December 2022

New Analytical Reports and Resources for Members

We are pleased to share several new resources with our members, some of which are the result of months of work by our team and volunteers.

Post-Pandemic (Hybrid) Work Arrangements

The pandemic dramatically changed how Canadians work, and the post-secondary sector is no exception, as it quickly adapted to remote work arrangements to keep its workforce healthy, safe, and productive. Now, beyond the immediate crisis of the early pandemic, member institutions are exploring new approaches to work models, including whether flexible work arrangements can be adopted, to what extent, and how they can be achieved in a strategic manner. CAUBO has developed a toolkit of resources to support members as they develop plans and policies for their post-pandemic workplace. The toolkit includes:

Stay tuned: CAUBO will issue a member survey in early 2023 to provide an update on members’ plans and practices regarding hybrid work arrangements.

Responsible Investing

Many universities have climate action plans and net-zero targets that include responsible investing and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations. For those that do not, or are seeking to adjust their plans or targets, comparisons with other institutions and the sector as a whole may be helpful.

In 2022, CAUBO issued its third responsible investing survey. The 2022 survey was slightly revised from the 2020 version to reflect the constantly evolving nature of the topic and capture the progressive nature of universities in addressing responsible investing. The survey results provide information on current member practices, approaches, and perspectives related to responsible investing, ESG, divestment, and shareholder engagement.

A summary report of the 2022 CAUBO Responsible Investing survey results is available for institutional members.

Implications of the Pandemic on Universities’ Financial Situation

Canadian universities have navigated an era of unprecedented change in the past few decades. The COVID-19 pandemic added a layer of uncertainty to an already tumultuous situation and posed unique challenges to the financial sustainability of universities. The financial data reported by Canadian universities, as part of the Financial Information of Universities and Colleges survey, provides valuable insight into the impact the pandemic had on university finances in 2020-21.

Following the official release of the 2020-21 FIUC data in August 2022, media headlines stated that universities had generated record-high surpluses during the pandemic, but this headline did not accurately paint the true financial context. Assessing universities’ financial situation is not a simple exercise. Caution must particularly be exercised when assessing the level of surpluses and deficits incurred by institutions.

CAUBO has developed the Data Insights series to highlight key financial trends in the university sector. The series aims to provide a concise, fact-based analysis of some of the sector’s most pressing risks and challenges. The most recent addition to the Data Insights series explores the implications of the pandemic on universities’ financial situation and summarizes the notable differences in the growth rates and trends for spendable and restricted funds. The analysis also acknowledges the uncertainty that university decision-makers faced at the onset of the pandemic. The analysis is available on the CAUBO website for members.

As well, CAUBO’s Financial Dashboard, available here, has been updated with the latest FIUC data release (2020–2021) and allows members to quickly see trends in university income and expenses at the national, provincial, and institution level.

The 2022 Financial Landscape of Canadian Universities

CAUBO has developed a series of financial landscapes that focus on critical areas within Canadian universities. Financial trends in higher education have been explored at the national, provincial, and institutional level. An update for the national landscape was recently released for members.

The 2022 Financial Landscape provides an overview of the implications of the pandemic on university finances in Canada. The landscape includes trends observed over the last decade while highlighting any significant year-over-year financial shifts that occurred due to the impact of the pandemic, which has been considerable and will no doubt continue to influence revenue and expense trends in the coming years.

Financial Health Indicators

Since 2018, CAUBO has been compiling a series of four sector-wide indicators of financial condition, based on publicly available information contained in universities’ financial statements. The Financial Indicators Dashboard has been updated and now includes a nine-year period (2011–12 through 2019–20). A comprehensive Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) is also available to explain the indicators, their value, and limitations. Both the Indicators Dashboard and the MD&A report are now accessible to university members working in senior finance roles as well as Vice-Presidents.

Stay tuned: Work is underway to compile the 2021 and 2022 indicators.

Member Car Rental Discount Program Expanded

CAUBO negotiates a limited number of national contracts for products and services to secure volume pricing as a benefit to members. As an institutional CAUBO member, you have access to exclusive savings programs and value-added services. To respond to CAUBO members’ varied travel needs and habits, the Car Rental program has been expanded to include multiple providers. Eligible members now have the option to secure discounted rates at several car rental companies, allowing them to determine which company can best meet their car rental needs and budget. The discounted rates extended to CAUBO members will vary depending on a number of factors, including the city, pick-up location (airport/downtown), date, duration, vehicle type, etc. The car rental agreements are in effect until 2024.

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

Webinar: Transformative Flexible Workplace Journeys: Where Are We Today?

Tuesday, January 31, 2023
1:00-2:30 PM (ET)


  • Carey Barker, Executive Director, Talent Acquisition and Strategy and Governance, Human Resources, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Michelle Benoit, Vice President, Finance and Administration, Saint Mary’s University
  • Janelle McNulty Director, Quality Initiatives and Transformation, Saint Mary’s University
  • Laurie Stewart, Executive Program Director, Future of Work, Toronto Metropolitan University

Workshop: Post-Pandemic Workshop: Lessons Learned from a Risk Perspective

Thursday, March 23, 2023
8:30 AM–5:00 PM
Toronto, ON

Watch for registration and agenda details coming in February to the CAUBO website!

Upcoming Webinar Topics

Watch the CAUBO website for dates and details coming soon!

  • Tri-Agency guideline update
  • Social procurement
  • University governance

Upcoming Online Courses

University Culture and Governance, March–June 2023 (schedule TBC)
Fundamentals of the Research Enterprise, September–December 2023 (schedule TBC)

Click here to add your name to the online course waiting list now. Please be sure to include your full name, title, institution, and contact information. You will receive an email offering you priority registration for the next offering of your preferred course(s).

CAUBO 2023 – Save the dates for these high-calibre speakers and sessions!

CAUBO is hard at work creating the programming for our Annual Conference in Toronto from May 8-10, 2023. That’s about five weeks earlier than usual, so be sure to mark the dates in your calendar!

We’ve already confirmed two incredible plenary speakers for the conference: innovation and disruption strategist Shawn Kanungo and purpose-driven leadership and marketing expert Ron Tite. As well, 30 wide-ranging concurrent sessions will focus on timely and relevant topics like recruitment and retention, evolving work models, digital transformation, and equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization.

Registration for the 2023 conference will open in early February, but you can find the conference schedule, hotel and travel information right now on the conference website. Book your rooms now so you’re ready to join us for our first in-person conference in four years!

Happy Holidays from CAUBO!

The entire CAUBO team extends its best wishes to you, our members, for a peaceful and joyous holiday season and a very happy new year! We look forward to connecting with you again in 2023.