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Charting a Path for Social Purpose Finance and Administration: A CAUBO and Re-Code joint project

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

Re-Code 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 Re-Code’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 Re-Code 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.

The partnership complements three additional projects Re-Code is pursuing with Universities Canada, Colleges and Institutes Canada, and a cohort of BC institutions under co-leadership with Simon Fraser University.

These are the instruments which advanced education institutions have in the toolbox to further contribute to the prosperity of Canadian communities. The Financial and Physical instruments are in the domain of chief administrative and financial officers and the subject of this partnership. 

CAUBO and Re-Code 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. 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 evolving field.

Click here to view the Social Purpose Administration Primer:

Social Purpose Administration Primer

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « wendy cukier »

Choosing to say yes when it would have been easier to say no – is absolutely critical to  driving innovation in large complex organizations like universities where the easy thing is not always the best thing to do. We were REALLY lucky to have innovative and collaborative leaders in Finance and Administration that looked  for out of the box solutions to support an out of the box social venture.

Wendy Cukier, Co-Founder, Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge, Professor Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Ryerson University

Spring Consultation

Through this project, we’ve engaged with various groups discussing, for example, finance and administration professionals’ opportunities and challenges to advance social impact, how to advance social infrastructure work within the administrative operations of college & institutes specifically, ideas for collaboration across institutions, and for increasing social impact through community engagement.

We continue to engage in workshops and consultations as momentum builds in this area of work. If you are interested in hosting a conversation in your region, please contact Kelly Hodgins at or Coro Strandberg at


Re-Code created a toolkit for VPs of Administration and Finance and their teams to host an orientation workshop to understand the emerging concept of social purpose administration and finance. It provides information and materials to hold a workshop that combines professional development with strategy-action, including a presentation and handout for participants.

Download Workshop-in-a-Box

Inventory of Social Purpose Administration and Finance Practices

A database of leading, inspiring practices at Canadian institutions.

View Inventory

Webinar Series

The partners are now hosting a webinar series to help institutions learn from each other, through sharing and replicating best practices.  Efforts are also underway to determine how best to incorporate social purpose administration and finance into institutional strategic plans. CAUBO members say this is an important and necessary prerequisite to increasing innovation in this area of professional practice.

#1 How to incorporate sustainable procurement into the day-to-day operation: A Procurement Management Perspective

view Procurement Management and Operations Webinar

#2 Hiring for Social Impact: Higher Education Leadership in Diversity Recruitment and Retention

view Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Webinar

Please contact Kelly Hodgins at for more information.

Oct 4, 2018 | Tags: , , , ,