Sector Data Analytics:
CAUBO has developed a series of financial landscapes, focusing on critical areas within Canadian universities. Financial trends in higher education have been explored at the national, provincial and institutional level.
The financial landscapes are available for institutional members by clicking here.
CAUBO has developed the Data Insights series to highlight key financial trends in the university sector. The Data Insights series aims to provide a concise, yet fact-based analysis of some of the sector’s most pressing risks and challenges. The series is available for institutional members by clicking here.
A series of four indicators of financial condition are available through the Financial Indicators Dashboard. A comprehensive Financial Indicators Management Discussion & Analysis (MD&A) report is also available to explain the indicators, their value and limitations. Access to both the Indicators Dashboard and the MD&A report is restricted to Senior Finance and VP members.
These financial dashboards explore many facets of university finances that were not previously accessible in a consistent and comparable manner. These dashboards include financial information from the FIUC and allow members to more accurately benchmark with their peers across the country, as the dashboards incorporate 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.
Through these dashboards, members have the ability to see sector-wide trends in university finance, as well as how various institutions, including their own, compare in this regard.
University Funding in Canada, A Comparison of Provincial Policies on University Funding, Student Aid, and Research Support (2020)
This 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 populations or rural/northern population); and performance measures that are used in funding distributions.
This discussion paper identifies and examines the cost pressures and financial challenges that are an integral part of the Canadian higher education business model. Click here to read the report.
On July 1, 2022, CAUBO officially launched an innovative collaborative benefits program for members.
To date, twenty-two CAUBO member institutions are participating in the CAUBO Benefits Consortium to pool their insured lives and achieve savings on administrative costs and creating opportunities for preferred pricing on optional value-added services.
If you would like to know more about the initiative, the latest information is available for institutional members only by clicking here.
Annual Survey Reports:
The Financial Information of Universities and Colleges (FIUC), the only common source of financial data of Canadian universities and colleges, facilitates statistical and trend analysis on an aggregate level. The FIUC data is based on an annual return completed and submitted by each of CAUBO’s member institutions. It is a joint undertaking between CAUBO and Statistics Canada. Click here to access
Three high-level summary reports providing the results of the Parking, Housing and Food Services Ancillary Benchmark Surveys are now available for members.
A dashboard for each area is available here for CAUBO members who participated in the surveys.
We encourage you to participate in the next survey cycle in order to have access to the valuable benchmark data available through the dashboards.
A dashboard for each is available here for CAUBO members that participated in the surveys.
We encourage you to participate in the next survey cycle in order to have access to the valuable benchmark data available through the dashboards.
CAUBO knows that members need evidence-based data to support their institutional decision-making. To address this need, a partnership agreement has been signed with HR Metrics Service (HRMS) to provide CAUBO members with quality HR benchmarking services. For more information, click here.
CAUBO conducted a survey to gain a better understanding of members’ policies and practices governing the carry-forward of unspent operating funds. A Roundtable discussion was held during the CAUBO 2019 Conference in Halifax to discuss the topic. The survey results and a summary of the Roundtable discussion are available (institutional members only).
As part of the survey, members were asked to share their institution’s carry-forward policies. These policies have been posted here for reference. Please let us know if you are willing to share your institution’s policy in order to advance sector knowledge on this topic.
A number of institutions in Ontario, in collaboration with the Council of Ontario Finance Officers (COFO), have developed a summary of best practices for reporting carry-forwards. This document is also available for viewing here.
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.
Guides and Resources:
CAUBO has developed a Data Governance Framework to support members as they build their institutional data governance practices. The framework is based on existing models or standards from other sectors—adapted to higher education—and considers the different institutional structures and invested parties, such as IT, institutional planning, and chief data officers. The framework includes best practices in data stewardship and governance specific to higher education institutions and enables members to build a data governance framework tailored for their unique institutional needs. The Data Governance Framework is available here for institutional members.
A CAUBO toolkit of resources is available to support members as they develop plans and policies for their post-pandemic workplace. A report summarizing the results of the 2023 follow-up survey provides an overview of members’ approaches to new work models. These resources are available for institutional members here.
To support members as they navigate the challenges associated with recruitment, consultations were held in 2023 with four executive search firms that frequently recruit in the higher education sector, to gain insight into the challenges, barriers, best practices and key opportunities for improvement in the sector. A report summarizing the learnings from these consultations is available for institutional members here.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is changing several processes relating to the import of goods that will directly affect all importers of commercial goods in Canada, including universities.
The CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) project is a multi-year initiative to transform the collection of duty and tax for imported goods. These resources are available for institutional members:
A series of interpretive notes covering key university-specific issues in the areas of income tax and sales tax (GST/HST/QST) have been developed. A virtual Tax Helpdesk service is also available for members to communicate directly with Indirect Tax and Income Tax practitioners regarding sector-specific questions or issues. More information on the notes and the Tax Helpdesk are available for members by clicking here.
CAUBO has developed a series of resources to support members during the transition to the new principles-based Guidelines. These resources are available for institutional members here.
These financial reporting information notes assess the impact of adoption of PSA and ASPE standards by Canadian institutions. Click here to read the notes.
Topical Reports and Initiatives:
Institutions have a significant role to play in mitigating the impacts of climate change and enabling the transition to a low carbon economy through their institutional operating practices, community engagement and research and education that take place on their campuses, all while striving to manage and adapt to the climate risks on their institutions.
CAUBO initiated a Climate Change Mitigation Strategies project to support members’ efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The project includes five components, which are now available for members to access here.
Many universities are dealing with the complex topic of responsible investing and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations. Summary reports containing the results of 2020 and 2022 CAUBO Responsible Investing survey results are available for institutional members.
In 2015-16, a series of case studies were developed to highlight the different situations, experiences and lessons learned from institutions that have been through divestment campaigns The case studies are available here for institutional members.
Now more than ever, higher education administrators are looking for efficiency gains and seeking to answer a critical question: How can we do more with less?
To help members answer this question, CAUBO has commissioned a report that outlines how Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be applied to optimize administrative processes. The report 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.
With almost daily reports of intrusions, data breaches and cyber attacks, Cyber-security continues to be top of mind for university administrators and was identified as a priority issue in CAUBO’s service plan.
We are pleased to advise you that the following products and services have been developed:
- Cybersecurity in Higher Education (PPT presentation – institutional members only)
- Not Just an IT Issue: Roles of the Board and Executives in Managing Cyber Threats (webinar recording)
- Responding to a Cybersecurity or Data Breach: Are you ready? (webinar recording)
Cybersecurity in a University Setting
CAUBO, with guidance from CUCCIO, has released a cybersecurity report to provide a tool to our members. View the following documents:
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.
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.
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.
Catch up on higher education’s social impact journey in Canada in this just-released Milestone Report. It highlights results of the CAUBO-McConnell partnership since 2017, along with other projects such as Universities Canada’s social impact initiatives. For information on the partnership, click here.
As you will see in this Report a number of collaborative projects are underway focused on:
- UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Campus sustainability
- Community engagement
- Social and sustainable procurement
- Equity, diversity and inclusion
- Indigenous reconciliation
One of the Report’s remarkable findings is that nearly 90% of schools are involved in social impact collaborations. Hundreds of CAUBO members have also participated, via social impact workshops, conference sessions, webinars and the social impact administration and finance practices inventory. The partners continue to collaborate on professional development opportunities, further building the capacity of administrators to contribute to their institutions’ social impact priorities. One idea that surfaced from the social impact workshops held last year, is to embed social impact in hiring decisions and performance management. By hiring administrators experienced in social impact and including social impact in performance objectives and professional development, social impact will become more routine within finance and administration teams. Indeed, one University President recently included social impact criteria when hiring a VP of Finance and Administration. If your administration department has practices in this area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as we are collecting sample administrator job descriptions that include social impact or community engagement.
We are also holding a fall workshop on how administrators engaged community partners to address community needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome examples if you and your teams have stories to share. Please contact email@example.com.
Many institutions will likely update strategic plans to reflect COVID-19’s impact on their operations and plans. If that includes yours, check out these Social Impact Strategic Planning Guidelines. A related tool, for more immediate use, is this Social Impact COVID-19 Decision Lens produced to help institutions embed social considerations in COVID decisions. Use it as a prompt to stretch mindsets and decisions to foster increased social outcomes and community well-being. If you use either of these tools, we’d love to hear your story! The crisis has reaffirmed the role universities play in co-creating sustainable and equitable communities.
Please contact Kelly Hodgins at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on CAUBO’s Social Impact Partnership with the McConnell Foundation
As of October 17th, 2018, institutions across the country were faced with a new challenge on campus due to the legalization of cannabis. Regulations and legislation around the legislative change have been implemented and handled differently from coast to coast.
CAUBO conducted a survey to identify how universities and colleges are handling the change in legislation. The survey results and summary are now available on the website (institutional members only)
View the following documents:
This study explores three key areas of policy and practice related to indirect costs of research—measurement of indirect costs, recovery of indirect costs and allocation of funding received. The report is available here.
A report on university student housing in Canada, student housing development models, and building business cases for new investment. Click here to access.