University of California’s Payroll Project Reboot Now At $504 Million

In July 2014 I wrote about the University of California’s project to update its payroll & HR systems to Peoplesoft systems and how the project had ballooned out of scope. The goal of the $156 million project was to save a reported $100 million per year eventually and to replace a 30-year-old Payroll Personnel System (PPS) that runs separately for each of the 11 UC locations with Oracle’s PeopleSoft payroll and HR systems. All systems were planned to be live by the end of 2014.

At the time, I quoted Christopher Newfield at Remaking the University with this summary:

The project timeline has grown from 48 to 72 months, and its costs are said to be $220 million (it had spent $131 million by May 2014) . Worse, the repayment schedule has mushroomed from seven to twenty years.

Well, those were the good old days it appears. The project has now grown to more than half a billion dollars (estimates) according to the Sacramento Bee. The project is now four years behind schedule. Continue reading

Posted in Big Picture, Business & Economics, Recommended Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Recommended Reading … or Not: Updates on UC Berkeley and NBER stories

Here are two updates on stories we’ve covered recently at e-Literate. One is an actual update and that is a lack of update.

UC Berkeley and Accessibility

In our post clarifying the context of the school’s decision to remove lecture capture video from public site (not deleting the video, just putting behind domain wall), one issue I raised was that there is no agreement yet between Berkeley and the Department of Justice / Department of Education team pushing the case. Continue reading

Posted in Academics & Academia, Business & Economics, Curricular-Materials, Ed Tech, Policy, Recommended Reading, Strategy & Change Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Recommended Reading: Ballmer group publishes “Annual Report” on government spending

A few years ago Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO and current president of the LA Clippers, formed a group called USAFacts. Their goal was to collect comprehensive data on how tax revenues (federal, state and local) are spent in the U.S. Their initial publication, structured like a company’s Annual Report is being released today.

It should be required reading for anyone entering public office. It should also be consulted by anyone interested in how their tax dollars are being spent and more generally in how government works.

That includes those of us who work in the education field. There is a detailed information in the “Annual Report” on financial aid disbursements (p. 28), educational attainment levels broken down by various cohorts (p. 39),  the size of the public education workforce – 10,979,260, or 47% of all government employees, of which 29% relate to higher education (p. 50), educational property assets (p. 57), fiscal year education spending comparisons (p. 80) and additional analysis of college enrollment and completion by income level and other attributes.

Continue reading

Posted in Big Picture, Ed Tech, Policy, Recommended Reading, Research | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lumen and Follett: Canary in the Curricular Materials Coal Mine?

Phil wrote up some excellent observations yesterday about the announcement that Follett has invested in Lumen Learning and will be distributing some of their products. This deal has more significance for the curricular materials market than the (relatively) small dollar amount of the investment would indicate.

Continue reading

Posted in Big Picture, Curricular-Materials, Ed Tech | 2 Comments

Some Notes On Lumen Learning’s $3.75 million Funding Round Led By Follett

Today’s biggest ed tech news was Lumen Learning – co-founded by David Wiley and Kim Thanos and focused on getting deeper adoption of OER in higher education – and their new round of funding. And this news goes beyond pure investment, as Follett, the large campus retailer that “serve[s] over half of the students in the United States, and work with 80,000 schools as a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content”, led the funding round.

First up a disclosure: Lumen Learning is a client of MindWires (the consulting side of e-Literate, or our capitalistic alter ego), and we have had a consulting relationship with Lumen for almost 18 months. We mostly don’t blog about our consulting work, and I do not plan to describe our advice to them, but we are not neutral observers on this one.

As described in the press release:

Follett will offer Lumen Learning’s OER solutions to more than 1,200 colleges and universities where Follett manages course materials delivery. Given Follett’s ongoing mission to improve access and affordability for students, the company has invested in Lumen Learning to help fund future growth and expansion of OER courseware.

Continue reading

Posted in Business & Economics, Curricular-Materials, Recommended Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments