June 2022

CAUBO National Office staff and Board members wish all of our members a healthy, happy, and restorative summer!

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.

Emerging Post-Pandemic Work Arrangements in Canadian Universities

This report was prepared for CAUBO by Christina Sass-Kortsak, higher education consultant and former Assistant Vice-President, Human Resources at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University). It summarizes the themes and learnings drawn from a December 2021 survey of member universities and follow-up interviews conducted in the winter of 2022 with 12 universities that are well underway in adopting and implementing post-pandemic hybrid and remote work arrangements.

Several key drivers for this strategic change were revealed by the research, including:

Employee attraction and retention: Some universities conducted surveys that confirmed a majority of staff were interested in some degree of remote work post-pandemic. Many universities cited the growing importance of remote work options as a competitive advantage in attracting skilled employees – especially those located in more remote areas or locations with a high cost of living.

Space optimization: Universities see opportunities to reduce leased space, repurpose existing space for student-centered purposes, decommission poor/unsuitable space, reduce overcrowding, reduce the need for future growth in space, and optimize how space is configured and used.

Student experience: Some universities expect that a broader strategy of work flexibility will have a positive impact on the student experience, noting that during the pandemic some students appreciated the increased flexibility in services, for example the ability to receive counselling services remotely. At the same time, universities are aware of the importance of on-campus activities and continue to assess appropriate models of service delivery.

Service delivery and operational effectiveness: Some universities noted that certain roles may function more productively away from office distractions, or anticipated efficiencies in saved travel time between meetings, even for those working on campus.

Diversity and inclusion: Flexible work arrangements may attract a greater diversity of candidates and increase diverse participation in the workforce by making work more accessible. At the same time, factors such as personal living space or family circumstances may result in inequitable application of hybrid work programs.

Sustainability: Several universities cited opportunities to reduce carbon emissions through lower levels of commuting and potential reduction in use of campus facilities.

The full report is available to all institutional members in the CAUBO Knowledge Centre.

Roadmap to Net Zero

Based on a survey of CAUBO’s membership, the majority of institutions had or were in the progress of developing a climate action plan. To support members, CAUBO initiated the Climate Change project, comprised of four components. The Roadmap to Net Zero represents the third of those deliverables. The Education Materials and State of Affairs were released previously (and are also available in the Knowledge Centre), and the Common Measurement Tool and Approach will follow.

The Roadmap outlines the considerations institutions need to make as they carve out their individual path to net zero and provides guidance on when in their journey to make these considerations. The guidance follows three key phases:

  • Conservation and efficiency: focuses on gathering detailed information on campus emissions and implementing the simplest, no-to-low-cost measures.
  • Decarbonization: focuses on implementing the large, capital-intensive measures that will account for the majority of emissions reductions.
  • Continuous improvement, renewable energy, and offsets: focuses on implementing the final phases of decarbonization, ensuring net-zero new construction, installing final phases of renewable energy systems and the procurement of green power products and carbon offsets.

Each phase outlines measures applicable to that phase of the Roadmap, along with the level of impact and implementation strategy. This will allow individual institutions to carve out their unique Roadmap to Net Zero, customized and informed by institution-specific characteristics.

New Provincial Financial Landscapes

Canadian universities continue to navigate an era of unprecedented change. They are experiencing significant shifts in their funding models, due to declining government grants and increasing reliance on tuition and alternative revenue sources. Concurrently, expenditure patterns have been altered due to changing societal expectations of the role of universities and the services that they should provide.

As a result, benchmarking has become an increasingly important tool to identify areas of strength and opportunities for improved efficiencies. CAUBO has developed a series of financial landscapes, focusing on critical areas within Canadian universities. Provincial landscapes for British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec have recently been developed and are now available in the Knowledge Centre. Other provinces will be added in the future.

FTE-Based Dashboards

CAUBO, through a continued partnership with the Université du Quebec, has developed a new series of financial dashboards that place a wealth of information at members’ fingertips. The dashboards include financial information from the FIUC and allow members to more accurately benchmark with their peers across the country, as the dashboard incorporates student and faculty full-time equivalent (FTE) data, as reported through Statistics Canada’s University and Colleges Academic Staff System (UCASS) and Post-Secondary Student Information System (PSIS) surveys. The dashboards also allow users to customize their analysis through a number of filters in order to view institutions of the same size, with a similar mission or research intensity, or within their province.

New On-Demand Webinars

Institutional members can explore CAUBO’s extensive archive of on-demand webinars on our website. Recent additions to our webinar library include:

Cybersecurity—Fighting the Good Fight (four-part series)

  • Webinar 1: Fighting the Good Fight Using a Risk Based Approach
  • Webinar 2: Fighting the Good Fight Using Data Informed Strategies
  • Webinar 3: Navigating the Unique Challenges of Higher Education
  • Webinar 4: Cyber-Insurance: Do We Need It?/Can We Get It?

Moving to the Cloud (five-part webinar series)

  • Webinar 1: Why Move to the Cloud?
  • Webinar 2: Assessing the Risks?
  • Webinar 3: Contract Negotiations and Management
  • Webinar 4: Understanding the Financials
  • Webinar 5: Change Management

CAUBO 2022: Annual Conference Wrap-Up

The CAUBO 2022 annual conference was held virtually from June 13–15, with more than 450 participants joining in the fun over the three conference days, taking part in engaging sessions and connecting with one another and with conference speakers via video and text chat.

We celebrated the year’s most innovative best practices with the 2022 Quality and Productivity Awards, honoured some of our wonderful volunteers at this year’s Member Recognition Awards, and heard from many top-notch and inspiring speakers, including business and tech visionary Leonard Brody on bouncing back from the upheaval of the pandemic, ground-breaking higher education leaders Indira Samarasekera and Martha C. Piper’s lessons in leadership, and workplace expert and author Jennifer Moss, who spoke about how to prevent burnout and increase happiness at work.

Some of the most popular concurrent sessions included Transformative Flexible Workplace Journeys: From Design to Implementation, Digital Disruption: Adapting to Challenges and Innovations in the Finance Function and Risk in the University Landscape: A Survey of Canadian Universities.

Conference attendees can watch all the sessions on-demand on the PheedLoop virtual event platform until August 15. The sessions will be posted to the CAUBO Knowledge Centre in October for all institutional members to access there, so if you missed the conference, you can catch up then.

Huge thanks to everyone who participated in CAUBO 2022 and to our many volunteer speakers and CCT members who helped make it such a great success! We look forward to seeing all of you in person at CAUBO 2023 in Toronto. Please note that next year’s conference will be held a few weeks earlier than usual, from May 8 to 10, so mark your calendars now!

CAUBO 2023 Call for Proposals—Opening Soon!

Share your expertise and experience with your peers and colleagues at CAUBO 2023, taking place from May 8-10, 2023 in Toronto, by submitting a content proposal to be considered for the conference program. The Call for Proposals opens on August 16 and closes on October 6, so keep an eye out for the launch message and visit www.caubo.ca for details and to access the submission form.

CAUBO Launching New Strategic Planning Exercise

CAUBO’s most recent strategic plan was intended to last from 2015 to 2020, but in 2019 we made the decision to extend that plan to 2022, to allow our Association some time to stabilize after the substantial changes that plan had brought about. But now it’s time for CAUBO to undertake a new strategic planning process. We want to ensure that the work we do on members’ behalf remains purposeful, makes a difference, meets your needs, and supports you in your efforts to attain your professional and institutional goals.

The new strategic planning exercise will take place over the coming year, and will include extensive consultation with members, so we can ensure that we truly understand what you need and want from CAUBO, today and in the future. Over the next several months, we hope each of you will give us a piece of your mind, so to speak! Watch out for invitations to member consultations and surveys that will allow us to collect and analyze your feedback about what you need and want from us.

2021/2022 CAUBO Highlights Infographic

Once again this year, CAUBO presents its annual Highlights in the form of an interactive infographic, making it easy to see and explore all the resources, information, and networking opportunities that we made available to members in 2021-2022. Check out the highlights of our past year here: https://www.caubo.ca/latest-news/caubo-2021-2022-highlights/