Alberta advanced education minister extends deadline for Athabasca University to move staff to town

Alberta’s advanced education minister has extended a deadline for a distance learning university to move more staff to the small town where it is headquartered.

Demetrios Nicolaides says he’s granted a brief extension for Athabasca University to comply with his decree to move 500 staff to the town the institution is named for.

READ MORE: Advanced education minister says Alberta will help with relocation of 500 Athabasca University school staff

He has threatened to withhold the school’s $3.4-million monthly grant if the school fails to comply.

Nicolaides did not specify a new deadline.

The university has resisted the demand, saying it will make it harder to recruit top talent and waste money, time and other resources.

READ MORE: Relocation dispute between Athabasca University and Alberta government facing twists and turns

Nicolaides says he believes that Athabasca University can excel while strengthening ties to the community and driving employment and economic growth the region.

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Athabasca is Canada’s largest online university, hosting 40,000 students linked up virtually across Canada and beyond with instructors.

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