Devastating cuts at Laurentian University in philosophy and many other programs


After years of extraordinary mismanagement on the part of administrators, Laurentian University is attempting to remedy its current financial insolvency by eliminating a shocking number of university programs and permanent positions. The Department of Philosophy and several of its teachers are among those scheduled for elimination.

[“Here’s what’s left of the Faculty of the Arts at Laurentian University” – Christian Pelletier]

100 Laurentian professors received termination notices today, and 58 undergraduate and 11 graduate programs will cease, the CBC reports. In addition to philosophy, programs in mathematics, physics, political science, anthropology, environmental sciences and studies and many other fields have been cut. The complete list of canceled programs is here.

The Globe and Mail provides the context in which the cuts take place:

Laurentian declared itself insolvent in February as it was on the verge of being unable to meet payroll. It has nearly $ 100 million in debt from a building frenzy that has not produced any signup gains, and it has run deficits in the range of $ 2-5 million a year for several. years, according to his court documents. He also spent millions on research grants to keep the lights on, in part because of the practice of having only one bank account where incoming funds from various sources were mixed. [emphasis added]

The university effectively declares bankruptcy, seeking to protect itself from creditors as it restructures. The Globe and Mail reports:

This is the first time that a publicly funded university in Canada has resorted to a legal process normally reserved for private companies, the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, which gives the court wide latitude to reach a decision. regulations. Laurentian Faculty Association, which represents approximately 380 professors from Laurentian and its federated universities [Sudbury, Huntington and Thorneloe Universities; see here], criticized the use of this judicial process for a public institution. The provincial government has so far refused to respond to calls for intervention, despite protests in Sudbury …

Laurentian has made it clear that it intends to reduce education costs through the insolvency process, rather than through the financial requirement clause in its collective agreements. The professors say they tried to negotiate with the university for months before the insolvency was triggered, but the university refused.

The president and vice-chancellor of Laurentian University is Robert Haché; the members of the Board of Governors are listed here. Further information on the administration of Laurentian University can be found here.

The terminations of professors are effective on April 30. Philosophers Brett Buchanan and Gillian crozier are among those who have publicly share that they are among the teachers to be dismissed.

(via Ben Hale)

UPDATE (15/4/21): A group of students are working to raise funds for affected students at Laurentian University in undergraduate and graduate programs to help them during this difficult and unprecedented time.


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