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Federal receiver overseeing Art Institute of Pittsburgh running out of money

Tom Davidson
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The Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s old building in Downtown.

A federal receiver controlling the finances of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh is nearly out of cash to manage the entities he’s tasked to oversee.

Mark Dottore, the Cleveland-based receiver in the case, wrote in a Feb. 7 letter to the Department of Education that he has $3.8 million on hand to manage the support and administrative services of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and other schools he was appointed to oversee.

The letter asks for $13 million in federal student aid funds to pay stipends to students at Argosy University in Southern California, one of the schools under his oversight. The letter did not say whether students at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh are owed stipends.

Dottore was asked to oversee the Art Institutes in Pittsburgh, Seattle, Phoenix/Las Vegas and Argosy University after Dream Center Education Holdings, the Los Angeles-based owner of the schools, went into receivership in January.

Last week, Dottore told the Tribune-Review that he has two potential buyers interested in the Strip District-based school.

About 230 students attend classes at the Art Institute and another 1,924 are enrolled in online courses at the 98-year-old school. It was supposed to close by March 31 because of the latest financial woes, but Dottore said he’s aiming to keep it open.

Dottore will work with federal officials to “transition these universities to a soft landing, which is in the interest of every stakeholder,” he wrote.

Dottore was unavailable for comment Thursday and federal officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-487-7208, [email protected] or via Twitter @TribDavidson.