Council briefed on Workday implementation process

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Members of the Professional and Scientific Council were introduced to information technology's interim change manager Francis Quinn at their Jan. 5 meeting. Quinn will help guide the transition to Workday enterprise software, which will integrate Iowa State's business and student information systems.

"We're in phase zero of deployment of the Workday system," Quinn said. "What it means is that [we're] paying a particular level of attention to local uniqueness. This is a very large institution. It's a very complex institution, and it's an institution that's undergoing a very dramatic growth and change at this moment."

About 10 Workday employees are working fulltime on the project. They will identify and train ISU personnel who will be on the core implementation team, and evaluate how the university already is providing services.

"We have to open up the hood on ISU -- with all its warts, all its tools, and all its eccentricities and particularities -- and show [Workday] what's under the hood so they can get a better idea of what it is that you need and is special around here. Because, yes, there are some processes that are standard across our industry, but there are other things that are particular or special to the way that we do things here."

Quinn said there will be three systems deployed over a long stretch (years) of time. The human capital management (HCM) and financial/payroll systems will be implemented first, followed by student information systems.

"Any major software implementation brings about a lot of change. It is no exaggeration in saying that this deployment will affect every last, single soul on this campus," Quinn said.

He said a document outlining the strategy and "road map" for the planning phase will be ready by the end of March.

Council business

Council members passed a motion to add a statement about diversity and inclusion to its list of priorities and strategic initiatives. The language, developed and introduced by the executive committee, states that the council will "work to identify available resources and create new opportunities for advocacy, education and professional development" on diversity and inclusion topics.

Administrative updates

Vice president for research Sarah Nusser presented an update on the university's research mission, including five general themes related to the second goal in ISU's new strategic plan:

  • Health (people and environmental)
  • Sustainability
  • Advanced manufacturing and materials
  • Data-driven science
  • Global citizenship

Ed Holland, director of benefits in university human resources, provided hiring data from the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), a regional hiring collaboration with several other institutions and organizations. He said in its first couple months of use, Iowa State received 83 applications (50 faculty, 24 P&S and nine post-docs) through the regional jobs website, with two completed hires and several candidates still in the hiring process.