Column: Over the past 60 years, our most important contribution has been to fill in the empty map of a region largely unknown to the rest of the country
In the present irresponsible dismantling of a university, history as an English program has been kept, but the Francophone component destroyed and the graduate programs terminated.
As a member of that bilingual department, operating with much mutual respect, in 1970/71 we fought to establish the graduate program. During my decades at LU — I retired from meetings and marking but not research and writing in 2005 — the History Department was the only Laurentian graduate program that passed its mandated seven-year review, or process of accreditation, every time.
Yet, due to low enrolment, without considering quality and hardly any cost (frequently we taught grad courses for free), the insolvency axe wielders chopped part of its core.
In my case, I found it a privilege, with my limited French, to hear varying perspectives from Francophone scholars (at first many Jesuits), with a different cultural background, as well as to participate on review committees of Francophone students.
Further, I am proud to say that students from both linguistic streams who went on to their doctorate reported back that they had been taught skills at the same or higher level than those from other universities. Some have taught or are teaching at Queen’s, Lakehead, Regina, Ottawa, Waterloo and other universities. Many work as teachers, journalists, librarians, lawyers, or in cultural industries, and most value the research and analytical skills attained by studying history.
For the rest of this column: https://www.thesudburystar.com/opinion/columnists/without-laurentians-scholars-sudburys-history-will-be-lost