The board of governors for a university or college has similar responsibilities to a board of directors in a not-for-profit corporation. The board is responsible to manage the organization efficiently and effectively within the organization’s operating budgets.
Laurentian University has terms of reference for audit and finance committees, and it appears those committees and the board did not adhere to basic principles to maintain financial solvency.
Laurentian University last year provided $4.9 million in bursaries and scholarships to eligible students.
Recent news in the media indicate a PhD candidate could not access research funds and the swim team could not access donations of $7,800.
The above has prompted donors to question the current status of the funds generated for bursaries and scholarships. Are these funds currently intact for the benefit of eligible students, or will they be used or applied against current deficits?
The university cannot respond, at this time, and suggest we view the questions and answers section within its website.
If Laurentian had a foundation, ongoing funding for bursaries and scholarships may be more secure, although that creates a need for additional staffing.
Donors need assurance that their donations are secure and to be used solely for the benefit of eligible students.
A novel idea for Laurentian
Laurentian University is in a crisis and there can be no doubt that new ideas are needed.
I believe one way the campus can be revitalized is by painting the world’s largest mural. The mural at the old hospital has already attracted lots of desirable creative-class types to Sudbury and its economic and social benefits cannot be overstated.
By painting the world’s largest mural at Laurentian University, we can put Sudbury on the map globally, help grow our economy and show the entire world our progressive values.
I hope that the City of Greater Sudbury and the local arts community will take this idea under consideration.