Laurentian University remains silent on the future of its programs

Laurentian University will not make an announcement this week on the restructuring of its programs, according to sources who spoke with CBC News and Radio-Canada, and more will be revealed next week.

Senate decision on fate of Laurentian University won't be announced just yet, likely next week

Laurentian University says the ongoing CCAA proceedings will not affect the day-to-day life of students. More information is expected to be unveiled next week. (Erik White/CBC)

Laurentian University will not make an announcement this week on the restructuring of its programs, according to sources who spoke with CBC News and Radio-Canada, and more will be revealed next week.

On Tuesday, members of the university's senate met behind closed doors to assess the recommendations of a six-member subcommittee 

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association, (OCUFA) says the restructuring plan includes the termination of certain programs and departmental re-organizations at Laurentian. Specific details remain under wraps and the senate has been bound by confidentiality imposed during the CCAA process. The school, which declared financial insolvency Feb. 1, has been in the process of restructuring.

During the day-long meeting, senate members learned, for the first time, of the of recommendations.

Laurentian University continues to refer all inquiries to its website.

Meanwhile, OCUFA denounced the way in which the restructuring is being carried out.

"It's unacceptable that the university's senators were asked to make significant decisions about the future of programs at their institution under duress with no time to properly consider the matter or consult their constituents," said OCUFA Rahul Sapra.

"Asking the senate to consider and vote on an omnibus programming package, without input on the academic criteria and in the span of a single day during an in-camera session is a clear violation of collegial governance, the senate's mandate and the responsibility of a public institution to the community it serves."

Sapra said Laurentian's financial crisis is "in a large part, a direct result of failed public policy and eroding levels of public funding for the post-secondary education sector. Yet the Ministry of Colleges and Universities has decided to not step in, but allow a public University to go through a restructuring process designed for the private sector, cutting jobs, programs and services that are essential to the University community in Sudbury and the broader northern Ontario region."

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Colleges and Universities says it has appointed a special advisor, Alan Harrison, to provide independent advice and recommendations to the ministry regarding the financial situation at Laurentian.

The scope of the special advisor's mandate will extend beyond financial analysis, and include an examination of other factors underlying the situation at Laurentian. It has not publicly said exactly when that report will be released. 

With files from Radio-Canada


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