SUDBURY/TORONTO, December 6, 2022 – The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) supports a call from the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) for a public inquiry into the financial crisis at Laurentian University, which led to unprecedented program cuts and faculty and staff job losses.
“A public inquiry is necessary to ensure that the disaster that took place at Laurentian never happens again in Ontario,” said Sue Wurtele, OCUFA President. “Ontarians deserve an independent examination of what happened and for the university administration and Ontario government to be held accountable for their actions.”
The recent unsealing of letters between Laurentian President Robert Haché and former Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano, and a scathing report from the Office of the Auditor General on the Laurentian crisis, reveal more details about the administration’s mismanagement of finances and the government’s neglect of the situation. Laurentian University filed for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in February 2021, leading to the loss of hundreds of jobs and almost 70 programs, the interruption of thousands of students’ learning, and negative economic effects in Greater Sudbury.
“We know that Laurentian’s senior administrators pursued the CCAA to avoid liability and accountability, despite its disastrous effects on faculty, staff, students, and the Sudbury community, and the government did little to stop the process,” said Wurtele. “The people whose lives have been directly affected by these choices deserve to have their voices heard.”
In addition to a public inquiry, OCUFA calls for greater government funding for Laurentian and all Ontario public post-secondary institutions to ensure stability and success for students, faculty, and campus communities. OCUFA also supports legislative changes at the federal level to exempt public institutions from the CCAA and Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty, academic librarians, and other academic professionals in 30 member organizations 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, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.
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