Former Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse (right) received a large severance package from Concordia. University (Courtesy of AIA Aerospace)

Concordia University loses $2 million in funding

In EyeBlog, News /

By Rebecca Burton
News Editor

Concordia University has landed in hot water after a series of severance packages were given out totalling over $2.4 million to two former presidents and five other administrators.

The buyouts included former Ryerson president from 1995-2005, Claude Lajeunesse, who received approximately $1.4 million just two years into his five-year contract.

The Quebec Ministry of Education is cracking down on the university by reducing their funding by $2 million next year. The university also announced last  week that they will be hiring two external auditors to examine the payouts, according to The Link.

In a comment to the Montreal Gazette, Concordian president and vice-chancellor Frederick Lowy said, “following a careful review of our legal obligations, we will be disclosing publicly the information related to severance payments totalling some $2.4 million made to five senior management individuals over the past few years.”

The packages also accounted for Lajeunesse’s successor, Judith Woodsworth, who was dispatched at the end of 2010 with a approximately $900,000 in severance pay. Woodsworth remains at the university as a tenured professor of French translation.

According to the Gazette, the payouts included $605,000 to former internal audit director Ted Nowak, $639,000 to former internal assistant audit director Saad Zubair, $700,000 to former vice-president of advancement and alumni affairs Kathy Assayag.

The last two included $332,000 to former chief financial officer Larry English and $129,000 to former security director Jean Brisebois.

In an interview with the Toronto Sun,¬†Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp said the severance packages were “excessive” and led to “concerns about the use of public funds by universities.”




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