A group representing university faculty associations says it is disappointed by a court ruling that determined Laurentian University is not required to provide Ontario’s auditor general with privileged information as she conducts a value-for-money audit of the insolvent university.
“It is vital that Laurentian University show some accountability and release these documents to the auditor general,” said the press release from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).
“We need to understand what happened at Laurentian to make sure it doesn’t happen at any other university,” said Sue Wurtele, president of OCUFA. “These documents are important records that will shine a light on how things got so bad.”
Following the Superior Court of Justice’s ruling, Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk told Sudbury.com she would appeal the decision.
The Ontario Legislature has also issued a rare Speaker’s warrant demanding the release of similar documents by Feb. 1.
OCUFA said it is pleased that the auditor general is seeking an appeal and calls on the university to come clean and comply with the Speaker’s warrant.
“Laurentian University has an obligation to the Greater Sudbury community and the people of Ontario to do the right thing and make these documents available to the Auditor General and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario,” said Wurtele.
“Universities should be transparent, accountable, and democratic institutions. Laurentian’s behaviour on this front continues to be unacceptable.”
Almost a year after Laurentian declared insolvency, the people of Ontario still don’t have a good understanding of how the university’s finances were allowed to reach such an acute state of decay nor why Premier Doug Ford refused to step in to provide funding for the university when faculty, staff, and students most needed the government’s support, said OCUFA.
Full transparency is needed to discover what went so wrong and that is why it is so crucial that these documents are released, the group added.