We won’t be Rye Inc.: Prez

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By Sean Fitz-Gerald

It appears Ryerson will not be falling into the greedy hands of private ownership anytime soon.

Last week, in reaction to an advertisement Ryerson president Claude LaJeunesse placed in the Globe and Mail, there was a report that suggested Ryerson was on the path to privatization.

Lajeunesse said changes are needed in the university funding system, but deregulating tuition fees is not the way to go.

“Privatization means Ryerson would stop receiving government funding,” he said Tuesday. “I have not heard of, or read any indication that anyone is talking of privatizing Ryerson. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

Lajeunesse said the ad was meant to show Ryerson’s unique position as a university.

“It was a message to the Ontario government that Ryerson has some special issues that need to be addressed,” he said. “It was also a message that Ryerson is different and a solution that may work elsewhere may not work here.

“I’m not proposing deregulation or two-tiering, it just doesn’t work.”

Lajeunesse said he hoped to pique the interest of the business community by running the ad in the Globe and Mail on Nov. 18.

“I think there’s a very strong message to the business community that Ryerson grads are extremely good and are the ones that they hire,” he said. “They should realize that a place like Ryerson will have a problem keeping up the quality of the grad they hire without any private support.”

Dennis Mock, Ryerson’s VP academic, echoed the president’s remarks.

The ad was meant to heighten public awareness of how the university system and Ryerson operates, he said.

Ontario students receive fewer government dollars per person than students anywhere else in Canada, said Mock.

“Whether or not [privatization] happens at Ryerson is not what this ad was about,” Mock said.

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