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C-Suite Insight

California State University’s mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education that meets the ever-changing needs of the state. In 2019, CSU faced declining funding and rising demand for education from a growing, diversifying population. Half of its incoming students came from underserved communities, and nearly one-third were the first in their families to attend college.

CSU launched the Graduation 2025 Initiative to increase graduation rates while closing equity gaps for underserved communities. Campus leadership sought to bolster educational success by deploying mobile apps to make it easier for students to register for classes, check grades, and apply for financial aid, while providing the administration with improved insights into student progress. But the university had a legacy on-premise Oracle/PeopleSoft ERP Common Management System running at its 23 campuses, which made integration and innovation costly and complex. CSU sought a solution that enabled greater efficiency, allowing it to share critical services across campuses.

Accelerating educational success

$4.5 million in saved computing costs

“One of our biggest challenges has always been to use our resources prudently, leveraging our scale and size to deliver technologies that are critical to accelerating student success” said Mike Berman, CIO at CSU. “By making education more accessible, we’re reducing students” time to a degree. That means that Cal State graduates enter the workforce sooner, furthering their lifetime earning potential and improving their lives and the lives of their families. Plus, it reduces the cost and debt associated with higher education.”

Unisys successfully transformed the university’s Oracle/PeopleSoft Common Management System from an on-premises legacy system to a hybrid-cloud model. CSU can now access, integrate, and deliver data more effectively to advance its digital strategies and support student initiatives.

“The Unisys solution creates a secure, analytics-driven cloud environment to integrate our information resources. It has allowed us to develop and deliver more innovative educational administrative services across all 23 campuses quickly and cost-efficiently,” said Steve Relyea, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer at CSU.

CSU’s leadership realized significant improvements in performance, along with key business goals, including:

  • Streamlined and sped up student scheduling and registration, financial functions, human resources functions, and other critical administrative services for over 485,000 students and nearly 56,000 faculty and staff across all the campuses and the Chancellor’s Office.
  • Realized 33% savings while delivering 30% better system performance when usage demand grew more than 40%.
  • Enhanced campus productivity and improved operational outcomes by over 90% when measured against established campus metrics and ratios.
  • Transformed data delivery into an automated process that now takes minutes instead of hours to improve campus development initiatives and student impact.
  • Built an affordable, more on-demand infrastructure that delivers economies of scale across the entire university system; drove over $4.5 million saved in computing costs and avoided costs of more than $2.8 million annually.educational-success

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