January 2021

New FBS Director appointed

CAUBO is pleased to announce that Elvio Buono has been appointed as the new Director of Faculty Bargaining Services, effective January 18, 2021.

Elvio takes over the role from Jim Butler, who will retire on January 30. The CAUBO Board, FBS Management Committee, and National Office staff wish Jim all the best and thank him for his many contributions to both CAUBO and FBS over the years.

CAUBO 2021 Virtual Conference website now live!

Visit the 2021 CAUBO Annual Conference website now to get an overview of our first-ever virtual conference taking place June 15–17, 2021. It will include all the dynamic, relevant, and thought-provoking content you have come to expect from this event, including plenty of time for active engagement and networking with your peers and colleagues from across Canada.

The website also includes conference pricing, reasons to attend the conference, and a helpful FAQ section. More detailed information about the program and the features of the virtual conference platform will be available soon, and registration opens in February. Consider bookmarking the website so you can check for new updates easily.

We hope you’ll join us June 15-17, 2021 for the first virtual CAUBO Annual Conference!

McConnell Foundation releases “The Community Engaged University Administrator: A Primer on Community Engagement for Post-Secondary Administration Professionals”

Higher education institutions are increasingly harnessing their assets, platforms, and relationships to contribute to thriving communities. This is driving administrator interest in roles they and their departments can play to enhance their institutions’ social impact. This is a new role for many administrators, and they seek mandates, skills, practical examples, and community connections to better prepare and equip them for this opportunity. To address this interest and help build administrator capacity in this area, the McConnell Foundation partnered with CAUBO to produce this community engagement primer for administrators. It lays out a pathway administrators can pursue to tackle societal challenges, strengthen communities, and help their institution achieve its aims. Check it out for information on this new field of administrative practice.

Data Insights – Changing Patterns in University Revenues and General Operating Expenditures (released January 2021)

CAUBO has developed a new Data Insights series to highlight key financial trends in the university sector. These factsheets aim to provide a concise, fact-based analysis of some of the sector’s most pressing risks and challenges. The first two factsheets in the series address the rapidly changing patterns in spendable income and general operating expenditures in recent years.

Factsheet #1 focuses on the ongoing shift in the composition of operating income at Canadian universities and underscores that tuition revenues have become increasingly consequential as government revenues continue to decline as a proportion of funding. The factsheet highlights the sector’s increasing reliance on more volatile sources of income such as those stemming from international students.

Factsheet # 2 examines the concurrent shift that has occurred in expenditures at Canadian universities.  It highlights the factors that have driven changes in the distribution of spend between various expenditures types (including faculty compensation) and across functions.

Both factsheets can be viewed in full in the Winter 2021 issue of University Manager magazine.

Please let us know if there is a topic that you would like to see covered in future additions to the series. We welcome all suggestions!

University Funding in Canada, A Comparison of Provincial Policies on University Funding, Student Aid, and Research Support (released December 2020)

This new CAUBO report, prepared by Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA), compares approaches to institutional funding across the country. It provides comparative information, summarizing provincial differences regarding determining institutional grants; approval and funding of new programs; transfers to support specific missions (e.g. minority-language or rural/northern populations); and performance measures that are used in funding distribution.

The report includes a series of provincial summaries outlining the individual provinces’ policies in detail, as well as comparative information for student assistance, such as provincial financial aid expenditures per student, upfront grants and remission programs, and targeted aid for specific student populations. CAUBO institutional members can read the full report here.

Stay tuned for additional resources in 2021! A supplement resource to support the comparative analysis included in this report is currently in development. It will provide useful information for how to interpret the key provincial differences highlighted in HESA’s report and identify key considerations that impact financial benchmarking across jurisdictions.

New data have been added to the CAUBO financial dashboards! (November 2020)

CAUBO continues to enhance the information available in our online financial dashboards. The dashboards have been updated with the most recent FIUC data (2018–2019). Institutional members can now view this data, which include institutional income sources, expenses, and operating expenses by function.

2018–19 FIUC release highlights
The dashboards allow users to quickly see trends in university finances at the national, provincial, and institution level. Some highlights of the 2018–19 data presented in the dashboards include:

  • Overall income for Canadian universities increased by 3.2% in 2018–19, reversing the decline seen in the previous year.
    • The proportion of income from tuition and other fees continued to increase, rising from 28.2% to 29.3% of total income at the national level; this proportional increase reflects a year-over-year increase of 7.3%.
    • At the same time, the proportion of revenues from government sources continued to decline, falling from 47.2% to 45.9% of the total; this proportional decrease reflects a year-over-year increase of 0.4%, further detailed as follows: government funding for operating remained stable in 2018-2019 while the annual increase in government funding for research purposes was 4.7%.
    • Among provinces with more than one institution, Nova Scotia had the highest increase in income (5.4% over the previous year), attributed to a combination of increases from tuition and other fees (up 7.5% from 2017–18) and a 4.1% increase in revenues from government grants. Meanwhile, income in Manitoba decreased by 3.0%, primarily attributable to a decline in both provincial grants and research funds received from the federal government.
  • Overall university expenditures decreased by 0.2% in 2018–19; a decrease in expenditures has not been observed since 2014–15.

About the dashboards:
With an ever-increasing need for evidence-based decision-making, university administrators rely on indicators to inform their financial, academic, and strategic planning processes. CAUBO now conveys sector-wide financial data through web-based dashboards, providing members with the ability to observe various trends in university finances and find out how institutions compare. In order to more accurately compare the dollar values from one year to the next, users can view the income and expense values in both current and constant dollars.

Leveraging Robotic Process Automation to Optimize Administrative Processes (September 2020)

To help members answer the question “How can we do more with less?” CAUBO commissioned a report (prepared by Deloitte) that outlines how Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be applied to optimize administrative processes. The report, available to CAUBO’s institutional members, suggests a framework specific to higher education that can be used to identify and prioritize opportunities for automation and offers practical, real-life examples of RPA application.

Highlights of the report also include:

  • Insights into PSE RPA processes from Deloitte’s global network to highlight how automation is improving processes in the PSE space.
  • Common practices on how to identify and prioritize opportunities including factors to consider, automation objectives and how to leverage an automation framework.
  • Six relevant automation case studies and high applicability automation use cases and lessons learned from past projects.
  • Practical insights drawn from internal and external sources related to automation.

The report was developed as a conversation starter to bring forth ideas and discussion, highlighting the differing considerations institutions face when embarking on an automation journey. CAUBO offered a webinar on this topic in September 2020; the recording is available on demand for institutional members from the CAUBO website.

National benefits project update

CAUBO, through the National Benefits Steering Committee, has been looking at ways to help member institutions manage rising benefits costs and risks.

As part of a pre-qualification process, last fall CAUBO released an RFP inviting interested providers to submit a comprehensive proposal for benefits and services to be offered through a collaborative program for Canadian universities and affiliated colleges. The Steering Committee received two proposals that present high potential to provide cost efficiencies to members of all sizes. They held two virtual information sessions this month for college and university members to find out more about the initiative, what we seek to achieve and how, as well as the next steps.

Members will also have the opportunity to participate in virtual information sessions with the two providers in February. During these sessions, the providers will present their proposal in order to gain interest, in principle, from members. Stay tuned for more details regarding these upcoming sessions.

Additional information, including a summary of the progress of the initiative as well as a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document, is available on the CAUBO website (in English only).

Advancing social purpose in administration: updates and tools from CAUBO’s partnership with the McConnell Foundation

According to a Universities Canada survey, most universities are engaged in social impact projects to improve societal conditions in their communities and beyond. You can read about this trend in this Milestone Report: a snapshot taken in 2020 of social impact collaborations underway in the post-secondary sector. The report also highlights results of the CAUBO-McConnell partnership since 2017. Hundreds of CAUBO members have participated, via social impact workshops, conference sessions, webinars and the inventory of social impact administration and finance practices.

Social Impact Administration Jobs: CAUBO members raised the importance of embedding social impact into hiring decisions and performance management, recognizing that social impact becomes more routine when administrators with social impact experience are hired and when social impact is reinforced in performance objectives and professional development. To help with this effort, the McConnell Foundation is developing an HR tool to help embed social impact into the employee experience. Do you have administrator jobs with social impact in the job description? Please contact khodgins@mcconnellfoundation.ca if you do, so we can design a tool that builds upon current best practices.

Strategic Planning: Many institutions will likely update strategic plans to reflect the changes brought about by COVID-19. If that includes yours, check out these Strategic Planning Guidelines for ideas on how to embed social purpose into strategic plans. A related tool is this Social Impact COVID-19 Decision Lens, produced to help institutions embed social considerations into COVID decisions. Use it as a prompt to stretch mindsets and decisions to foster increased social outcomes and community well-being. The crisis has reaffirmed the role universities – including administrators – play in contributing to sustainable and equitable communities.

Upcoming professional development opportunities

Wednesday, February 3, 1:00-2:30 PM ET
Live Webinar: CAUBO/CUCCIO Cloud Series #1: Why Move to the Cloud?
For more information or to register, click here.

Tuesday, February 9, 1:00-2:15 PM (ET)
Virtual Roundtable: Risk Management #1 — CAUBO’s Environmental Health & Safety Benchmark Survey
For more information or to register, click here. 

Thursday, February 11, 1:00-2:15 PM (ET)
Virtual Roundtable: Risk Management #2CAUBO’s Campus Safety and Security Benchmark Survey
For more information or to register, click here. 

Wednesday, February 24, 1:00-2:15 PM ET
Live Webinar: Procurement Legal Hot Topics – Coffee with Council
Registration opening soon.

February–April (dates confirmed soon–check CAUBO website for updates)
Online Course: Fundamentals of the Research Enterprise (FORE)

Wednesday, March 3, 1:00-2:30 PM ET
Live Webinar: CAUBO/CUCCIO Cloud Series #2: Assessing the Risks
For more information or to register, click here. 

Wednesday, March 31, 1:00-2:30 PM ET
Live Webinar: CAUBO/CUCCIO Cloud Series #3: Contract Negotiations and Management
For more information or to register, click here.  

Wednesday, April 28, 1:00-2:30 PM ET
Live Webinar: CAUBO/CUCCIO Cloud Series #4: Understanding the Financials
For more information or to register, click here.

On-demand webinars
Institutional members can also explore CAUBO’s extensive archive of on-demand webinars on our website!