Concordia initiates external review of departures of senior executives

March 5, 2012

Concordia University will hire external auditors to review the departures of 5 top administrators who left between September 2009 and December 2010 and were paid out a combined $2.4-million in severance. That amount does not include the combined $1.7-million severance paid to former presidents Judith Woodsworth and Claude Lajeunesse, who left midway and 2 years, respectively, through their own contract. Interim president Frederick Lowy says Concordia has made great strides in reforming governance in the wake of an external review last year. That review did not address the string of departures by former university employees who received severance packages, which is why Lowy has now decided to bring in an external team to assess Concordia's practices for terminating top executives. The new review will help the institution avoid any mistakes that might have been made in the past, a Concordia official says. "It’s looking at the lessons learned in the departures of these individuals and how the university handled the process of ending its relationship with them, the costs involved, etc." Concordia expects to announce the appointment of a new president this spring. Montreal Gazette