November 16, 2011
McRobbie speaking at Kuali Days, a major IT conference in Indianapolis
By Mike Leonard
November 16, 2011
Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie will be a keynote speaker Wednesday at Kuali Days -- a conference in Indianapolis involving more than 800 information technology officers and related workers from 157 institutions from 38 states.
It will represent a full-circle trip for McRobbie and IU, an original Kuali member. The first Kuali conference was staged in Indianapolis in 2005 and attracted 133 attendees, most affiliated with IU.
Kuali is a Malaysian term meaning "wok" and is meant as a metaphor for the communal mixing of the ingredients to make, in this scenario, software to meet the business-oriented needs of current and future members.
The consortium was launched in 2004 when IU and a small group of partner institutions joined together to create software tailored for higher education. Commercially available products were both ill-suited for colleges and universities and expensive, needing regular and costly upgrades and improvements.
"By partnering with other leading universities, IU's investment in the Kuali Financial Systems saved the university more than $16 million in implementation costs and continues to generate $300,000 per year in operating cost-savings," McRobbie said in a prepared statement. "Faculty have long shared research software, and IU's investment to help create the Kuali Foundation applies that practice to reduce the costs of administrative systems."
McRobbie was vice president for information technology and chief information officer at the time Kuali was launched, and he led IU to invest $250,000 in what was in 2004 a seed project to develop community-based, business-oriented software tools.
The Kuali Foundation now consists of 55 member organizations and 10 commercial affiliates. The foundation oversees $50 million in collective investments from numerous universities, colleges and institutions that are thinking differently about software development.
"The growth of open-source software and university collaboration through Kuali has been remarkable," said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and chief information officer. "As higher education works through difficult economic times, IU's maturing partnerships with Michigan State University, Cornell University, UC Berkeley, MIT and others help us collectively share costs and innovate together."