Surveys/Reports

Annual Surveys and Reports:

Financial Information of Universities and Colleges (FIUC)

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

Investment Survey

The CAUBO Investment Survey is Canada’s most comprehensive survey of investments held by Canadian post-secondary institutions’ endowment and pension funds. The primary purpose of the survey is to provide institutions with information to assist them in better managing their investment portfolios and includes information on annualized rates of return, mandate performance and asset mix, spending policy and costs. The Investment Survey results are compiled into a published report that is available only to participating institutions; the results are also highlighted in an annual University Manager article. Click here to access

Joint Projects:

CAUBO Partnership with HR Metrics Service

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.

McConnell and CAUBO: Charting a Path for Social Purpose Administration

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. A 2021 workshop is planned on this topic. If your administration department has practices in this area, please contact khodgins@mcconnellfoundation.ca 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 khodgins@mcconnellfoundation.ca.

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 khodgins@mcconnellfoundation.ca for more information on CAUBO’s Social Impact Partnership with the McConnell Foundation

Topical Surveys and Reports:

Ancillary Benchmark Parking Survey Report

A high-level summary report of the Ancillary Benchmark Parking Survey results has been prepared and is available for members.

The Parking Services dashboard is available here for CAUBO members that participated in the survey.

Please participate in the next survey cycle in order to have access to the benchmark data available though the dashboards.

Building the student experience - Student Housing Report

A report on university student housing in Canada, student housing development models, and building business cases for new investment. Click here to access.

Canada’s Universities: Cost Pressures, Business Models and Financial Sustainability

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.

Cannabis on Campus

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:

Carry-forward Policies and Practices

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.

Cybersecurity

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 – coming soon)
  • Responding to a Cybersecurity or Data Breach: Are you ready? (webinar recording – coming soon)

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:

Data Insights

CAUBO has developed this Data Insights series to highlight key financial trends in the university sector. The factsheets aim to provide a concise, yet fact-based analysis of some of the sector’s most pressing risks and challenges. The factsheets are available for institutional members by clicking here.

Deferred Maintenance at Canadian Universities: An Update

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.

Employee Benefits Initiative

CAUBO has been looking at ways to help Canadian Universities manage rising benefits costs and risks.

In 2019, a series of educational briefs were developed to provide information on the employee benefits landscape and how common benefit models can help mitigate the rising risks and costs for employers. The surveys that accompanied each of the first three briefs enabled a discussion at the VP Forum in June 2019 about key considerations that must be addressed as CAUBO moves forward with next steps.

Member feedback, provided through the surveys and confirmed at the VP Forum, outlined that while members are preoccupied with the rising costs of benefits, collaborative solutions to be explored should initially focus on ease of implementation—solutions that are simple for institutions to join and, where possible, build on collaborative models that have proven successful in the higher education context.

The CAUBO National Benefits Steering Committee held industry consultations with benefits providers in November 2019 to better understand from experts in the field how various options could provide value to members.

The information yielded through those consultations identified an opportunity for institutions that work with common providers to achieve potential efficiencies, including savings on administrative costs and implementing pooling levels and stop-loss provisions.

This past winter, CAUBO issued a member survey to collect information on current providers of health, dental, life, short-term and long-term disability coverage and out-of-country insurance. Based on the survey results, it is apparent that most CAUBO members currently receive these benefits from one of two providers.

The Steering Committee is currently attempting to identify a value proposition for a collaborative agreement, which will be proposed to members this summer in order to determine member interest.

The briefs are available for institutional members only by clicking here.

Financial Reporting Information Notes

These financial reporting information notes assess the impact of adoption of PSA and ASPE standards by Canadian institutions. Click here to read the notes.

Indirect Costs of Research (ICR) Report

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.

Leveraging Robotic Process Automation to Optimize Administrative Processes

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.

Responsible Investing

Many universities are dealing with the complex topic of responsible investing and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations. A summary report of the 2020 CAUBO Responsible Investing survey results has been prepared and is 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.

Risk Management Benchmarking

Two high-level summary reports providing the results of the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Benchmark Survey and Campus Safety and Security Benchmark Survey are now available for members.

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.

Tax Resources - Tax Notes

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. These notes in the series are available for members by clicking here.

The Financial Landscape of Canadian Universities

CAUBO has developed an overview of the financial landscape of Canadian universities, focusing on critical topics that have become particularly relevant in this current era of unprecedented change.

The financial landscape is available for institutional members by clicking here.

Tri-Agency Transition Resources

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.

University Funding in Canada, A Comparison of Provincial Policies on University Funding, Student Aid, and Research Support

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.