UC Berkeley Extension to enter software partnership, streamline processes

The UC Berkeley Extension building on 1995 University Avenue near Milvia.
Carli Baker/Staff
The UC Berkeley Extension building on 1995 University Avenue near Milvia.

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In an effort to streamline administrative processes within UC Berkeley Extension, the program is entering a partnership with a higher education software company, officials announced Nov. 21.

The program will use software by Destiny Solutions and implement new student information systems in order to help manage student records and tuition payment catalogs, according to Fred Hamden, director of UC Berkeley Extension’s Communication and Marketing Services.

“By streamlining administrative processes, we can get to more value-added tasks as opposed to twisting out a wet towel,” he said.

The selection of the Toronto-based company from four potential vendors came after UC Berkeley Extension led a search for a software vendor. Destiny Solution’s software, called Destiny One, was determined to be the “best suited” to the program’s needs, Hamden said.

“Berkeley acknowledges the importance of expanding continuing education opportunities,” said Diana Wu, dean of UC Berkeley Extension, in a press release. “Destiny One provides the capabilities Berkeley needs to efficiently grow our offerings while recognizing and responding to the demands of today’s student.”

Implementation of the software will allow users to gather and analyze data profiles, manage course offerings and provide a platform to expand the program, according to the press release. The extension offers certificate programs for continuing education and operates about 1,500 courses each year.

“Berkeley Extension will be able to provide a topnotch level of service to their students, both in terms of how they manage relationships with their learners and the programming they provide,” said Shaul Kuper, president and CEO of Destiny Solutions, in a press release.

The first phase of the transition to Destiny One is planned to go live in February 2013. The full transition is expected to be completed by midsummer, Hamden said.

The new partnership with Destiny Solutions is reflective of trends at the UC level to streamline administrative processes and reduce costs in light of recent budget cuts beleaguering the entire UC system.

In fall 2009, UC Berkeley began a cost-cutting initiative called Operational Excellence to streamline administrative services in various campus departments. The initiative is expected to save the campus about $75 million annually when fully implemented. Several of the initiative’s programs, including an electronic time-keeping system, will continue implementation into next semester.

Sara Khan covers academics and administration. Contact her at [email protected].