GREATER SUDBURY, December 6, 2022—The Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) is calling for a public inquiry into the financial crisis and subsequent faculty, staff, and program cuts at Laurentian University. Given the wide-spread impact of the university’s cuts and the danger that such a scenario could repeat itself elsewhere, a public inquiry will be crucial to ensure that what happened at Laurentian never happens again.
“The manufactured financial crisis and unnecessary cuts have been devastating,” said LUFA President Fabrice Colin. “However, the revelations we have learned about since those cuts were made make clear that an independent inquiry is needed and that it is needed now.”
Reports by Ontario’s Auditor General and French Language Service’s Commissioner were scathing in their findings. They concluded that both the university’s senior leadership and provincial government had options available to them that would have protected programs and jobs at the university, but instead they ignored their responsibilities and made choices that harmed the university and community. The Auditor General called Laurentian’s use of creditor protection “unsuitable and damaging.”
Further, revelations contained in recently unsealed correspondence between former Laurentian President Robert Haché and former Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano raise serious questions about the motivations and manipulations that led the university to declare insolvency, file for CCAA protection, and cuts hundreds of jobs and dozens of programs.
“An independent public inquiry will allow us to shine a bright light on the dark decisions made in advance of Laurentian University publicly declaring insolvency,” said Colin. “This is a matter of significant public concern that deserves an independent investigation, during which the voices of those most deeply impacted can be heard.”
“It is clear that Laurentian’s finances were improperly manipulated and that the university’s senior administrators prioritized their own financial security at the expense of faculty, staff, and students. This outcome is simply unacceptable,” said Colin.
A crisis of this magnitude requires an independent public inquiry that can hold accountable those whose choices manufactured Laurentian’s financial crisis and cuts.
LUFA was founded in 1979 and, prior to the CCAA proceedings, represented over 400 full-time and 300 part- time professors at Laurentian University, the University of Sudbury, Huntington University, and Thorneloe University. Today, LUFA represents roughly 250 full-time and 200 part-time professors at Laurentian University. For more information about LUFA, visit: www.lufappul.ca.
For questions or to arrange an interview, please contact: Fabrice Colin at [email protected] or 705.698.6763