Q & P – Application Procedures

  • The application form consists of an information page, an abstract of the project, and a questionnaire related to the evaluation criteria as they apply to the submission.
  • The information page must be signed by the senior administrative officer of the submitting institution.
  • The abstract must not exceed 350 words.
  • Each of the questions on the criteria must be answered (one paragraph per question).
  • Although not required, the applicant may include a more complete description of the project as well as supporting information, such as manuals and other documents, and website references to be considered by the Selection Committee. All supporting material must be submitted electronically via the application form. The Selection Committee may, at its discretion, consider part or all such additional information.
  • To be eligible for assessment by the selection committee, the application must be completed no later than January 16, 2017.

CAUBO may, at its discretion, include part or all of the application form and supporting documentation on its web site in the Quality and Productivity Database.


The Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) promotes the professional and effective delivery of services and administration of resources in all facets of higher education. This annual awards program is designed to recognize, reward and share achievements of administrators in the introduction of new services, improvement in the quality of services provided, and the management of human, financial, and physical resources. Initiatives from across universities and colleges, including academic initiatives, are welcome and will be considered on the grounds of increased quality, productivity and effectiveness. Increased quality of instruction alone will not be considered, since it is beyond the scope of the CAUBO mandate, and other venues exist for its recognition.


Submissions should demonstrate innovative ways to achieve operational effectiveness within Higher Education Administration in one of two categories: Open and Themed. The theme for 2017 is Achieving and Demonstrating Operational Effectiveness within Higher Education Administration.”

The Open category will consider submissions that fall under any other topic. Please note that the Selection Committee will determine which category each submitted project falls into (Open or Themed), so there is no need for institutions to tailor their submissions to one or the other.

Three national prizes are awarded in each category, and each carries a cash award – $2,500 for first prize, $1,500 for second prize, and $1,000 for third prize. There are opportunities for Honourable Mentions in both categories, but no cash prize is attached to these awards.

The Selection Committee reserves the right not to give an award if not warranted in its judgment.

Awards winners will be presented with prizes and plaques by the sponsors at the Annual CAUBO Conference in June.

Initiatives may be resubmitted by an institution provided they contain additional qualitative and quantitative results.


Four categories, each with its own weight, are used to evaluate submissions for the Quality and Productivity Awards, leading to a maximum score of 100 points. The scoring factors and point values for each category are as follows:

  1. 20%      Transferability – the potential for use of the technique at other institutions as assessed by the institution or demonstrated by presentations to other institutions or at a regional or national level.
  2. 30%      Innovation – the unique nature of the project or idea in the context of higher education. Although the idea may have been the subject of earlier submissions, institutions are encouraged to submit projects which may be similar but where the institution believes that there has been a meaningful change in approach, technology, or implementation in which peers might be interested.
  3. 25 %      Quality impact  – the extent to which the project has contributed to an improvement in quality of service, of the environment, or of working conditions as measured or as perceived by the staff, client/end user, community or others.
  4. 25%      Productivity impact  –  the extent to which the project has contributed to improvements in productivity as measured against baseline data (ex: dollars saved relative to previous costs; number of transactions eliminated relative to baseline numbers, additional revenues relative to base revenues, etc.).

Clarity of presentation is an essential element in the assessment of the transferability criterion and a major consideration in the scoring in the other categories. Clear documentation of how the project is being implemented and, where applicable, clear evidence of the outcomes that reflect at least 12 months of measurable results are also required.


The Selection Committee is composed of the following with representatives from each of the sponsoring organizations:

  • David Button (Chair), VP Administration – University of Calgary,
  • Andrée Dorion, VP Administration and Finance – Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Sharon Johnson-Legere, VP – NSCAD University
  • Marc Joyal, VP Resources – University of Ottawa
  • Nathalie Laporte, Executive Director – CAUBO


One of the main objectives of the program is to encourage the transfer of knowledge and the dissemination of information. The applications are published annually by CAUBO on its web site for consultation by members. In addition, abstracts of the winning projects, together with the title and contact persons for all submissions, are published annually by CAUBO in a booklet, which is distributed to members and inserted into the summer issue of University Manager magazine.