Charting a Path for Social Purpose Administration: A CAUBO and RECODE joint project

How can higher education finance and administration leaders contribute to their institution’s social ambitions?

We are pleased to advise you that CAUBO is partnering with the McConnell Foundation on an initiative to engage CAUBO members on strategies and tactics to embed social and environmental innovation in finance and administration mandates, and address emerging trends and expectations in social purpose administration. The partnership draws upon RECODE’s insights and networks in advancing community-centred 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 in 2017 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 white paper, 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.

The paper offers a typology of instruments that institutions can harness to create greater social impact in communities and beyond. Among these are a range of physical and financial assets, many of which are administered by CAUBO members. Given the tie-in to CAUBO’s mandate, our two organizations are partnering to build awareness and engagement on this concept with post-secondary administrators.

Our current focus is on understanding the merits, opportunities and challenges of building social purpose administration capacity, and to identify opportunities for collaboration and cross-fertilization among post-secondary institutions.

We are also collaborating on efforts to compile an inventory of practices and initiatives that illustrate social purpose finance and administration in action. This short paper “Social Purpose Administration Primer,” provides an at-a-glance overview and some examples.

Please contact Kelly Hodgins for more information.