced

April 28th, 2023 Closing of an Era- Last Day of Classes at Finlandia

May 8th, 2023 Finlandia Says Goodbye to the Class of 2023, and the Community

June 9th, 2023 MTU To Accept 2 of 3 Finlandia TRIO Programs, SSS TRIO Program Closes Permanently Today

June 27th, 2023 Finlandia University Closing: Financial Troubles Date Back to 1990’s

June 28th, 2023 Finlandia University Closing: Liens by the Department of Education Will Make it Difficult to Sell Properties

June 29th, 2023 Finlandia University Closing: Not Many Options are Available to Communities When a College Closes

August 31st, 2023 State Receiver Moving Forward with Finlandia Property Sales, Plans to Abandon Six Remaining Sites

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