Improving Transparency and Efficiency at High Point University

Cayuse provides the systems a developing research department needs to increase grants by 100-150% each year


High Point University is a primarily undergraduate institution that began as a liberal arts college, but is now shifting into the health sciences world. The university has been focusing on research for the past 12-15 years and anticipates a significant research expansion over the next few years.

As a paper-based school, High Point University sought an electronic system that would help modernize and reduce the confusion surrounding research administration and sponsored programs. According to Rachel Kinney, the Director of Research Administration and Sponsored Programs, “If we were to keep things as paper and then continue to grow, then the amount of paper that we would have to find someplace to house on campus would just be out of control. And then data consistency would have been a major issue if we still had been using paper.”

To add to these challenges, the Department of Research Administration and Sponsored Programs started as an office of one, and remained that way until recently. With only one employee managing paper records, the department would have a difficult time expanding, and the potential loss of institutional knowledge remained a significant danger.

“We’re increasing our dollar amount and our number of grants 100-150% each year. With that kind of growth, we have to also get with the times and move to an actual system that can eliminate some of the manual labor that goes into paper files.”

Rachel Kinney Director of Research Administration and Sponsored Programs


After weighing their options, High Point University implemented Cayuse Proposals and Sponsored Projects. Impressed by Cayuse’s user experience and consistency between solutions, the university added Human Ethics, Animal Oversight, and Hazard Safety over the following years. “With having all those systems from Cayuse, faculty always know what to expect, so that has definitely helped,” recalls Rachel Kinney. “Any time we have a change, we can make that a little easier with our applications through Cayuse.”

High Point University is now in the process of adopting Fund Manager to help organize financial data and budgets. Rachel Kinney noted that given their satisfaction with the university’s current Cayuse solutions, “Our faculty are very excited about Fund Manager. They don’t have account information that’s easily accessible and that they can easily understand. They’re very excited to get access to Fund Manager and actually see their accounts and be able to understand them.”

“The user experience from my office’s perspective has been phenomenal. I mean, we love it, we sing the praises. It’s just very user-friendly.”

Rachel Kinney Director of Research Administration and Sponsored Programs


With the implementation of several Cayuse solutions, High Point University’s Department of Research Administration and Sponsored Programs has seen a noticeable increase in transparency and data consistency, and improvements to processes across the board.

“What we’ve been able to achieve is more transparency in how things are approved, where they are in the process, and what’s needed for each of those applications,” notes Rachel Kinney. “It’s really given faculty a sense of trust in the office that we know what we’re doing. They can easily see where something is in the process. They know what you’re going to need every single time. There’s consistency and trust that has really helped our program grow over the last 3 years.”

She adds, “With Animal Oversight, faculty have said that they find the process to apply for an IACUC application and get it approved is much more straightforward and much more user-friendly. They feel like they know where something is; they know how long it’s going to take; they don’t feel as though it’s going into a black hole. They can log in and see exactly where it is in the process.”

“Faculty have felt that the addition of Animal Oversight has really improved the quality of IACUC review and the reliability as well. Same thing with Human Ethics and Sponsored Projects: We reach a wide number of faculty that are impacted by those applications and I don’t think they can imagine life without them anymore.”

Rachel Kinney Director of Research Administration and Sponsored Programs

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