(Ottawa, May 26, 2022)—The Canadian Association of University Teachers—the voice of academic and professional staff at 125 universities and colleges across Canada—is warning that Laurentian University’s ability to resolve its financial woes is in jeopardy if the Board of Governors does not dismiss senior administrators responsible for the debacle that led to massive lay-offs at the University, and enormous damage to staff, students and the community of Sudbury.
“The academic community has no faith in the current administration,” said David Robinson, executive director of CAUT, in a recent letter to the Chair of Laurentian University’s Board of Governors. “Senior administrators…knowingly withheld financial information from the Laurentian University Faculty Association and the public.”
Last month, delegates to the CAUT Council unanimously supported an emergency motion brought forward by the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) to call for the immediate dismissal, prior to the end of Laurentian University’s financial restructuring process, of all the senior administrators at the University.
Robinson notes that the University “deliberately ignored” the financial exigency provisions in the collective agreement with LUFA that could have resolved the situation in a cooperative and “collegial” manner. He warned the Laurentian University’s Board of Governors that if it does not replace the administration responsible for the financial debacle, CAUT will be considering all options including censure.
Last month the Ontario Auditor General released a preliminary report concluding that the Laurentian University did not have to file for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Act (CCAA). The report debunks the University’s claim that faculty salaries were in part to blame for the University’s financial woes and notes that “it was high senior administrator salaries and expenses that negatively impacted Laurentian’s financial situation”. The report also blames poor management and lack of transparency at the University.
The University’s leadership could receive generous severance packages if they are still employed at the end of the CCAA process. The faculty union notes that this is a hard pill to swallow for the nearly 200 faculty and staff who lost their jobs.
“It is abundantly clear that Laurentian University deliberately sacrificed workers while protecting the financial interests of senior administrators,” said Fabrice Colin, president of the Laurentian University Faculty Association. “They’ve made us pay the price for their bad decisions and keep blocking our ability to have open and honest conversations with our members about what is happening behind closed doors.”
For more information, please contact Rachel Vincent at Vincent@caut.ca or 613-276-9030.