SUDBURY, July 18, 2022 – As a new academic year approaches, the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA), Laurentian University Staff Union (LUSU), and Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) are demanding accountability and transparency from the Laurentian Senior administration and the Government of Ontario. Faculty, staff, and students at Laurentian University have experienced a terrible eighteen months of court-ordered restructuring caused by the mismanagement of successive Laurentian administrations and a provincial government that was absent during their time of crisis.
In order to rebuild together as a university community, LUFA, LUSU, OCUFA and their members are calling for the termination of the Senior administrators who forced the campus community into the Companies Creditor Arrangement Act (CCAA) process: President Robert Haché, Vice-President Academic and Provost Marie-Josée Berger, and Registrar Serge Demers.
“Our entire membership has lost confidence in these individuals,” said LUFA President Fabrice Colin. “For them to continue would jeopardize the credibility of the institution. There need to be consequences for usurping our collective agreement and collegial process.”
“The Auditor General’s preliminary report on Laurentian was clear, it was not faculty who caused the crisis, it was bad management decisions,” said OCUFA President Sue Wurtele. “The provincial government also has to answer for its part in this crisis. They could have stopped this process from going forward but intervened too late after nearly 200 faculty and staff positions were lost, 69 programs cancelled, and countless lives ruined. The community deserves an explanation for why they allowed this to happen.”
LUFA, LUSU, and OCUFA support a change in culture at Laurentian and welcome the repeated commitment of Board of Governors Chair Jeff Bangs to work collaboratively to re-establish trust, and to never allow mistakes of the past to be repeated. The university leadership must once again demonstrate their commitment to open and transparent decision-making in partnership with faculty, staff, students, and the Sudbury community by adhering to the new collective agreement and maintaining its faculty complement.
“We are ready to move forward, and we hope we can rely on a new, Senior leadership team to demonstrate their commitment to open and transparent decision-making in partnership with faculty, staff, students, and the Sudbury community,” said LUSU President Tom Fenske.
“Our goal has always been to emerge from the CCAA process with a plan that rebuilds the teaching and research capacity of Laurentian University through a robust faculty and staff complement and provides the foundation for a healthy working and learning environment for faculty, staff, and students,” said Colin. “To create a strong community and strong campus, we must ensure students are getting the high-quality education they deserve which faculty and staff can provide, but not if they are exhausted and overworked. The plan of arrangement provides that opportunity.”
When released, Laurentian’s draft plan of arrangement should outline how the institution will emerge from the restructuring undertaken through the CCAA process and repay its creditors. It must be approved through a vote by the creditors.
Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. It is committed to enhancing the quality of higher education in Ontario and recognizing the outstanding contributions of its members towards creating a world-class university system. For more information about OCUFA, visit www.ocufa.on.ca.
LUFA was founded in 1979 and, prior to 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.
LUSU represents approximately 210 staff members at Laurentian University. They include clerical and secretarial employees, technologists, technicians, computer staff, maintenance personnel, library staff including library technicians and assistants, operating engineers, printing services employees and security. For more information about LUSU, visit: www.lusu-seul.ca
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Joel Duff, OCUFA Associate Executive Director 416-306-6046 or email@example.com