Today, we learned that Laurentian University’s Administration chose to eliminate more than 60 programs under the premise that this move would help resolve the University’s financial crisis that the Administration mishandled in the first place.
Laurentian is Canada’s only university with a tri-cultural mandate that offers higher education in English and French and has a comprehensive approach to Indigenous and Francophone education. Northern institutions like Laurentian help make education accessible and affordable, and support faculty and librarians who serve the community.
We vehemently oppose the decision to gut Laurentian University.
Today’s unilateral decision by Laurentian’s Administration resulted in many departments being cut entirely. As a result, no fewer than 80 faculty and additional staff will lose their jobs. The future of Laurentian’s Francophone and Indigenous programs is still unknown.
There has been virtually no transparency in negotiations and little accountability in the process so far. As more details emerge, we have come to understand that Laurentian’s Administration has made several poor decisions related to governance and finance, for which faculty, librarians, staff, students, and the greater Sudbury community are now paying the price.
The situation at Laurentian University will have powerful direct and indirect impacts on the entire post-secondary sector in Ontario and across the country. Laurentian’s crisis is the consequence of years of underfunding of post-secondary education. Provincial and federal governments both have failed the Laurentian community.
Ontario has the lowest rate of university funding per student in Canada. This leaves many universities struggling to find alternate revenue sources, such as increasing their enrollment of international students, which widens the financial inequities between institutions like the University of Toronto and smaller institutions located in remote, rural areas.
Unless there is a much-needed change to the funding formula, the current funding formula will likely result in similar financial chaos for other post-secondary institutions. Post-secondary education and academic programs are integral to the health and well-being of our communities.
Please join us in showing solidarity to the Laurentian and greater Sudbury community. Here are some actions that you can take:
- Email the Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano to demand funding for Laurentian
- Show support on social media and share information
- Sign LUFA's letter to provincial and federal governments
- More ways to take action here: https://northernsolidarity.ca/en/take-action/
UTFA Vice-President, University and External Affairs