Senators receive update on Workday Student

Workday Student project co-leads Kristen Constant and Steve Mickelson updated Faculty Senate April 5 on progress to expand Workday to student information and billing.

Constant said the pandemic reinforced why it's key the university's business functions are all on an adaptable platform.

"We found out with COVID that when we went to modify our systems to change our human relations practices or track certain expenditures, all of it was very easy to do," she said. "In the student system, we had to employ programmers for many hours to get into our ancient code for things like grading."

The project began in April 2021 with a plan and discovery stage and will deploy in segments from December 2022 to November 2024.

The phased approach allows for best practices learned from the first phase to be implemented. That includes implementation over numerous months rather than one go-live date, and an internal change management team to handle training and employee adjustment to the technology.

Mickelson said more than 150 faculty and staff are working on the project. They have completed a listening tour across campus to learn what is and isn't working in the current system. 

First uses of Workday Student and Receivables will roll out in five phases:

  • June 2023: Academic foundation recruiting and admissions, human capital management and finance alignment
  • October 2023: Verifying financial aid awards and curriculum management
  • March 2024: Student records, academic advising and financial aid packaging
  • July 2024:  Student financials and payments, financial aid and non-student receivables
  • November 2024: Student balances, historical student conversion, graduation, transcripts, and summer grades and degrees

Mickelson said faculty and staff can help by staying informed using the Workcyte website and knowing their change liaison. Liaisons in each college and unit are continuously updated on the Workday implementation. Faculty and staff with feedback about the process can email

Library initiative

Digital scholarship librarian Erin Ridnour spoke to senators about the Tracing Race at ISU initiative.

"It encourages and supports digital scholarship that centers the history, experience and achievements of Black, Indigenous and people of color at Iowa State," she said. "It is a desire to tell a more complete and inclusive story of Iowa State's history."

Proposals are accepted twice a year (fall and spring) from faculty, staff or students in any department or discipline. Parks Library provides support before and after a proposal is submitted. Once a project is selected, librarians meet with the project team to discuss the scope, timeline, needs and expectations, and check-ins throughout the process, Ridnour said.

The first two projects from the initiative launched in January, and this spring the first undergraduate student project was approved.

Election Day resolution

Senators will vote at their next meeting on a resolution encouraging students to participate in the midterm election on Nov. 8. Faculty are asked to avoid scheduling exams or major assignments on Election Day and provide flexibility regarding tardiness or absence. 

"This is an encouragement for instructional faculty, not a mandate," said Karen Kedrowski, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. "This is a non-partisan voter engagement activity, and it speaks to the mission of higher education in Iowa as articulated by the state Board of Regents."

Other business

Senators will vote at the April 19 meeting on:

  • An undergraduate dairy cattle production management certificate in the animal science department. The 24-credit certificate requires a minimum of 18 credits at the 300 or 400 level and at least a 2.0 GPA. After earning the certificate, students will understand the nutrition, physiology and breeding applications in dairy cattle production. The field has increased demand for young professionals with technical competency, and the certificate is favored by potential employers.
  • An interdepartmental minor in global human sciences in the College of Human Sciences. It is 15 credits unless students participate in international student teaching, which adds two credits. The minor allows students to increase international engagement without having to travel if they choose not to. It is enhanced by faculty who have taught, conducted research or performed service internationally. Less than 10% of students in the College of Human Sciences participate in study abroad programs each year because of factors, including financial and academic barriers.
  • An amendment to the Faculty Handbook on term faculty advancement. It establishes the same rank requirements for advancement committees within departments as used for promotion and tenure committees. It continues the desire to treat term, tenured and tenure-eligible faculty the same whenever possible.