Online Education Courses

CAUBO offers two foundational online courses for higher education administrators.

Both courses are offered using a combination of independent and group study. A blend of web-based course materials are provided and a scheduled series of live learning sessions are conducted on a virtual platform for facilitated group discussions.

Learn more about CAUBO’s online courses:

Fundamentals of the Research Enterprise

Thank you for your interest in CAUBO’s online courses. Registration for this course offering is now closed as we have filled all available spaces.

Click here to add your name to a 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 this course.

“I found the course very helpful and we are putting some of the strategies learned into practice.”
– Cathy Gates, Director, Office of Research Services, Trent University

“This course is very useful and I will certainly recommend it to my colleagues.”
– Lily Li, Major Purchasing Contracts Officer, Simon Fraser University

Course Overview

Please note that this course is only offered in English at this time.

This course will assist university administrators in understanding the overall context of university research, including its funding, regulation, and administration. It will explain why so many areas of the university are involved in research administration, and will explore some of the challenges that arise from the sharing of responsibilities between the university and researcher, as well as the balancing of resource allocation between the university’s two principal missions of teaching and research.

Every university administrator needs to have an understanding of the importance of research in order to effectively do his or her job. Whether you are in a central service, a student service, or a faculty office, your role is affected by the demands research places on you, directly or indirectly, and more importantly on the resources you have at your disposal to do your job. The arguments you make for more funding or greater participation in decision-making need to reflect how you and your unit support both teaching and research.

To provide you with a broad understanding of the context for university research, this course is subdivided into five modules:

Module 1
The Policy Context for University Research and its Funding

  • Research Defined
  • Growing Contribution of the Research Enterprise
  • The Importance of Research to Universities
  • The Importance of Research to Canada’s Prosperity
  • Sharing Knowledge and Managing Intellectual Property

Module 2
Types of Research Performed and Their Funding Sources

  • Areas of Research in Canadian Universities
  • Research Funding – Contractual Forms and their Impact on Flexibility
  • The Profile of Research Funding
  • Federal Government Research Programs

Module 3
The Underlying Principles that Guide University Research

  • Overview of Key Research Principles
  • Ethics and Integrity in the Conduct of Research
  • Accountability
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
  • Transparency

The Research Environment

  • Research Projects, Programs and Groups
  • Research Relationships
  • One Research Group – Multiple Projects
  • Research Projects Life Cycle
  • Challenges Inherent to the University Research Environment 

Module 4
Research Enterprise Administration

  • Structures Involved in Research Administration
  • Centralized versus Decentralized Administration
  • Proposal Creation and Submission
  • Common Challenges and Issues in Research Administration
  • Potential for Over Management at the Cost of Creativity

Module 5
Conclusion & Case Studies

  • The Implications of a Research-Oriented Campus
  • Case Study 1 & Case Study 2

Time commitment

Participants are expected to commit approximately 45 hours towards the completion of this course, which includes required readings, module quizzes, courseware activities, a group work presentation and attendance at the scheduled Live Learning Sessions.

Facilitated by:

Rosie Parnass

Rosie Parnass is currently a consultant offering HR consulting, facilitation and coaching services to higher education and not-for-profit organizations. Rosie recently retired from the University of Toronto after working there for over 35 years in a variety of functional areas including; student life; career services; human resources; organizational development and learning; and work/life support. As Executive Director, Organizational Learning and Development and Work Life Support, Rosie led a team providing organizational development, career management, mentoring and continuous learning programs that supported the University community. Rosie has presented at many conferences, nationally and internationally and has taught at the University’s School of Continuing Studies. Rosie has also been involved with CAUBO on the Training and Development Committee, and as a facilitator in their on-line course program. Rosie assists CAUBO with their professional development activities including acting as a program consultant for the annual conference and functional seminars. She has also been a facilitator for their on-line courses for the past few years. Rosie has a Master of Education, specializing in Adult Education and Counselling from OISE/UT; has completed the Advanced Program in Human Resources Management from the Rotman School of Management. Rosie is a recent graduate of the Solution Focused Coaching program and has an active coaching practice.

This CAUBO PD activity may count towards credits for accreditation programs and designations in your field. Visit the CAUBO website for more details.

University Culture and Governance - February 6 – May 22, 2024

Thank you for your interest in CAUBO’s online courses. Registration for this course offering is now closed as we have filled all available spaces.

Click here to add your name to a 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 this course.

Course Description

Please note that this course is only offered in English at this time.

This revised course provides a comprehensive overview of university culture and governance. The objective is to help administrators, new and established, to better understand the university context and work more effectively and efficiently within the unique university environment.

Among the longest standing institutions in the world, universities adhere to fundamental principles and values that have been championed by academics from the earliest of times. Those principles and values continue to shape the modern university and contribute to an environment that is substantially different from that encountered in private or public sector organizations. To be effective in a university, it is essential that administrators understand and respect these values and principles and adapt their practices accordingly.

The unique nature of universities and the academic culture impact how administrators work, interact with individuals, consult, bring forward ideas or plans for review or approval and implement new initiatives. They are experienced by all administrators whether in academic units, central services, student services or ancillary services.

This course is a blend of web-based materials and live learning sessions. Through presentations, readings, assignments, and group discussions, this course aims to provide administrators with the ability to take context and culture more instinctively into account in conducting their work. The course will provide participants with a general understanding of:

  • the origin of universities and how this is reflected in the culture and traditions of today’s university
  • the division of roles between the Senate, the Board, and the University President and how this might affect planning and decision-making in academic and non-academic units
  • the unique judicial process that applies to universities and how that influences process development and application
  • collegial governance and its meaning in practice
  • principles and importance of equity, diversity, inclusion, and indigenization (EDII) and how these are integrated into all areas of the university system and culture
  • the federal and provincial influences over universities from a constitutional perspective and funding context
  • the general funding sources of universities for operations, research, and capital/infrastructure
  • principles of academic freedom and their application
  • the academic workload
  • the meaning and implications of the peer review process and principles of natural justice in a university
  • academic values and how they impact routine interactions of academics and administrators

MODULE 1 – The University Context

MODULE 2 – Equity, Diversity, Inclusiveness, and Decolonization: A Required Competency for Effective University Leadership

MODULE 3 – Trends in University Finances and Funding Models

MODULE 4 – Fundamental Academic Principles and Values 

MODULE 5 – Academic Culture and Working Environment 

MODULE 6 – The Relevance of Culture and Governance for Administrators

Target Audience:

  • All individuals recruited from outside of the university sector into mid to senior management positions
  • Individuals aspiring to more senior managerial roles in a university
  • Mid to senior level administrative staff from across the university

UCG Course Schedule Overview

* All times are in Eastern Time (ET)

Time commitment

Participants are expected to commit approximately 45-50 hours to the completion of this course, which includes presentations, readings, course activities, group work and Live Learning Sessions.

Facilitated by:

Christina Sass-Kortsak

Christina Sass-Kortsak has over 35 years’ experience in human resource leadership.  She recently retired after seven years as assistant vice-president, Human Resources at Ryerson University. Prior to that she held similar Human Resources (HR) leadership roles at University of Toronto and within the health care sector. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Queens University.

Since her retirement in 2020, Christina continues to do consulting work within the higher education human resources sector, as well as thoroughly enjoying retired life.

Cancellation/Substitution Policy for online courses

Cancellations must be received in writing five (5) or more business days before the course start date and are subject to a $50.00 processing fee. Refunds will be processed within 30 days after the event. Refunds will not be granted after the registration deadline (5 business days before the start date).

Substitutions must also be received five (5) or more business days before the course start date. Only one substitution is permitted per original registrant with written consent. To request a cancellation or to make a change please send an email to

Watch a two-minute video to learn more about how CAUBO’s online courses are delivered and structured.