The Pat Hibbitts Professional Development Bursary – 2020 Winner

In hour of Pat Hibbitts, a long-standing CAUBO member and contributor, and in support of her commitment to continuing education, CAUBO has established a professional development bursary. Each year, CAUBO extends a complimentary conference registration (including a pre-conference seminar) to one institutional member.

This year’s winner is

Ms. Debra Ward
HR Consultant (Staff Relations)
University of New Brunswick


The 2019 CAUBO Deferred Maintenance at Canadian Universities report is now available to institutional members

The 2019 report provides an updated perspective on deferred maintenance at Canadian Universities. It goes beyond stating the current situation and provides members with practical information regarding strategies for managing deferred maintenance and making the case for investment. Case studies and success stories are included in the report to provide insight into how institutions have found innovative methods to secure additional funding and/or manage the funding they receive. Click here to read the report.

A data dashboard has been developed to provide institutions that participated in the survey with access to benchmark data. Click here to login and access the dashboard.

Ancillary Benchmark Parking Services Survey Results Now Available to institutional members

Ancillary operations have become an increasingly prominent area of focus at Canadian universities and there is a recognized need for reliable data to help administrators identify opportunities for improved efficiencies.

In response to this need, CAUBO is working to collect and report a high-quality data set on ancillary services that supports benchmarking.

The 2018 Ancillary Benchmark Parking Services survey results are now available online for members. A high-level summary report of the Parking survey results has been prepared and is available to all members here.  A dashboard is accessible here to CAUBO members that participated in the survey. It allows users to assess their institutional performance against that of peer institutions across Canada based on key indicators.

The Parking Services survey is part of the Ancillary Benchmark Survey series created by CAUBO to amass a key performance indicator data warehouse for each major ancillary area. The Housing and Food Services surveys will be released in the coming weeks.

New CAUBO Partnership with HR Metrics Service


CAUBO knows that members need evidence-based data to support their institutional decision-making.

That’s why we are pleased to share with you that we have signed a partnership agreement with HR Metrics Service (HRMS) to provide CAUBO members with quality HR benchmarking services. HRMS is a privately owned national benchmarking service with 65 client organizations from a variety of sectors, including several Canadian universities. Participating universities report a high degree of satisfaction with the service, content, and quality of reporting they have received from HRMS and recommend it to colleagues in the sector.

Joining HRMS has been a great investment for us at Memorial. We started with a limited number of metrics, and have now scaled up to 45 metrics! We use them for internal reporting, including the University’s Executive and annual reporting to the Board of Regents.

—Stephen Dodge (MUN)

This partnership will support the development of national HR metrics and help CAUBO members obtain reliable data to guide decision-making.

Key benefits for CAUBO members

CAUBO members that participate in the HRMS benchmarking service will receive:

  • Sector-wide data analysis and trend reporting, provided by a third-party consultant with support from CAUBO
  • Educational support to help use the resulting evidence-based data and information effectively
  • Differentiated HRMS participation fees for CAUBO members, based on institutional size

Timeline for HRMS partnership with CAUBO

  • Right now: Universities can sign up to work with HRMS and begin measuring their institutional data using their choice of metrics.
  • In the coming months: CAUBO will coordinate the formation of a Steering Committee and Working Group to guide and convey a collective vision for HR benchmarking and measurement within the Canadian higher education .
  • Within the next fiscal year: A third-party consultant will be engaged to develop sectoral trends and analysis and provide professional development to help members get the most out of their participation.

This service is currently available in English only. Bilingual services will become available as additional universities sign on with HRMS.

About HR Metrics Service

HRMS currently enables participating organizations to measure and compare their institutions based on more than 150 benchmarking metrics. Among them are six commonly used core metrics:

  • Turnover – voluntary and involuntary
  • First-year turnover
  • Grievances as a percentage of unionized headcount (under review)
  • HR headcount ratio
  • Average age
  • Average length of service

Many university-specific metrics have been added over the last several years. The full list is available here.

A list of current university participants is available online at

For information about this service, please contact HRMS directly at or toll-free at 1-855-323-6530 or sign up online at

Participation fees are payable to HRMS. CAUBO will provide trend analysis and educational support as part of your CAUBO institutional membership fee.

We hope CAUBO members will take advantage of this targeted opportunity to improve their HR data and decision-making capacity. If you have questions about this partnership, please contact Elizabeth Taylor at

CAUBO Tri-Agency Transition Resources

Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration

The Tri-Agencies have created a principles-based Guide to simplify the administration and use of grant funds. The new Guide promotes efficiencies, reduces administrative burden, and provides greater flexibility to administering institutions and grant recipients in ensuring the appropriate accountability and use of grant funds.

CAUBO Resources to Support the Transition

CAUBO has developed a toolkit to support members during the transition to the new principles-based Guidelines. The information in this toolkit is based on the experiences of the pilot institutions and is composed of three parts:

  1. An Approach to the Tri-Agency Policy Gap Analysis
    This document provides guidance for institutions completing a policy gap analysis and implementing the new Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration. It includes best practices and items to consider when undertaking the gap analysis.
  2. Policy Gap Analysis Template
  3. Sample Scenarios

Member login on CAUBO’s website is required to access these resources.

The Q&P Awards are back – CAUBO wants to reward innovation at your institution!

Submit your innovative idea or business improvement to the CAUBO Quality & Productivity Awards!

Found a better way to do something? Tell us about it!

What are the Q&P Awards?
Since 1987, CAUBO has celebrated the administrative achievements of its members with the Quality and Productivity (Q&P) Awards. These are the Oscars of best practices in higher education administration!

The concept is simple: Reward and share effective and innovative practices that enable excellence in the management of human, financial, and physical resources on Canadian campuses. Five national prizes are awarded each year to honour excellence in risk management, administrative efficiency, space management, environmental sustainability, and innovation.

Think your project is too straightforward or obvious to win? Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that have the greatest impact. Past winners include:

  • Ryerson University – Departmental Safety Officer Program
  • HEC Montréal – Planning a Major Infrastructure Using a Pilot Project Approach
  • Carleton University – Improving Recycling Behaviours in a University Food Court
  • The University of British Columbia – Finance Support Program
  • McMaster University – IT Services Transformation
  • Simon Fraser University – Social Procurement Landscape
  • Polytechnique Montréal et l’Université de Sherbrooke – Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

If you think a project that’s now underway or complete at your university should be added to the winners’ list, complete the application form online and tell us why you should win a 2020 Q&P Award!

The submission deadline for this year’s awards is January 24, 2020. So go ahead – show off your achievements! We’re waiting to reward them.

2020 CAUBO Recognition Award – Don’t forget to nominate an outstanding colleague!

The submission deadline for the CAUBO 2020 Recognition Awards is January 31, 2020.


We all know someone who consistently goes above and beyond, through hard work, volunteerism, mentorship, or all of the above. These people make higher education administration a better sector to work in. They make our jobs easier. They bring out the best in others. Wouldn’t it be great if they were recognized for it?

You can make that happen by nominating them for a 2020 CAUBO Recognition Award!

Check out the criteria for the member-nominated recognition awards as well as some past recipients:

  • The Emerging Leader Award honours future leaders in the higher education field.
  • The Ken Clements Distinguished Administrator Award recognizes an administrator who has made an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of higher education administration and has demonstrated outstanding leadership.
  • The Distinguished Service Award is granted to persons who have made a significant contribution to CAUBO and the management of higher education over a long period of time, upon the conclusion of their career in university administration.
  • Honorary Membership is a meaningful recognition bestowed sparingly and only to those individuals among those satisfying the criteria for a Distinguished Service Award who are deemed to have made an extraordinary contribution to CAUBO and the management of higher education.

This year’s awards will be presented at a ceremony on the Tuesday morning of the CAUBO 2020 Annual Conference in Toronto.

CAUBO 2019 Conference Snapshots

Here are some highlights from the 2019 CAUBO conference in Halifax! Click on the photos to view larger versions.

Optional Event

Welcome Reception

June 10 Plenary Session and Trade Show

Quality and Productivity Award Winners

President’s Dinner

June 11 Plenary Session and Lunch/2020 Presentation

Recognition Award Winners

Farewell Event

Charting a Path for Social Purpose Administration: An Update

A CAUBO and RECODE joint project

How can higher education finance and administration leaders contribute to their institution’s social ambitions?

RECODE and Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) are collaborating on a national initiative to support post-secondary institutions across Canada in exploring emerging trends and expectations in social purpose administration. The partnership draws upon RECODE’s insights and networks in advancing community-centered solutions and CAUBO’s mission to enable excellence in Canadian higher education administration.

This initiative stems from broader research RECODE and Simon Fraser University pioneered last year on the roles post-secondary institutions can play to enhance community well-being – including and beyond their primary mandates of teaching and research. This concept–known as social infrastructure– is described in their report, Maximizing the Capacities of Advanced Education Institutions to Build Social Infrastructure for Canadian Communities, which lists the capacities and assets of universities, colleges and polytechnic institutes that can be mobilized to meet community needs.

The partnership complements three additional projects RECODE is pursuing with Universities Canada, Colleges and Institutes Canada, and a cohort of BC institutions under co-leadership with Simon Fraser University.

These are the instruments which advanced education institutions have in the toolbox to further contribute to the prosperity of Canadian communities. The Financial and Physical instruments are in the domain of chief administrative and financial officers and the subject of this partnership. 

CAUBO and RECODE seek to identify industry best practices and support administrators in learning about embedding greater social value in domains such as human resources, facilities management, procurement, investment, risk management, planning and budgeting and ancillary services. While many administrative officers are already familiar with social and sustainable procurement and social and sustainable investment, the aim is that eventually, all core administrative functions will have a more explicit social component. This initiative is designed to:

  • Outline these opportunities;
  • Learn about and overcome the barriers; and
  • Support advanced education administrators in building the capacity of their institutions in this evolving field.

Click here to view the Social Purpose Administration Primer

“Choosing to say yes when it would have been easier to say no – is absolutely critical to  driving innovation in large complex organizations like universities where the easy thing is not always the best thing to do. We were REALLY lucky to have innovative and collaborative leaders in Finance and Administration that looked  for out of the box solutions to support an out of the box social venture.”

– Wendy Cukier, Co-Founder, Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge, Professor Entrepreneurship and Strategy,     Ryerson University

Spring Consultation

In the Spring of 2018 CAUBO and McConnell consulted with university and college administrators at the following workshops:

Highlights from these consultations include:

  • There is considerable enthusiasm for scaling and accelerating the concept of social purpose admin and finance

  • Many social purpose admin and finance initiatives are already underway, and there are many good practices to be shared across institutions

  • Social purpose admin and finance requires a senior champion to be successful

  • It needs to be included in the strategic plan for it to become an institutional priority

Webinar Series

The partners are now hosting a webinar series to help institutions learn from each other, through sharing and replicating best practices.  Efforts are also underway to determine how best to incorporate social purpose administration and finance into institutional strategic plans. CAUBO members say this is an important and necessary prerequisite to increasing innovation in this area of professional practice.

Inventory of Best and Emerging Social Purpose Administration and Finance Practices

The partners also collaborated on a survey to create a database of practices at Canadian institutions. This database is now available.

Please contact Kelly Hodgins at for more information.