In February, without any advance warning to students, faculty or staff, the University of Laurentian applied for bankruptcy and went into creditor protection. As a result, students, faculty and staff find themselves living with great uncertainty. Their present and their future are now in turmoil. Researchers have found their progress halted as they can’t order supplies or pay for samples to be analysed. Bursaries, pensions, salaries, job security, and the security of knowing you have a program to graduate from – all now uncertain, in question. We need to come together and save LU.
Laurentian is a public institution and should never have been put into the creditor protection process. We need to stand together. We need to show the students, faculty and staff that we understand their pain and their concern. We also need to stand together and in one voice demand that the province step in, end the CCAA process, and fund LU
In the past month I’ve heard story after story of how Laurentian University was the reason someone was able to go to university – that having to travel down south would have been a dealbreaker. The focus on Francophone and Indigenous programming speaks directly to the diversity and needs of our region. The loss of Laurentian is a direct blow against education in the north.
The loss of Laurentian goes far beyond the immediate loss to students. Laurentian is the 3rd largest employer in our region. The spin off economics for businesses is immense. 40 years of regreening couldn’t have happened without Laurentian. Thousands of people use the pool, trails, and facilities every year. We need to save LU.
LU’s financial troubles came as a result of years of underfunding by the province for post-secondary education. They came about as a result of the cuts to tuition and fees that the province imposed, without providing any additional funding for universities to make up the difference. A public solution is needed. The province needs to step in, halt the creditor protection process, and fund the university. The province has appointees on the board of governors for the university. The minister of education Ross Romano knew of the universities precarious situation months ago, and did nothing. The time for nothing is past. It is now time to act, and to save LU.
The university is not a business. It does not belong in the creditor protection (CCAA) process. The public good, including access to education for those of us in the north, can’t be measured and adequately addressed in the CCAA process. But let’s pretend that the university is a business – we step in publicly to help businesses out all the time. Remember the crash of 2008 and the cry of “too big to fail” that led to all sorts of sectors being given money to bail them out? Think of the countless sports teams that get bailed out by cities, who get arenas built and maintained for them, because of the ‘greater public good’ that comes from having a local franchise. Surely public education, education for those in the north, education for Francophones and Indigenous peoples, surely Sudbury’s 3rd largest employer is a greater public good that deserves an infusion of public money. The province has the power to end this. It’s time they stepped up and acted to Save LU.
It is for all these reasons that we are supporting the SOS Laurentian organizing group, working to get the provincial government to take action. If you also feel passionate about keeping Laurentian University whole and public, please join us.
3 things you can do right now:
- Sign up here to receive your free #FundLU lawn sign.
- Send a letter to the provincial government: The Laurentian University Faculty Association has created a letter demanding that the government Act Now and secure public funding to secure Laurentian’s future. You can read the letter and add your name here: https://lufappul.ca/wp/?page_id=4989
- Send a letter to the Federal Government:As a public post-secondary institution in Ontario with a tri-cultural mandate to support French, English, and Indigenous communities, both the federal and provincial governments have a responsibility in ensuring Laurentian has the operating funding needed to secure the public institution’s long-term future. Education for All is making sure the Fed’s know they need to act too! You can read, sign and send here; https://www.educationforall.ca/lufa_tool
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