Client Success Story - Washington State University

Washington State University
Washington State University (WSU) was founded in 1890 as the state's land-grant institution. Today WSU has grown from a single campus in Pullman to an internationally respected multicampus system. WSU offers eleven different colleges: Agriculture and Home Economics, Business and Economics, Education, Engineering and Architecture, Honors, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Pharmacy, Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate School.

Washington State University's Housing History

Before working with CBORD®, WSU used a homegrown mainframe-based application that did not allow for ad hoc reporting, nor did it have an automated assignment function. Reports were at least a day old by the time they were printed and sent through campus mail. "Modifications of a report took weeks or sometimes even months while we waited for it to rise up through the programmer's priority queue," added Kevin Imel, Systems and Security Administrator, WSU.

WSU initially implemented HMS CBORD™ (Odyssey HMS's predecessor). Then, in January 2001, WSU decided to upgrade to CBORD's latest housing product, Odyssey HMS™. Imel wanted an enhanced room assignment process from the new system. "Instead of expending 150+ person hours doing manual matches on three criteria, we wanted to do matches on ten or more criteria in an automated fashion." Odyssey HMS allowed WSU to do just that. Now, the vast majority of reporting is handled by users, instead of funneling a request through to the system administrator. "The new Automatic Assignments engine is lightning fast, allowing us to really fine-tune our assignment batches instead of just having to go for 'good enough,'" stated Imel. In addition, students returning to housing have the ability to apply for their same room online, using the web application.

In July 2003, WSU installed CBORD's Odyssey HMS Judicial Module to take advantage of its powerful Clery Act reporting function. WSU chose Judicial primarily because of the reporting capabilities staff reviewed during a demonstration. "Tom Goodman [CBORD developer] selected a range of dates and then clicked one button to produce a Clery report. The staff was nearly speechless. They couldn't believe something that used to take days or even weeks now took just a couple mouse clicks," added Imel.

Odyssey HMS is an integral part of managing WSU's housing operations. WSU hopes to expand use of Odyssey HMS as additional capabilities and functions are added that allow for improved management of the summer housing and campus conference areas.

"That is what we get from CBORD. They listen to their customers and are continually enhancing their products to meet customer needs. Of all the various software vendors we deal with here, CBORD is far and away the best in terms of customer service, response to customer's needs, etc.," concluded Imel.

Washington State University uses Odyssey HMS to manage the following:

  • Twenty-two residence halls—4,700 beds
  • Three single-student complexes—790 beds
  • Seven family housing complexes—630 units
  • In addition, Washington State also uses CBORD'sFoodservice Suite® for all aspects of its food service operation, including nutritional analysis.