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Consultants will show the way forward at Laurentian University

Sudbury university required to hire consultants for post-CCAA restructuring and new strategic plan
(Laurentian University photo)

Laurentian University is finalizing the hiring of a couple of third-party consultants to help guide the institution into the future.

Just who those consultants are has not yet been publicly revealed.

The university’s president, Sheila Embleton, gave an update on this process during the April 18 meeting of LU’s senate.

One of those consultants will lead a comprehensive operational restructuring of the university, while the other consultant will assist with the development of a new strategic plan for Laurentian.

Laurentian is required to hire both of these consultants under the terms of its plan of arrangement after it exited insolvency under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (or CCAA) last year.

Embleton said the university is in the final stages of negotiating the contract with the consultant being engaged for operational restructuring.

“Because of the size of the expenditure, the board will still need to give final approval to the contract, and that will be on April 28. (The news release is drafted and ready to go!),” she said in her written report to the senate.

“Work will begin immediately thereafter, with a first meeting of the consultant with the Transformation Consulting Group being planned for May 11.”

In terms of the strategic plan consultant, Embleton said the successful vendor was approved last week by Laurentian’s board of governors, which now has to be approved by the provincial Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

“Contract negotiations will begin shortly,” Embleton said in her written report. “Then the consultations and discussions will begin immediately thereafter.”

Once these consultants have been fully brought on board, Embleton encouraged members of the senate to participate in the process as much as they can.

“They're both extremely important for the future of this university in every possible way,” she said during the meeting. “So please do take the time to put in your input and then give feedback as the process goes along.”

In response to a question from senate member Shannon Bassett, Embleton said in terms of the strategic planning process, it has to be completed and the document approved by Laurentian’s board by the end of December of this year.

“So this is obviously a pretty tight timeline,” Embleton said. “A lot of the consultation is going to have to be done in May and June, because this is when more people are around.”

Heidi Ulrichsen is’s associate content editor. She also covers education and the arts scene.