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Open source software helps IU save nearly $20 million




IU has saved nearly $20 million with an open source financial system by joining with other universities to reduce administrative costs, according to a recent press release.

Open source software is free to use, distribute and modify, which in this case allowed IU to avoid the costs of licensing commercial systems that often cost much to buy and install.

“These major savings are a result of Indiana University identifying and pursuing opportunities, designed specifically for the precise needs of higher education, that have enabled us to manage our administrative functions more effectively, efficiently and at a lower cost,” IU President Michael McRobbie said.

In February, IU implemented the Kuali Financial System.

This system allows IU faculty and administration to go to one common place to monitor and approve purchases, research grants, human resources transactions, compliance and other administrative tasks.

Because of this streamlining, IU will approve and act on more than 3 million electronic documents this year, according to the press release.

“The Kuali Financial System is just another example of IU’s continued mission to be on the leading edge of using technology to streamline functional operations,” MaryFrances McCourt, interim vice president and chief financial officer at IU, said in the release.

Fifteen colleges and universities are expected to switch to the Kuali Financial System by the end of 2013, including Cornell University, Michigan State University, University of Hawaii, University of Arizona and University of California, Irvine.

— Hannah Smith

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