It was a special Kuali Days in Indianapolis last month. “Our Second Decade Begins,” was the theme and it could not have been more appropriate. The community, users, and potential adopters gathered to celebrate what Kuali has accomplished through significant innovation in our first decade, and how we can innovate again for our next ten years. We reflected on the value of our F2F strategy meetings in June and July, and the fact that just a few short months later we are holding our annual conference to celebrate our accomplishments and our new directions with KualiCo.

Kuali Days 2014 was also KualiCo’s coming out party. Their entire team met face-to-face for the first time, set the company’s vision and goals, and fully participated in all Kuali Days activities. In his keynote address, Joel Dehlin, CEO of KualiCo, highlighted plans to deliver software more quickly, in smaller bites, and using newer tools for development. Joel highlighted how far Kuali and the world has come in the last 10 years and challenged the community, “What can we do in one year? Two years? Let’s work together to accelerate our development, create an incredible user experience, and do big things in the future.”

It was an exciting time for developers in the Kuali Foundation community and KualiCo. KualiCo hosted several sessions on the new technology stack. A two-day ‘DevCon’ was held after Kuali Days, which focused on KualiCo and Kuali Foundation community developers working together with some new technologies and discussing technology topics of interest.

It also was an exciting time for the Kuali Foundation Project Teams, who met before and after the Kuali Days sessions. The Kuali Foundation announced during the Kuali Days event that the Kuali Financial System’s Board had unanimously decided to fully engage with KualiCo for future development and delivery of outcomes. The conference ended with the Kuali Coeus Functional Council’s decision to also fully engage with KualiCo. Formal discussions between those two projects and KualiCo have begun and timelines will be announced soon. Both projects will remain as members in the Kuali Foundation for defining best practices and helping institutions pool resources, and will partner with KualiCo to deliver great products.

KualiCo has already begun working on two projects. They hit the ground running by starting the transition to begin hosting Kuali Ready, a cloud-based business continuity planning product which is currently serving about 100 colleges and universities. Ready Subscribers will be moved over to KualiCo within the next 30 days.

Work has begun on Kuali Student in the new cloud-enabled technology, and the University of Maryland has signed on as the first partner on the project. The Kuali Foundation will continue to be the home for the Kuali Student Executive Sponsor Team in order to leverage resources across multiple partners as we have done for the past 10 years; KualiCo will be responsible for product design and development, which will be cloud enabled and also be available open source for local download. Curriculum Management is set to be the first module released using the new technology stack in July 2015, and the Enrollment project will be underway within the next few months.

During the Kuali Days closing luncheon, it was announced that the Kuali Foundation and KualiCo will jointly host Kuali Days 2015 at the Hilton Austin, in Austin, TX, November 9-12, 2015. The event promises to be an exciting one in a wonderful city full of culture and fun. It will be a unique event, being the first jointly hosted by the Kuali Foundation and KualiCo. As the Executive Director of the Kuali Foundation, I’m very excited about seeing the evolution of the event, where we can retain the valuable community ties we have in place and continue to see old friends, but also have a new invigoration of friends and users with KualiCo.

And don’t forget that the Kuali Community Workshop is April 20-24, 2015 at the Westin Buckhead in Atlanta, GA. This is our annual opportunity for members of the community who are partners in the various projects to gather for face-to-face workshops, meetings, and discussions. At this event, for the first time there will be members from both the Kuali Foundation project teams and from KualiCo.

I think at this Kuali Days many of us in the community saw the great synergies that can happen in our next decade, by combining the strengths of the Kuali Foundation in building community and defining best practices, with the strengths of KualiCo in building great software to meet the needs of higher ed. I can’t wait for next year’s Kuali Days in Austin to see how far we have come in those 12 months.

Jennifer Foutty

Jennifer Foutty

Executive Director, Kuali Foundation