DEADLINE EXTENDED: 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 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 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 2007 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. McConnell will be attending regional network meetings and hosting a session on this topic at the CAUBO 2018 conference in Vancouver in June. You and your colleagues are encouraged to register for the session on “Social Purpose Finance and Administration: Next Gen Finance and Admin Practices” to join the discussion.

This initiative is designed to:

  • outline these opportunities;
  • learn about and overcome the barriers; and
  • support advanced education administrators in building the capacity of their institutions in this new field.

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 Jennifer Gammad Lockerby for more information.