Nipissing University expresses support for Laurentian University

The news of the financial challenges and restructuring at Laurentian University is deeply concerning and has sent shockwaves across the post-secondary sector. At Nipissing University, our hearts and thoughts are with our colleagues at Laurentian University during this extremely challenging period in their history. 

The university sector is a tight-knit community and Laurentian’s hardships are felt by all of us. As a fellow northern Ontario university, we understand the profound economic and social impact that a university such as Laurentian has on the communities it serves by providing access to education and in Laurentian’s case, access to bilingual programming for Ontario’s Francophones. In solidarity, Nipissing University’s Senate recently expressed its unanimous support to the Laurentian University Senate.

We also empathize with those students who have been impacted by program cancellations. Laurentian has indicated that it will issue Letters of Permission for students unable to complete their studies and we will assist these students where possible in continuing their studies through our typical admissions process. 

Nipissing University believes that the provincial government has a key role to play in supporting Laurentian through these difficult times to ensure a vibrant future for the institution and in turn the Sudbury community. Northern institutions were originally specifically created to provide local populations with access to education and are vital to the province’s economic recovery. They boost local economies, drive innovation and provide a talented workforce to lead the region’s shift to a knowledge-based economy. Without them, there would be a devastating impact on the north’s ability to retain future generations.

The situation at Laurentian has raised questions about the financial health of Ontario’s universities overall, particularly in the north. As with most universities across the sector, Nipissing has experienced its own financial challenges over the years as a result of various factors including most recently, the impacts of COVID-19. However, Nipissing University has taken concrete steps to address these challenges to ensure its long-term sustainability including engaging PWC in 2015 to assist in creating a multi-year financial plan.

Our Board of Governors recently passed a motion directing the University to continue to work towards a balanced operating budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, while recognizing that exceptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be made with the approval of the Board, and that the University maintains that direction for future years.

With continued support from the provincial government, the future of Nipissing University is bright. We are confident in our financial position, remain focused on our strategies for growth, and will continue to offer a first class education and student experience to learners in the north, while serving as an anchor in our community.

Nipissing University stands with Laurentian University in supporting access to education in Ontario’s north.