SUDBURY -- The Laurentian University Senate voted Tuesday to reopen admissions to 17 programs after the university administration announced it was suspending admissions last month.

The university said the move was related to low enrolment in the programs, which ranged from music to anthropology to archaeology. LU president Robert Hache said around 50 students would be affected.

But the Laurentian University Faculty Association cried foul, arguing only the university's senate had the power to suspend admissions to programs.

In a news release Wednesday, LUFTA said the original decision violated provincial legislation and "came as a shock to the many students enrolled in these programs and the faculty who teach them."

“We can’t stress enough the importance of these programs for the students, the faculty members, the community, and the mission of Laurentian University,” said LUFA President Fabrice Colin in the release. “We look forward to students being admitted into the programs to which they applied and into which they were accepted.”

Under the Laurentian University Act, LUFTA said the Senate is the only body at the university with the power to suspend academic program admissions.

'It is encouraging'

“It is encouraging to see that Senate, which is composed of faculty members, student representatives and senior administrators, reaffirm the statutory powers and duties granted to it by the Laurentian University Act,” said Colin. “This is a tangible acknowledgment of the bicameral structure of the university and a recognition that authority over program admissions is a collective responsibility that cannot be delegated to a subgroup or single individual.”

When asked for a reaction to the Senate vote, LU issued a statement that said discussions on the programs could happen this week.

"We note the recommendation of the Laurentian University Senate yesterday," the statement said. "The academic planning committee, a sub-committee of the Senate, will be engaging in their work and discussing these programs as early as this Friday."