Students, faculty, worried after Laurentian University files for creditor protection
SUDBURY -- CTV News learned on Monday that Laurentian University in Sudbury is the only university in the province to have filed for bankruptcy.
The university is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and that has students worried.
“I’m really worried, but I feel safer because I’m in forensic science,” said second-year student Hannah Lecuyer.
“We have a lot of people supporting us and our program is one of the best at the school, so I don’t feel like we will be in that much trouble.”
Brayden Schneider, another second-year student, said he’s hopeful it won’t affect his program.
“I’m pretty scared,” Schneider said. “Going into a university that’s going to go under by the time I’m finished my second year is not preferable.”
“Of course we lost the arts program last year, a lot of people are sad about that. I’m just hoping it doesn’t affect me or anyone in my program,” he added.
Day-to-day operations continue
In a news release Monday, LU president Robert Haché said the court filing won’t affect day-to-day operations and students won’t be affected.
But the union representing faculty -- Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) -- has concerns.
“We’re entering now into a process of restructuring, and we are expecting important and significant changes to the faculty, the students and the staff,” said LUFA president Fabrice Colin.
Laurentian Student General Association vice-president Malek Abou-Rabia said students received a message telling them Laurentian will become 'Laurentian 2.0.' Abou-Rabia is optimistic the university will turn things around.
“There was a mention of a Laurentian 2.0, so I think that Laurentian is forced to evolve now (into) better version of what it once was,” Abou-Rabia said. "We will look back at this as a lesson learned and really to think about how this happened and become better.”
Sudbury’s MPP Jamie West said Laurentian is a gem to the city and is disappointed with the provincial government's response.
“It’s really embarrassing that (Minister Ross Romano’s response wasn’t, ‘It’s time to crack open our wallet, it’s time to help you with money,’" West said.
“Just refusing to acknowledge that what we need is money to make ends meet is ridiculous.”