Case Study: Western Kentucky University

See how WKU’s new digital records process saved more than just space.

About Western Kentucky University

Founded in 1906, Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a growing university that offers its more than 20,000 students an inviting, nurturing and challenging environment. The engaged campus community strives to deliver long lasting solutions for everyday problems as part of its transformation into a leading American university with international reach.

"Ricoh worked with my office and IT to develop a plan to scan and import documents into our enterprise database. Now, we can access any transcript in moments, so we can offer faster, better customer service."

Western Kentucky University Registrar


Over the course of 100-plus years educating students, Western Kentucky University generated a lot of paper. That in turn created woefully inefficient processes and potential security risks. Two departments were especially vulnerable: the Office of the Registrar and Human Resources.

Office of the Registrar
At WKU, student records were difficult to access and use. Whenever somebody requested a transcript from 1906-1990, employees had to walk to vaults and locate, copy and return the originals. Plus, older transcripts were on microfilm, making changes extremely difficult.

Human Resources
For the over 2,500 WKU employees, HR had to key in each person’s information by hand into an electronic records system. After that, any paper generated had to be filed in a precise chain of events in order to keep information secure. These processes were not only time-consuming — they limited the office’s ability to add, manage and use their employee information.

Seeing how limiting and labor intensive their processes were, the school sent out a request for proposal, seeking to improve their records retrieval.


Since Ricoh’s Managed Services had staffed the WKU Print Center since 2002, we saw an opportunity to add even more services to the campus. Since each department wanted to improve document imaging workflow, we enlisted the services of Ricoh’s Document Scanning Services Center in nearby Louisville, KY to help.

Office of the Registrar

After paper transcripts arrived, technicians established a clear chain of custody to ensure security. WKU IT then worked with our project managers to integrate the scanned files into the school’s enterprise database.

Human Resources

Initially the WKU human information systems team was uneasy about confidential documents leaving the premises. But after seeing our work with the Office of the Registrar and how we controlled access, fears were quickly put at ease.


Download PDF