• Adams State University Logo
  • Fort Lewis College Logo
  • Western Colorado University Logo

Digital Transformation Initiative for Rural Higher Education

A collaboration of Adams State University, Fort Lewis College and Western Colorado University

Adams State University
est. 1921, Alamosa, Colorado

Fort Lewis College
est. 1911, Durango, Colorado

Western Colorado University
est. 1901, Gunnison, Colorado

Map of Colorado with pins on partnership locations

The Challenge

Adams, Fort Lewis and Western, like all institutions of higher education in Colorado and throughout the nation are continually faced with the challenge of meeting the demand to constantly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations. This is particularly difficult for small rural institutions with lean staffing and limited financial resources. Eminently resourceful, our institutions have been modifying, changing, and improving their processes and technical systems to continually improve and provide excellent educational opportunities for a reasonable cost. However, in recent years we have approached the limits of evolutionary change and feel it is now time to make a revolutionary change.

The Strategy

Our institutions have chosen a path of transformational change. To facilitate this, we have chosen to replace our aging Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Student information System (SIS). These systems lie at the very core of our operations and by changing these systems we will have the opportunity to rethink and improve literally all of our current business processes and take advantage of the new features and functionality afforded by a modern cloud-based solution.

Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the primary software system that support the business of the institution. The ERP is responsible for accounting, budgeting, purchasing, billing, human resource management and the many other basic tools you need to manage a large business.

Student Information Systems

Student Information Systems or SIS is unique to education and manages courses, sections, student enrollments, faculty assignments, grades and other information associated with educational records. This system also manages financial aid and billing for tuition.

The Solution

Over the course of more than two years the technical and functional staff of the partner institutions researched, reviewed and compared the ERP and SIS options available (including our current system) and concluded Workday is the best long term solution for our students, faculty, and staff.

Workday Logo

Key differentiators of the Workday solution include:

Workday now has 70+ higher education customers, including six institutions in Colorado: Aims Community College, Metro State University, Colorado School of Mines and now Western Colorado University, Adams State University and Fort Lewis College.

The Benefits of Partnership

Undertaking a complete overhaul of your business practices and replacing your core ERP and SIS is a truly monumental task. Individually our institutions simply do not have the resources to take on such a project but by joining together we form a team that is better equipped to take on the challenge: The benefits of partnership include:

The Funding

This project would not be possible without the funding made available through the IT Capital Request process. Our project was ranked among the top IT projects by the Colorado Department of Higher Education and then reviewed and debated by the members of the Joint Technology Committee. The Committee voted to support our project and recommend it be included for funding in the Colorado state budget. In May of 2021 Governor Jared Polis signed the Long Bill into law and the funds were awarded to our institutions.

Project Overview

This project will be implemented in two phases over three years. In Phase 1 (2021-2022) we will tackle the Finance and HCM components and in Phase II (2022-2024) we will take on Student.

Timeline - Finance & Human Capital Management

Oct - Dec '21
Jan - Mar '22
Configure & Prototype
Mar - May '22
Test & Train
May - Sept '22
Dec '22

Timeline – Workday Student Services

Summer 2022
Design, Configure & Test
2022 - 2024
Fall 2024

The Team

Kevin Daniel's headshot

Kevin Daniel

Adams State University

Executive Director of Infrastructure and Resources | CIO

Matt McGlamery's headshot

Matt McGlamery

Fort Lewis College

CIO & Director of Information Technology

Chad Robinson's headshot

Chad Robinson

Western Colorado University

AVP Information Technology/CIO.