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Laurentian senators ask why profs who quit aren’t being replaced

Pres. Robert Haché confirms this is partially on the advice of the firm Ernst & Young, the court-appointed monitor of LU’s insolvency restructuring
Laurentian University.

Laurentian University’s president was questioned during the June 21 senate meeting as to why the university has failed to take action to replace tenure or tenure-track faculty members who have left LU over the past year.

In April 2021, 116 full-time faculty positions were cut at Laurentian as part of its insolvency restructuring after its Companies Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) filing, along with 41 unionized staff and 37 non-union jobs, for a total of 194 full-time jobs lost.

However, the senate members were not referring to faculty members who lost their jobs as a result of the April 2021 cuts.

They wanted to know why Laurentian has not replaced professors who have left the university since these cuts.

Laurentian University Faculty Association president Fabrice Colin told those at the meeting that “post-termination,” Laurentian has lost an additional 20 faculty members. The union has filed a grievance about the university failing to replace these professors.

This topic was brought up during a discussion of new proposed Indigenous education certificate programs. These two new programs are Anishnaabemowin Land-Based Immersion and Indigenous Interdisciplinary Studies.

The proposals brought before the governing body said no new permanent faculty would need to be hired to offer these certificate programs, instead operating with existing resources.

This is something several senate members took issue with, later raising the wider topic of faculty staffing levels.

“I am concerned, as all the other senators are, about the fact that we are proposing a program without any faculty actually in place,” said Laurentian senate member Albrecht Schulte-Hostedde.

He said he would like the “explicit statement” that the reason Laurentian is not hiring new faculty is “because the monitor” — meaning Ernst & Young, the private firm that’s the court-appointed monitor of LU’s insolvency restructuring — “is preventing it from happening.”

Schulte-Hostedde added that with the layoffs last year plus the profs who have left LU on their own since that time, “the academic integrity of this university is at stake here.”

“I appreciate that we're in a CCAA right now,” he said. “But, I mean, even the monitor must be able to appreciate the importance of this in terms of the long term stability and sustainability of this institution.”

Laurentian president Robert Haché said the “issues certainly include … approval through the monitor,” although there are many complex moving pieces as Laurentian moves toward a plan of arrangement to pay out its creditors.

He also said there has been some movement in terms of trying to replace faculty, although not at the tenure level.

“That will simply await the emergence from the CCAA process,” he said.

Haché said the university is being advised that “we need to be as careful as possible in managing the resources of the university” up to and after the emergence from the CCAA.

But several senate members brought up the fact that Laurentian is currently hiring in every category but tenure and tenure-track faculty.

“Well, then, if this is such a problem, I don't understand why we are hiring so many managers,” said Schulte-Hostedde. “If you look online, regularly, there are, you know, five to 10 positions being hired for staff and for managers. And yet there's nothing happening with faculty.”

Heidi Ulrichsen is the associate content editor at She also covers education and the arts scene.


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