Two months ago, Laurentian University (LU) was forced to file for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA).
This situation was caused by years of underfunding by the province and fiscal mismanagement by the Board of Governors.
LU could have recovered had the Ford government injected a healthy dose of funding. But the government instead let it fail: the university became insolvent and found itself unable to pay of its debts.
Despite it being a public institution, the Ford government took a hands-off approach and pushed LU into the CCAA, a process that’s meant for the private sector.
The outcome? LU is being forced into restructuring and balancing its books on the backs of its employees as well as through cuts to programs and course offerings.
Under the CCAA, LU has been given until April 30 to restructure the university. LU’s case before the courts was that the university was offering too many courses, programs and professors. It is clear that these are the areas where LU is planning to make cuts. Hundreds of jobs and important learning opportunities will be lost.
Tragically, LU’s tricultural mandate, “which recognizes the French, English and Indigenous cultures of Northern Ontario,” is also at risk of being diluted.
The future does not look bright for the LU community.