Here is summary of information about Concordia University of Edmonton designed to provide a basic understanding of the institution for our members, potential members, and other interested CUE stakeholders. We focus especially on information not easily found on CUE's website.

About CUE

Identity & History | Student Body & Programs | Employee Profile | Finances | Employee Compensation & Costs |
Governance | General Faculties Council | Board of Governors | University Secretariat

Identity & History

Concordia is a publicly funded, though not publicly owned, university located in Edmonton, Alberta. It is the largest of five publicly funded smaller universities in the "Independent Sector" in "Campus Alberta." (Campus Alberta consists of the 21 publicly funded postsecondary institutions in the province.)

Concordia has existed in Edmonton since 1921. It began granting university degrees in 1988. Until 2015 Concordia was an educational institution of the Lutheran Church. Since it became degree granting, its student body and faculty have been very diverse, largely reflecting the demographics of Edmonton. In 2015 Concordia's Board discontinued its ties to the Lutheran Church, and Concordia ceased to identify itself as a faith-based institution.

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Student Body & Programs

According to the institution's most recent Annual Report, Concordia's total student enrollment for this past academic year (2020/21) was 3319 students, or 2584 "full load equivalents." This reflects a dramatic increase in enrollment of over 70% "headcount" and over 80% "full load equivalents" in just five years.

Last year the distribution of students in our programs were as follows:

  • 2857 undergraduate students:
    • 709 in our Bachelor of Arts (4-year) program
    • 843 in Bachelor of Arts (3-yr)
    • 209 in Bachelor of Education (After Degree)
    • 252 in Bachelor of Management
    • 584 in Bachelor of Science (4-yr)
    • 265 in Bachelor of Science (3-yr)
    • 59 in Bachelor of Environmental Health (After Degree)
  • 270 graduate students:
    • 19 in Master of Education
    • 244 in Master of Information Systems Security/Assurance Management
    • 7 in Master of Science in Information Technology
    • 10 in PsyD, CUE's first doctoral program - Doctor of Psychology
  • 257 Open studies students

CUSC student satisfaction surveys have shown our students to be some of the most satisfied in the country—especially regarding the teaching they receive. (The CUSC survey results released in 2018 revealed that 94% of our students were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of the education they were receiving. 43% were very satisfied. This compares to 85% and 20% of university students nationally. Only 6% of our students expressed dissatisfaction. Virtually none were very dissatisfied. This compares to 15% and 3% of students nationally.)

The number of international students CUE attracts has also been increasing. In 2019-20, 21% if its students (by FLE) were students from outside Canada.

Detailed information on CUE's programs is provided on the institution's website. More information about CUE's student body can be found in the institution's Annual Reports on CUE's institutional website [About >> Who We Are >> Governance >> Institutional Documents].

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Employee Profile

CUE does not publish the total number of its employees, or a breakdown by categories. Rough numbers, however, and a breakdown, can be gleaned from the 'Find a Person' function on its website. Well over 500 employees are listed there. Roughly half are part time, temporary instructors, many of whom do not teach every term.

CUE's employee can be divided into its 1) full time academic (teaching) staff, 2) part time teaching staff, 3) administrators, and 4) non-academic (non-teaching) staff. Only the full time academic staff—the members of our Association—are unionized.

Full Time Academic Staff

Our Faculty Association has a current membership of 79 (consisting of 67 teaching faculty members, and 12 Academic Service Officers (ASOs) consisting of 5 lab instructors, 4 librarians, and 3 placement coordinators). This is Concordia's entire full time "academic staff." Our full time academic staff numbers have increased modestly over the past five years, as the student body grew by 70%. CUE's Board and Faculty Association recently achieved a new Collective Agreement. It specifies the basic terms and conditions of employment of our members until 2025.

Part Time Academic Staff

The institution lists over 200 part time "sessional instructors" and "adjunct professors." These work under temporary contracts. During any one academic term, a much smaller number are teaching that term. Sessional instructors teach a high percentage of CUE's classes.

Administration and Non-Academic Staff

CUE appears to employ over 150 administrators and non-academic staff. Senior administration consists of approximately 14: One President, four Vice Presidents, two Assistant Vice Presidents and two Associate Vice Presidents, and five Academic Deans. The remainder of CUE's administration includes several dozen high-level to lower-level administrators (a Chief Information Officer, twenty Directors and Assistant Directors, thirty Coordinators, eight Managers, etc.) The institution employs many dozens of additional non-academic staff.

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The institution's annual budgets are not available to the public. The Audited Financial Statements in its Annual Reports do not provide detailed breakdowns. They do clearly display the basics of CUE's finances, however:


Last year, CUE's total revenue was $46.8m. Roughly 90% of its revenue comes from two sources: student tuition and fees (64%), and provincial grant (28%). It's tuition and fee revenue was $30m. Its grant from the province was $13m. The balance of its revenue was from auxiliary operations, with less than 1.5% ($664k) from donations and fundraising.


Last year the institution spent $33.5m, including $14.6m (or 31%, of its total revenue) on the direct costs of delivering its academic programs. This includes the salaries and benefits of all faculty and instructors, lab costs, and all other direct instructional costs. It does not include the costs of administration, other student services, utilities, facility maintenance, etc. Most of the revenue CUE takes in from auxiliary operations (parking, residences, food services, bookstore, etc.) is spent on the costs of providing those services.

Surpluses and Savings

Because of its large increases in enrolment and tuition and fee revenue, the institution has ended the past five fiscal years with revenues exceeding expenditures by a total of over $28 million. The pasts two years have seen surpluses of $7.7m, and $11.5m. Since the institution is not eligible for provincial grants for its capital projects (buildings and other property), and it has raised less than $2m through fundraising over the past five years, it has been saving its surpluses for capital projects. At the end of the last fiscal year (March 31, 2021), CUE held just over $37m in "cash and cash equivalents" and investments. It reported about $10m in debt.

Capital Projects

This past summer, CUE purchased the nearby Magrath Mansion for $1.75m, receiving the rest of the deemed value of the property ($3.175m) as a donation (worth $1.425m). It is currently building a new academic building at a cost of $40m.

Changes over Time

The dramatic rise in CUE's enrolment and tuition and fee revenue has led to dramatic shifts in its revenue streams, and its fiscal health. As its tuition and fee revenue doubled, its government grant has declined slightly (adjusting for inflation). The percentage of CUE's revenue from tuition and fees, then, has risen dramatically, while the percentage from provincial grant has dropped. Its surpluses have risen dramatically.

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Employee Compensation & Costs

The recently ratified Collective Agreement between CUE's Board and our Association provided substantial improvements to the salaries of our institution's full time academic staff. We are still among the lowest-paid in the country and province, however. Our sessional instructors are also paid substantially less than those at other universities (more than 20% less, for example, than those at nearby MacEwan University).

We are uncertain how the salaries of CUE's non-academic staff compare to those in similar positions elsewhere.

The salaries of CUE's senior administrators are kept confidential. Not even all Board members are permitted to know their salaries. Recently, the Board revised its Bylaws to specify that "In negotiating the compensation of the President and Vice-Chancellor the Board will be guided by the compensation paid to the Presidents of an agreed to set of comparator Canadian universities."

Concordia offers reserved parking spaces, with power, to its employees. From 2017/18 to 2019/20, the rate it charges employees for these spaces increased from $260 to $775+GST annually. Concordia has a monopoly on off-street parking in the area.

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Concordia's legal foundation is The Concordia University of Edmonton Act.

CUE's senior governing body is its Board of Governors.

CUE's Board has committed to voluntarily following (largely) the provisions of Alberta's Post-Secondary Learning Act regarding the province's public universities. (The Act can be found here: This includes a commitment to "Bicameral" governance: Though the Board is the institution's senior governing authority, the Board delegates the governance of the academic affairs of the institution to its General Faculties Council. (The majority of the members of the GFC are professional academics—professors—with expertise regarding university-level academic programming. Most Board members are not "academics" with such expertise.)

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GFC: General Faculties Council

CUE's General Faculties Council, then, governs the academic affairs of the University. The GFC recommends the institution's programs of study to the Board, approves the curricula of the institution's programs approved by the individual Faculties (Arts, Education, Management, Science, Graduate Studies), etc. The university's President chairs the GFC. The GFC consists of 47 voting members, including the President. These members include 13 administrators, 3 students, 28 faculty members, 2 staff members, and 1 adjunct/sessional instructor. The GFC meets quarterly. It conducts most of its business through "consent agendas," without explicit discussion or vote. The contents of these consent agendas come from the GFC's committees. The Executive Committee, chaired by the President, sets GFC meeting agendas. The GFC's Bylaws can be found here.

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Board of Governors

The Board of Governors is CUE's senior governing authority. The Board sets the general direction of the institution, overseeing the institution's finances, passes the institution's annual budget, and oversees and hires the President. (The President then hires all other CUE employees, directly or indirectly.)

The Board is self-selecting in the sense that new members of the Board are voted onto the Board by existing Board members. They are not elected or appointed by any larger stakeholder group or groups. Six of the Board's twenty members are nominated by stakeholder groups—one by our Association, one by the GFC, one by CUE's non-academic staff, three by our student associations. If acceptable, the Board then votes these members onto the Board. The rest of the members of the Board are its Chair, the Chancellor, the institution's President, nine members representing the public, and two alumni who may or may not be nominated by CUE's Alumni Association. Excepting the President and three other employee members, the Board's members are unpaid volunteers.

The Board's most recently posted Bylaws (June, 2021) are available here. (However, the most recent revision to the Bylaws (from November, 2021) is not yet posted to the CUE institutional website.) According to these Bylaws, the Board may amend its Bylaws by a simple motion and 2/3 vote at any meeting. There are no further restrictions on how the Board may amend its Bylaws.

The Board has five standing committees: Executive, Audit and Pensions, Finance, HR, and University Relations.

The Board's Executive Committee consists of nine Board members and may act on behalf of the Board, if necessary, between Board meetings. It also determines Board meeting agendas. It consists of the Board Chair, the Vice Chair, the Chancellor, the President, the chairs of the other four Board committees (all appointed by the Chair), and one additional member appointed by the Chair. No stakeholder nominees are on the Executive.

The Board normally meets four Friday mornings per year, with an orientation for new members each August. Most of its decisions are made through "consent agendas" without explicit discussion or vote. These agendas consist of items recommended to the Board by its committees. By Bylaw, "Open Session is a meeting or portion of a meeting of the Board to which the public and reporting media are welcome to attend, in accordance with any rules established by the Board. Normally, the majority of the Board's business is conducted in Open Session." "The majority of Board information, e.g., Board membership, Bylaws, policies, committee terms of reference, Open Session agendas and minutes, is intentionally placed in the public domain." Of course, the Board also meets in "Closed Session," where confidentiality is called for.

Despite several requests in recent years, the Board's Open Session agendas, supporting documents, and minutes have not been made readily available to the public, or CUE's employees or other stakeholders. The Bylaws also state that "The Board grants reasonable public access to the proceedings and documentation of Open Sessions of Board meetings through the Office of the University Secretary." Several of our members, and others, have requested these documents in recent years but not received them.

In response to increasing calls, the Board's bare minutes from the past two years have just now [Feb 23, 2022] been posted on CUE's website. Unfortunately, these minutes mostly only refer to things that were proposed and indicates that they were 'CARRIED.' But the thing actually proposed and approved is not included in the minutes. So, for the most part, it is impossible to tell from these minutes what the Board actually decided upon. Perhaps partly for this reason, Alberta's public universities also typically publish the agendas and supporting documents for their Open Session meetings. According to CUE's Board Bylaws, these documents also are "intentionally placed in the public domain." But they have not been made available to the public.

Concordia's current Chancellor is former Edmonton mayor Steven Mandell. The Board's current Chair is John Acheson. A complete listing of current Board members can be found on CUE's institutional website [About >> Who We Are >> Leadership >> Board of Governors >> Members of the Board]

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University Secretariat

The University Secretariat supports the Board and the GFC. Among other things, the University Secretary records the decisions of these governing bodies and serves as a conduit of communication with and between the Board, the GFC, the university's administration, and the university's stakeholders.More information, including contact information, can be found on CUE's institutional website [About >> Who We Are >> Governance >> University Secretariat].

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