Timeline of Negotiations between Ryerson University and the Ryerson Students' Union
January 23, 2019: Allegations of financial mismanagement by members of the 2018-2019 Ryerson Students’ Union (the “RSU”) Executive emerge via campus newspaper The Eyeopener. The incidents of financial mismanagement identified render RSU in breach of its obligations under the 1986 Operating Agreement between the University and RSU.
January 30, 2019: President Lachemi and Jen McMillen, Vice Provost, Students (VPS) meet with the RSU Board of Directors. The RSU is informed that fees will be withheld until:
- A forensic audit of RSU’s finances is conducted;
- The results of audit are shared with the University; and
- A new operating agreement between RSU and the University is negotiated by March 31, 2019 to ensure governance and accountability.
The University releases a statement that communicates these three conditions to the public.
February 2019 to May 2019: Efforts by the VPS to engage with the remaining members of the 2018-19 RSU Executive and the newly elected RSU President.
- During this period, the VPS reaches out to the RSU several times for information about the RSU’s financial status and to establish a meaningful negotiations process. In the course of the VPS’ attempts to initiate negotiations with the RSU for a new operating agreement, deadlines are extended by the University to demonstrate its good faith efforts to work with the RSU.
May 2019 to December 2019: The University continues its efforts to collaborate with the new 2019-20 RSU Executive so that its confidence in the RSU’s capacity to manage its internal affairs, governance, and finances can be restored.
- During this seven-month-period, the RSU misses several deadlines and meetings. The RSU does not respond to frequent communications from the University, despite several extensions granted to the RSU by the University to finalize a new operating agreement.
December 2019: New allegations of governance issues within the RSU surface, including public turnover of several leadership positions within the current executive and allegations from students and in campus media regarding improper governance, mismanagement, and internal conflict within the RSU.
January 8, 2020: The VPS further articulates concerns regarding lack of communication from the RSU, including:
- lack of urgency around need to continue discussions
- concerns about the recent impeachments, resignations, petitions for removal
- failure to meet with university leadership
- again requests an update on the RSU’s intent to engage productively with the University
- VPS requests an update from the RSU by the end-of-the week (January 10, 2020)
January 12, 2020: VPS emails RSU as a follow up to the January 8, 2020 meeting and regarding the missed update deadline of January 10, 2020.
January 13, 2020: RSU replies to VPS via email, does not respond to most issues raised.
January 23, 2020: One year after the allegations of the RSU’s financial mismanagement became public, the University remains unsatisfied with the RSU’s progress in restoring the University’s confidence. The results of the forensic audit of the RSU’s finances is not shared with the University and the RSU has ceased responding to the University’s efforts to finalize a new operating agreement.
January 24, 2020: Ryerson University provides notice of termination of its 1986 Operating Agreement with the RSU.
*This timeline is accessible online on the following page.