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Haché: Cutting ties with federated universities was necessary to Laurentian’s survival

‘We are ready to welcome our new first year students and returning students in September, with a clearer path forward,’ university president says in a statement following court ruling 
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Dr. Robert Haché is the president of Laurentian University. (Supplied)

Laurentian University’s president said the termination of a more than 60-year-old agreement between LU and the three federated universities on campus was necessary to Laurentian’s survival.

Robert Haché made the statements in the wake of court decision released late Sunday night that finalized the termination of the federation agreement amid Laurentian’s court-supervised insolvency restructuring.

“Laurentian respects the historic legacy of each of the federated universities and will continue to do so in future, but it was necessary to terminate the contractual relationship and the funding arrangements for the sake of Laurentian’s survival,” Haché said in a statement issued Monday.

“We are grateful to all stakeholders for their passion expressed in various ways through the CCAA process to date and we are committed to working together to complete the restructuring process.

“We are ready to welcome our new first year students and returning students in September, with a clearer path forward.”

The statement said all spring courses offered and taught at Laurentian will continue in the ordinary course. Spring courses that were previously taught at Huntington University and University of Sudbury were previously cancelled, other than Gerontology and six Indigenous Studies courses, for which special arrangements were made with Laurentian and which will continue.  

All other spring courses previously taught by any of the Federated Universities, including Thorneloe University, will no longer be counted for credit towards a Laurentian degree. 

These courses include: Ancient Studies (ANCS), Religious Studies (RSLT) and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSX).

Thorneloe University said in a statement issued Sunday that it plans to appeal the court decision regarding the termination of the federation agreement, saying the situation will force the closure of Thorneloe’s operation at Laurentian.

All of Thorneloe’s spring semester courses have now been cancelled, with the exception of theology. Thorneloe president John Gibaut told Sudbury.com today the federation agreement with Laurentian has never included the school of theology.

The University of Sudbury also issued a statement Monday, expressing its disappointment in the court decision.

For Huntington University, the Transition Agreement previously negotiated with Laurentian on a consensual basis will now be implemented and pursuant to this agreement, Laurentian will be teaching the Gerontology courses in the Spring term, in the Fall term and thereafter.  

Huntington will continue to operate its residence and administration building on campus, through arrangements made with Laurentian.

Laurentian said students in affected programs are encouraged to reach out to Joël Dickinson, Faculty of Arts, at arts@laurentian.ca, to discuss the next steps in their academic path forward.