CAML Statement on Laurentian University
The Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (CAML-ACBM) condemns the actions of Laurentian University in cancelling 69 programs and laying off over 100 academic staff. As the only Canadian university offering a higher education with a significant focus on Indigenous and Francophone programming in addition to English, dismantling an education system designed to serve three distinct communities in a geographic region with limited resources, is catastrophic and irresponsible. Cancelling such programs as Teacher Training and many arts and humanities programs, and the separation of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, undermines the University’s important role in the cultural experience of northern Ontario communities. These drastic measures will irreparably damage the academic life of the North, and with it, post-secondary research, teaching and learning in Canada.
In particular, we vehemently oppose Laurentian University's decision to cut the music program, which imperils the community’s ability to create, collect, and preserve important northern cultural traditions. The music program, and by extension the libraries and archives that support music-related endeavours, are vital pieces of the Canadian cultural mosaic. We therefore find the University’s decisions deeply troubling and reflective of the Ontario provincial government’s short-sighted higher education and arts and humanities policies.
We join CAUT in calling for: 1) “A significant immediate public investment in the university to stabilize programming, retain staff and students, and signal that both levels of government are committed to the continuation of Laurentian’s important bilingual and tricultural mandate and a thriving north”; and 2) “Governance and accountability improvements. Those who caused and allowed this crisis to occur cannot be left in control of the university’s recovery. There needs to be strengthened collegial oversight and accountability to the communities Laurentian serves. The provisions of the Laurentian Act must be brought up to the standards of other university statutes.”
In confirming our solidarity with students, staff, and faculty of Laurentian University, we ask CAML-ACBM members, and other information professionals across Canada, to act on the steps outlined in CAUT’s call for action in support of culture and higher education in Canada.
On behalf of the Board of the Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres.
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University of Toronto,
Edward Johnson Building,
80 Queen's Park, Toronto
ON, M5S 2C5, Canada
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CAML REVIEW / REVUE DE L'ACBM
CAML Review welcomes submissions of research articles (peer-reviewed section), reports, news, essays, and reviews on topics relevant to the purposes of the Association, particularly those pertaining to music in Canada, music librarianship and archival management, and bibliography.