Don't rely on media for accurate information about Laurentian, president tells students
SUDBURY -- In his latest message to students, Laurentian University president Robert Haché advises them to check with the school for information about restructuring, rather than news reports.
"It is important that you have the benefit of accurate and current information from Laurentian itself, and that you do not simply rely on the media or third parties for information concerning your academic future," Haché wrote in a message May 6.
He mentions in particular a May 2 court decision that confirmed Laurentian's plans to terminate its agreement with three federated universities – Thorneloe, Huntington and the University of Sudbury.
"For information on the effect of this, we would encourage you to read the news release from Laurentian," Haché said. "This will also provide you with information relating to spring term courses, which will continue in the ordinary course at Laurentian but are affected with respect to Thorneloe."
In an email Friday, LU spokesperson Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé said Haché just wants to be sure students are getting accurate information.
"The intent behind the message is that there is a lot of information coming from various areas, including social media, and we want to ensure that students are getting their course information directly from Laurentian rather than relying on other sources," Bourgeault-Tassé said. "We do understand the challenges that arise in reporting on events within a court proceeding, particularly where some of those were subject to confidentiality restrictions relating to the court-ordered mediation process.
"I am personally working with our legal team to ensure that we’re able to communicate as effectively and as often as possible with members of the media in this next phase," she added.
Haché has come under harsh criticism by faculty, labour organizations and others since Feb. 1, when the university declared insolvency and filed for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.
That process enabled Laurentian to cut 39 per cent of its programs, which the school said affected just 7.5 per cent of its students.
"Notwithstanding the closure of some of our lowest-enrolment programs, Laurentian continues to offer 71 undergraduate programs, including 28 consolidated programs in French and 44 consolidated programs in English," Haché said.
"Laurentian also offers 33 graduate programs, including five in French, and 28 in English. This consolidation reflects the alignment of various program paths from amongst 100 total undergraduate programs (62 English and 38 French) that lead to distinct degrees."
He said Laurentian has reached many restructuring "milestones" in the last three months that has set the university up for "an exciting future."
"We at Laurentian remain committed to helping you through the important changes happening at the university," Haché said.
"We also continue to work with impacted students to find the best alternative programs and courses to complete their degree."
Read the full statement here.