UC Ready

Case study


Wildfires, earthquakes, pandemic flu, and cyber‐attacks – our mission can be disrupted by events of many shapes and sizes. As an institution, we must prepare the entire University to continue teaching, research, public service, and patient care through any disruptive event.


The goal of UC Ready is to provide a systemwide tool that allows all departments, regardless of size, to prepare for resumption of critical functions as quickly as possible after any disruptive event, including all‐encompassing events (earthquake, pandemic illness), localized events (building fire, basement flood), or personal events (failure of a hard drive). UC Ready aims to achieve event‐readiness by engaging all department‐level units in mission‐continuity planning.


UC Ready has produced over 380 completed plans and 702 plans in‐process systemwide in less than three years. Our systemwide UC Ready program also offers matching funds to support mission‐continuity efforts at each campus and medical center. To date, 14 locations have taken advantage of matching funds to employ the services of a dedicated mission‐ continuity planner. Furthermore, this pioneering tool has attracted national attention; more than 30 universities have adopted it for use, and it received a National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) 2007 Innovation Award and the UC system’s 2007 Sautter Award. By donating the tool to the Kuali Foundation for incorporation into its suite of open‐source tools for the higher education community, UC has gained the benefit of insightful enhancements provided through collaboration with other Kuali‐member universities and colleges. Kuali has offered a hosted version for worldwide use since Spring 2010.


Widely used in the corporate sector, continuity planning has evolved over the past 30 years into a clear set of practices. However, it has proved a difficult fit for the structure and culture of higher education. The lack of a commercially‐ available tool to suit the needs of a large higher education system was a challenge. To solve this problem, we built UC Ready. Starting with UC Berkeley’s “Restarting Berkeley” software tool, through systemwide collaboration we created an online tool that can be used by all locations. Currently in its third edition, UC Ready remains the only continuity planning tool designed specifically for higher education.

Initial investment

UC Ready is part of a suite of Enterprise Risk Management solutions, which are all funded by internal premium determined by independent actuaries. Furthermore, because there are no commercially‐available products for higher education, our ability to not only build but maintain our own system has resulted in an initial investment and ongoing fees that are a fraction of the cost of modifying an “off the shelf” product and relying on a third party administrator.

Fiscal results, current and anticipated

Real savings come when a risk event occurs and we are able to minimize recovery time. Every day that one campus does not operate represents a potential revenue loss exposure of $5.4 million. While we would not anticipate 100% interruption, even a single‐digit percentage of interruption can have a significant impact.

Current action and next steps

The UC Ready methodology is straightforward:

  1. Create departmental plans. Each operational‐level
    department can use the online tool to create a Departmental Continuity Plan, which includes a set of Action Items identified by departmental staff.

  2. Track action items. Items are tracked for completion.

  3. Refresh each plan annually.

  4. Create a campus plan. Experience shows that some of the
    action items identified by departments are broad in scope and can be grouped into a campus‐level plan.

Concluding statement

UC Ready models what is possible when we harness our systemwide knowledge to create solutions for a common challenge. Taking a solution developed at a single campus and enhancing it to a level where it serves not only UC, but the worldwide higher education community, is proof of the “Power of Ten.”