(Ottawa – April 28, 2021) The Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities, Ross Romano, along with five senior administrators from Laurentian University should resign for their roles in creating the financial crisis that has devastated this northern Ontario university, says the Council of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).
Council delegates, leaders of over 80 academic staff associations from across the county representing 72,000 teachers, researchers and librarians, last week voted unanimously for the call for resignations. CAUT is also calling for an independent investigation into the circumstances that pushed the University into insolvency.
“Staff and students in Northern Ontario are paying the price for poor financial decision-making by university administrators—and the unwillingness of the province to step in to prevent the crisis,” says CAUT President, Brenda Austin-Smith. “In order to move forward from the devastation, there needs to be accountability for those that made this mess.”
Laurentian University filed for creditor protection in February, and earlier this month over 80 faculty and other academic staff—members of the Laurentian University Faculty Association—lost their jobs. The University cut at least 60 programs, including French-language and Indigenous programs.
In addition to calling for the resignation of Minister Ross Romano, CAUT Council is calling for the resignations of Laurentian University President Robert Haché, Vice-President Academic and Provost Marie-Josée Berger, Vice-President Administration Lorella Hayes, Board Chair Claude Lacroix and Registrar Serge Demers.
“The problems at Laurentian University stem from a serious failure of sound financial stewardship by current and previous administrators. There urgently needs to be an independent investigation into the misguided financial practices that pushed the University to the brink so that we can find out what went wrong and what needs to be done to prevent another calamity,” says Austin-Smith.
Rachel Vincent, Communications Officer, 613 222-3530; firstname.lastname@example.org