“In theory it makes sense, and so does communism. In practice though, it’s difficult,” Parish said. “There’s a reason that third parties exist and get created to develop tools. You could make that same comment about almost anything – Sodexho, admissions systems, textbook publishing – everything is, ‘Boy there’s a lot of companies doing this, if we cut out the middle man we would do it much better.’ I would look at some of the struggles that came with community purchases of products or community development of things.”
Wheeler said the debate should be over, given Kuali's success so far at the institutions where it being used.
“There’s no debate,” he said. “The evidence is just overwhelming that it is there and it is being used for big complicated places like a multi-campus Indiana University or a Michigan State.”
Wheeler said instead of worrying about Kuali’s future, it’s time to “call the question” on whether universities should continue planning to spend millions with outside companies or whether they will attempt to save money by working together.