Laurentian's restructuring plan goes before court-appointed mediator today

Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont., is at a critical point today as it goes before a judge, hoping to get approval of its efforts to address its financial problems and plan for the future.

Sudbury university needs judge's OK to get $10M to keep operating till end of August

Laurentian University is set for court Thursday, looking for approval of its restructuring so far. The school declared itself insolvent on Feb. 1 and has been making staff and program cuts as part of court-supervised restructuring. (Yvon Theriault/Radio Canada)

Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont., is at a critical point today as it goes before a judge, hoping to win approval of its efforts to address its financial problems and plan for the future.

Laurentian needs a judge's approval to obtain another $10 million to keep operating until the end of August.

The university's plan, as part of the restructuring process, also includes its decision to end contracts with its federated universities — Huntington, Sudbury and Thorneloe.

But those contracts were supposed to be permanent, says Guy Chamberland a professor of Ancient Studies at Thorneloe.

"This was a partnership, even though we are a small player in this whole federation, we claim that they cannot just terminate this federation on their own," he said.

Thorneloe has filed a court challenge, also scheduled to be heard today. Chamberland said the school is unsure what to make of having the hearing scheduled so quickly.

Thorneloe University says if Laurentian University is successful in terminating their decades-old federated agreement, it will be insolvent itself. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

"The process is still going on with the CCAA, so we are wondering if this is good or bad."

Chamberland is referring to the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, which has allowed Laurentian to operate while dealing with its dire financial situation. The university has made deep cuts to its programs and staffing, raising uproar among students, faculty and supporters.

The court-appointed monitor, Ernst and Young, approves of Laurentian's plan, but says for the university to have a reasonable opportunity to successfully restructure, it must sever ties with the federated universities


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