Camosun president says her contract termination is ‘completely unjustified’

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Camosun College president Kathryn Laurin says her termination was “completely unjustified” –provided (photo)
Camosun College president Kathryn Laurin says her termination was “completely unjustified” –provided (photo)

Note: This article originally appeared in the Nexus, the student newspaper of Camosun College. 

We reported yesterday that Camosun College told current president Kathryn Laurin on June 20 that her contract was terminated as of September 1, 2014. While the details have remained confidential, Laurin told the Times Colonist later yesterday that she considers her dismissal “completely unjustified.”

Camosun vice president of communications, advancement and planning Joan Yates declined to comment on Laurin’s statement, saying that because it’s a personnel issue the college will not discuss it with media.

“It’s unfortunate that the conversation is happening, but we won’t be discussing that at all,” says Yates.

Laurin said to the Times Colonist that she isn’t clear on the reasons behind her contract being terminated. She said there was a brief meeting with herself, Camosun Board of Governors chair Marilyn Pattison and vice-chair Russ Lazaruk on the 20th where they informed her of the termination.

After the meeting, Laurin called her lawyer, which Yates says is common and “not a surprise.”

“Because Kathryn doesn’t have a union representing her, it is quite common for lawyers to review contracts,” says Yates. “I can’t answer for her, just giving a general statement, that at this level lawyers usually review contracts and statements. It’s quite routine.”

Laurin told the Times Colonist the termination is classified as “not for cause,” which means there will be a severance package paid out, something that CUPE expressed concern about yesterday.

“I don’t know the terms of the agreement to be able to comment on that,” says Yates. “I’m not privy to that. That would be a personnel issue between Kathryn and the board.”

Laurin, who has not returned our email requests for information, has apparently been locked out of her work email. She is on vacation in July and administrative leave in August, so she will not be returning to the college.

“It’s very complex on both sides,” says Yates. “Kathryn has some concerns, as we can tell from public articles, and the board is choosing to keep it private. That’s what’s going on here. The board will stick with that, as far as I know, in terms of not airing this in a public forum. It’s between her and the board. They’re following what is usual HR procedure. If individuals want to comment on their circumstances, that’s their prerogative, but the college will not.”