Monday, December 07, 2009Kuali Adopter Stories
The following is a video produced by the Kuali Foundation, showcasing experiences by Kuali implementers at San Joaquin Delta College and Colorado State University. They explain why they got involved and what they like about the system.
follow this link for the video
Colorado State University (CSU) and San Joaquin Delta College (SJDC) have successfully implemented Kuali Financial System (KFS) 3.0 on their campuses - the first full scale implementations of the open source enterprise system.
Both of these institutions decided that KFS was the right choice for them despite their very different profiles. CSU is a large doctoral-granting research (R1) university with more than 25,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and more than 1,000 tenure-track faculty who received $312 million in competitive research support in fiscal year 2009. San Joaquin Delta College serves a diverse community of nearly 20,000 students in the Stockton California area, offers a variety of two-year undergraduate degree programs, and focuses on teaching.
The transitions to the new financial system in July have gone smoothly according to campus officials who hail Kuali as a primary example of how institutions can contain costs in higher education through innovation and collaboration.
Dr. Raúl Rodriguez, President of San Joaquin Delta, said "[cyf1] When we looked at KFS, we knew immediately that this was the right decision for Delta College. The money we saved by not buying a proprietary system is money that can now be spent where it belongs - on our students."
The Colorado State University Board of Governors recognized the need for an updated, integrated financial system in 2006 and authorized the university to move forward. The cost to purchase an existing, off-the-shelf financial system was projected to be $5 million to $7 million or more, without the full functionality CSU needed.
Instead, the total cost for CSU's new system and its implementation came to less than $2 million, thanks to the university's willingness to partner with Kuali, according to CSU's Vice President for Information Technology and Interim Dean of Libraries Patrick Burns.
"We were able to implement the state-of-the-art infrastructure for a fraction of the cost of our peers through a partnership with the Kuali Foundation--and thanks to our experience finding innovative ways to deal with limited resources," said Burns.
As a doctoral-granting research university, CSU is obligated to keep meticulous financial records that are subject to review by state and federal agencies. "Kuali is the wave of the future," said Allison Dineen, CSU vice president of finance. "Basically, we kept 50 sets of books before Kuali. Now we can keep them all on one database."
For CSU and SJDC, the benefit of the new system is clear. Kuali is web-based, allowing all authorized users easy online access. Documents in the system can be routed electronically for approvals and then electronically stored, saving paper and staff time. Purchasing is an integrated component of the financial system, and . Kuali also supports multi-year budgeting, which is important for research contracts.
"Kuali will allow us to manage our finances, whereas the old system only recorded our financial transactions," Burns said. "Kuali's software is designed by higher education for higher education. We get a round peg to fit a round hole for a price that is far less costly," he added.
"Controlling costs in higher education isn't just about cutting budgets," CSU President Tony Frank said. "We also need to be increasingly innovative and entrepreneurial in our approach to doing business. This is a great example of what we can achieve by taking such an approach. I think the CSU and Kuali community who worked so hard on this initial launch should be very proud that their work will be a model for other universities around the world."
Over the next two years, Colorado State University will complement KFS with the Kuali Coeus (KC) research management community source system. KC will replace the home-grown research system that CSU developed and has used for the past 20 years. KFS and KC are currently the only existing systems that provide integrated functionality between financial management and research management.
Jennifer Foutty, executive director of the Kuali Foundation, noted that she was pleased to see rSmart, a member of the Kuali Commercial Affiliate program, involved in these implementations. Foutty said, "Schools and companies working together in innovative ways creates a strong and diverse Kuali ecosystem to help higher education institutions worldwide deal with difficult challenges."
Highlights of the Kuali Financial System
- KFS was developed specifically for higher education by a community of higher education partners, and as such provides excellent functionality.
- KFS is a fully integrated, advanced system combining the functions of transactional recording, accounting, budgeting, on-line purchasing, and credit card processing.
- KFS offers integrated modern workflow for on-line routing and approval of electronic documents, thereby increasing operational efficiency and accountability.
- KFS is extendable, with the flexibility to add electronic documents in other areas (e.g. work orders, travel docs).
- KFS provides the ability to attach supporting documents to transactions, which allows the system to store such copies electronically instead of in multiple, distributed file cabinets.
- KFS utilizes a Service Oriented Architecture, providing the ability to integrate easily and transparently across other applications (e.g. research, human resources)
- KFS provides a fully designed chart of accountants that facilitates not only the daily processing of transactions, but provides the data and data structures for sophisticated reporting that enhances financial management.
- KFS is accessed through the use of contemporary technology via a web browser.
The Kuali Foundation is a non-profit organization that coordinates the efforts of colleges and universities to sustain and evolve administrative software that meets the needs of all sizes of higher education institutions, from small colleges to large research universities. The Kuali Foundation began in 2004 as a cooperative effort among partners and a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop an open-source, community-owned financial system. Success with joint development of Kuali Financial System has led to additional pooled investment projects, including Kuali Coeus for Research Administration, Kuali Student, and Kuali Rice, with coordination by the independent, not-for-profit Kuali Foundation Inc. The software developed by Kuali projects is available, without fee, for anyone to use or modify under the Educational Community License.