Falling for Kuali

This Fall, the Office of the Registrar staff, UWIT staff, and other UW offices participated in the annual Kuali Days Conference, held in Austin Texas. Kuali is a community source software system being developed by universities throughout the world for the management of processes such as enrollment and registration. The University of Washington is a member of the Kuali Foundation, and is currently in the process of implementing Kuali Student modules for all three campuses.

Conference attendees expressed overwhelming enthusiasm and interest in the progress of  Kuali, with over 800 attendees participating in Kuali Days events this year.

The University of Washington was proud to showcase a newly launched  UW-developed Kuali student module called MyPlan. MyPlan is an Academic planning tool for students that will be hard-launching later this quarter.

Staff from across campus are also involved with the development and implementation of Kuali Curriculum Management and Kuali Enrollment modules. Bob Jansson, Associate Registrar and long-time staff member of the Office of the Registrar, joined the UWIT Kuali development teams in 2008. Bob is currently involved in the development of the Enrollment module, which encompasses creating course offerings, wait lists, seat pools, and course registration. Matt Winslow, Acting Associate Registrar, is assisting in the implementation of Kuali Student Curriculum Management to better manage university course and time schedule information. Tina Miller, Assistant Registrar, is assisting with the integration of degree audit reporting features in to the MyPlan system. Matt Saavedra, Learning Manager, is assisting with communication and educational efforts.

University of Washington staff  have been hearing about Kuali for the past several years, and our experience at Kuali Days affirms our view that the health of  Kuali is robust.

New position available: Learning Manager

Information is the lifeblood of a university, both in terms of teaching students and in learning about its operations. With information systems as sophisticated as the UW’s, that learning process is multi-faceted and increasingly important. The University’s Office of the Information Officer for Student Life (IOSL) understands this and is looking for the right person to step into the role of Learning Manager:

The Learning Manager will help build and maintain the learning infrastructure within University learning systems and IOSL web sites. This will enable the IOSL to deliver an ongoing and diverse curriculum of classes as well as provide a range of additional learning services that support users as they develop the core skills required to use complex systems more effectively and securely.

The IOSL believes the best way to invest in the security of information systems is to invest in the growth and learning of the people who use them. At the UW, these information systems include the Student Database (SDB), the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW), and Kuali (a possible successor to SDB). Thousands of UW students, faculty and staff rely on these systems every quarter, so ensuring their efficient and proper use of the utmost importance.

The Learning Manager will serve many functions in support of the mission of the Division of Student Life. Some of these are to:

  • Design, create and edit instructional materials and supporting documentation.
  • Plan, coordinate and deliver instructor-led classes to clients on campus and in other business units.
  • Manage all elearning usability testing programs.
  • Maintain the learning web site and related databases systems.

While the position has a strong technology focus, other factors are equally important. The IOSL views learning as a process of active inquiry rather than passive reception; the Learning Manager will use a variety of learning options and technological innovations in order to accommodate a variety of learning styles and needs.

Get more information about the postion, including detailed responsibilities and benefits, at the job’s posting on the UW Hires website. It’s an exciting opportunity for the right person to positively impact the learning across one of the nation’s premier educational and research institutions. Are you that right person? We hope so!

Kuali’s open-source approach gaining legitimacy

A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education illustrates that the open-source approach to developing software to help manage universities is gaining legitimacy. Released earlier this week on its website, The Chronicle‘s article “Business Software, Built by Colleges for Colleges, Challenges Commercial Giants” outlines how the Kuali Foundation’s grassroots efforts are beginning to challenge “Big Software.” (That term is a reference to traditional, fee-based software and consultation companies.)

The article focuses on Kuali Coeus, the grant-management component of the Kuali software suite, but also mentions Kuali Student (KS). The UW contributes to the development of KS and will consider using it in the future. That this open-source initiative is being discussed in The Chronicle as a legitimate contender to expensive, proprietary systems is an important part of Kuali’s evolution.

See other posts about Kuali on this blog.

Kuali Rice officially released

Last month saw two major Kuali milestones. First, the Kuali software project celebrated its fifth birthday August 30. Second, the first official version of Kuali Rice (KR) was introduced; the “community-source” software graduated from beta status with its 1.0 release.

According to its website (revamped for this new release), KR “provides an enterprise-class middleware suite of integrated products that allows for applications to be built in an agile fashion.” To describe it with a cooking metaphor, it’s the egg in cookie dough that helps bind everything together. KR includes modules for managing user identities and for transmitting messages among other components of the Kuali software suite, such as the financial package KFS and Kuali Student.

The UW is playing a significant role in the development of Kuali Student and Kuali Rice systems, with a member of the Office of the University Registrar serving on the team developing Kuali Student. We’ve detailed Kuali’s progress on this blog in order to keep the UW community abreast of a set of software tools that may power our own information systems some day.

Kuali Financial debuts at other universities

July 1 marked the beginning of a new fiscal year. It makes sense, then, that Colorado State University and San Joaquin Delta College chose that day to launch the Kuali Financial System (KFS) on their campuses.

The adoption of the Kuali’s financial system by other universities is a major milestone forKuali, a consortium of community-source enterprise system projects working to bring next-generation capability to all aspects of higher-education management. The University of Washington is currently conducting the Financial Systems Needs Assessment (FSNA) project, and KFS is among the list of solutions that will be assessed as that project moves into soluition evaluation in the coming year.

The UW is playing a significant role in the development of Kuali Student and Kuali Rice systems, so the Office of the University Registrar pays special attention to achievements like this one. We’ve detailed Kuali’s progress on this blog in order to keep the UW community abreast of a set of software tools that may power our own information systems some day.

Extras: Read an open letter to the Kuali community from Patrick J. Burns and Allison Dineen, Vice Presidents for IT and Finance at Colorado State University, or a similar open letter from Dr. Jon C. Stephens, Vice President of Business Services at San Joaquin Delta College. You can get more background on the topic of open- and community-source software in higher education in this article on Kuali at Inside Higher Ed.