Southeastern News

Three RUSO schools anticipate saving $2.7 million due to collaborative technology effort

DURANT, Okla. – Cost-savings, efficiencies, and improved services to students are just three reasons a trio of universities in the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) are collaborating on a new technology system.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and Southwestern Oklahoma State University have all signed contracts with Colleague by Ellucian for enterprise resource planning (ERP), student information systems (SIS), finance, human resources, and talent management solutions.

“By working in partnership instead of separately, our three institutions saved approximately $2.7 million on this project,” said Northwestern president Dr. Janet Cunningham. “Each institution sought to secure the best product possible and ensure the best use of state resources. Working together as members of RUSO proved to be a winning combination for both students and taxpayers.”

The estimated cost savings were provided by consultant Brown Hendrix and include the following: Consulting and Assistance, Initial Costs (License, maintenance, third party software), Ongoing Hardware Costs, and Ongoing Software Support and Maintenance.

“This is a new system for all three universities and representatives from each of the institutions are already meeting and working together on technical and other issues,” said SWOSU president Randy Beutler.  “In addition to help from Ellucian representatives, university officials can work together and consult with each other on questions or problems. It’s a win-win for all three institutions.”

When the new system is fully implemented, institutional data will be available in a single database and accessed through the Colleague ERP, giving faculty and administration the ability to make data-driven decisions and virtually eliminate tedious manual processes.

In addition to improved operation efficiencies, the new system will allow for the implementation of new technology, which will assist students during their journey from admissions to graduation.

“Collaboration and partnerships are critical as we address the numerous  challenges in higher education today,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “As a system (RUSO), we are fortunate to have leadership in place that understands that in the end, all of our students benefit from such cooperation. And the success of this partnership opens the door for other areas of collaboration in the future.’’