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THE SCOOP | Laurentian University Shuts Down Music School, Fires Staff

By Michael Vincent on April 13, 2021

Laurentian University Department of Music (Photo: Facebook)
Laurentian University Department of Music (Photo: Facebook)

Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, has notified teaching staff and students across 58 undergraduate and 11 graduate programs that they will be terminated.

Included in the long list was the school’s music department, in the Faculty of The Arts, which offers a BFA in Music and Music performance, and the Theatre program.

The layoffs have affected between a quarter and a third of full-time teaching staff across all academic programs.

Laurentian announced in February that it would be seeking creditor protection under a law commonly used by private businesses. The school, noted as one of Ontario’s few bilingual universities, struggled to meet payroll amid $100M in debt and ongoing quarterly deficits.

It was reported that the senior teaching staff were told via email to attend a Zoom chat on Monday morning. It was at this time they are told their jobs would be eliminated, effective immediately.

“While these changes are necessary in order to ensure Laurentian’s future, a reduction in the total number of program offerings, and an overall restructuring of the University, also means that today we provided end of employment notice to our faculty and staff of upcoming reductions,” wrote president and vice-chancellor Robert Haché.

Approximately 600 students will be affected, which amounts to about 10 percent of total enrolment.

Laurentian University’s Music Department Chair, Dr. Yoko Hirota, was contacted, but refused comment.

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