Large, commercial enterprise systems that handle functions such as campus finances and human resources are notorious for being costly, inflexible, and often hard to manage.
That’s why a small but growing number of institutions are turning instead to open-source alternatives developed collaboratively “by universities, for universities” through the nonprofit Kuali Foundation.
The effort began in 2004 when a handful of institutions—including Indiana University, Cornell, and the University of Arizona—joined together to develop an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that was less costly and better met their needs.
Nearly a decade later, some dozen universities are now using the Kuali Finance System (KFS)—and the Kuali Foundation has launched a number of other software projects that total about 100 users in all.
(Next page: Why lower costs aren’t the only reason universities are using Kuali software)