What institutional conditions are indicators of migration to the Kuali Foundation's® community -source software partnership?

Clare Hansen-Shinnerl, University of Pennsylvania


A growing faction of academic administrators considers the costs and inoperabilities associated with purchased and in-house developed administrative software untenable. Looking for relief from existing candidate solutions, leaders from several prominent institutions are turning their attention to the Kuali Foundation. The Kuali Foundation, which brands itself as providing 'community-source software,' leverages the collective efforts of programmers and functional experts from institutions of higher education to develop open-source systems that meet the unique needs of academia. The purpose of this dissertation is to identify extant environmental, operational, resource, systems, and leadership conditions which predispose current partners to select the Foundation, and to estimate whether new partners that join the Foundation over the next 5 years will continue to have the same conditions. As the Kuali Foundation enters its fourth year of operation, research suggests that some of the conditions that have caused institutions to view the Foundation favorably in the past appear to be shifting. This change among institutions reflects their evolving assessment of a more established Foundation. Current and new-partner conditions were identified based on mixed-methods research that included (a) qualitative interviews of representatives from three partner campuses and two founders of the Kuali Foundation, (b) quantitative survey data from administrators who attended at least one Kuali Foundation conference, and (c) a review of literature that describes the state of administrative software in higher education. This research will be of principal value to administrators who want to assess their institution's readiness to engage in a new administrative software model. This study can also help the Kuali Foundation anticipate what types of institutions are most likely to participate and, therefore, support the consortium with membership fees and labor contributions. While many administrators have legitimate reasons for continuing to acquire administrative software applications through traditional sources, Kuali Foundation partners believe the Foundation's systems promise to challenge the market and demonstrate the benefits of a collaborative, higher-education effort. Ultimately, they hope their efforts will drive down long-term institutional costs and improve administrative software functionality.

Subject Area

Management|Educational technology

Recommended Citation

Hansen-Shinnerl, Clare, "What institutional conditions are indicators of migration to the Kuali Foundation's® community -source software partnership?" (2008). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3310479.