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UWOFA urges government to end restructuring process at Laurentian University

April 8th, 2021



(London, Ont.)- The union representing faculty members at Western University urges both levels of government to step in and support students and faculty at Laurentian University who are living through a time of great uncertainty.

In an unprecedented move, Laurentian University sought and received insolvency protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) on February 1. The restructuring process is likely to result in academic program cuts and job losses.

“The CCAA process is entirely inappropriate for publicly funded institutions such as universities. Academic planning and restructuring should be grounded in pedagogy, guided by collegial governance processes, and consistent with collective agreements,” said Beth MacDougall-Shackleton, president of UWOFA. “Ontario universities receive the lowest funding per-student of any province, and we demand that the government provide funds to stabilize Laurentian’s operations. Laurentian’s long-term future, and the good of northern Ontario communities, depend on it.”

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.

A motion calling on the provincial government and the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to provide immediate funding with the goal of ending the CCAA process was passed unanimously by UWOFA’s Executive Committee. UWOFA joins numerous Faculty Associations across the province calling on the provincial government to end the restructuring process at Laurentian and to provide adequate and sustained funding to ensure the continued viability of this important institution.

UWOFA is a union representing about 1,500 faculty members and 50 librarians and archivists at the University of Western Ontario in London.

Vanessa Frank, Communications Officer