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Reviews identify opportunities for Laurentian University to become more efficient, effective and sustainable

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Laurentian University is an Ontario institution that supports bilingualism and a comprehensive Indigenous education.

Laurentian needed to become more financially sustainable

Declining tuition fees, rising expenses and global events had left Laurentian in an unsustainable financial position. Since commencing restructuring in February 2021, the university had been renewing itself to ensure students can access an ongoing post-secondary education. The university engaged Nous to review its operations and governance to improve its performance.

We reviewed administrative functions as well as senate and board processes

As part of our operational review, we:

  • examined strategies, service delivery models, structures, processes, systems and capabilities for seven administrative functions
  • engaged with more than 70 stakeholders regarding administrative issues and opportunities to improve administrative functions
  • used the Nous Organisational Architecture Framework to analyse information from documents, data and stakeholder engagement.
Visual of Nous' Organizational Architecture Framework

For the governance review, we:

  • assessed the senate and board processes, policies, structures and overall effectiveness
  • analysed governing body materials, minutes, bylaws, agenda, the Laurentian Act, board member CVs and good governance practice
  • engaged approximately 75 stakeholders, with surveys completed by 11 board members and 28 senate members.

Our recommendations are setting Laurentian on the path to transformation

A focused transformation program over several years will help Laurentian deliver better services for staff and students, build capability across functions and governance, and ultimately improve its position in the market.

What you can learn from Laurentian

Engaging students in the design of processes and hub interfaces can ensure services are designed for students, rather than for administrators.

Administrative service delivery to faculty and staff can benefit from establishing service business partners in functions and more self-service.

To be effective, governing bodies must strike a balance between conformance and performance, and internal and external focus.