Council learns more about first rollout of Workday Student

WorkCyte Phase II co-lead Steve Mickelson spoke to the Professional and Scientific (P&S) Council about upcoming rollouts for Workday Student and Receivables during the May 4 meeting.

Mickelson directed council members to the May 4 memo from President Wendy Wintersteen and university leaders on the progress and implementation of the project. The first of six rollout periods is from June to September, impacting primarily financial aid and admissions. A small number of staff will begin using the new software on June 5, and ISU will start accepting applications from prospective students in the Workday Student software on June 15. The other five rollout periods begin this October and continue through November 2024.

The first rollout adds the ability to view experimental courses in the catalog, evaluate graduate program applicants and calculate financial aid in Workday. Faculty and staff training will be delivered primarily through online self-paced modules and knowledge base articles that provide step-by-step instructions. A few trainings will be instructor-led in person or virtually, Mickelson said.

"The timing for training still is being worked out because we found out from the first phase that if you train people too early it is not as effective," he said. "We will email and reach out to the people when they need to begin training."

For more information, Mickelson directed employees to the WorkCyte website, FAQ and WorkCyte Digest.

New business

Council members will vote at the June meeting on revisions to its bylaws to make better use of councilors' time and align standing committees with the needs of P&S employees. Key revisions include:

  • Adding a communication liaison to each committee to work with the secretary/ treasurer to ensure accurate minutes are kept and help the vice president for communications and community relations disseminate information to the proper channels.
  • Ensuring the vice president for compensation and benefits chairs the compensation and benefits committee and will select a vice chair for continuity.
  • Combining the policies and procedures and peer advocacy committees to become the peer advocacy and policy committee to address overlap.
  • Renaming the representation committee the governance committee to deal with election activities and changes to the rules and bylaws.

Councilors raised concerns about defining the role and responsibilities of a vice chair.

State funding

Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert summarized funding approved by the Iowa Legislature hours after its session ended. Iowa State will receive $18 million toward the $66.5 million second phase of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) at the College of Veterinary Medicine campus. This will come from Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure funds.

"The governor has already committed $40 million from her federal stimulus money, the Legislature has appropriated another $18 million and we believe there is a very good path forward to complete the funding plan for that building," Wickert said.

Iowa State will receive an additional $2.8 million in education appropriations to expand the number of degree and certificate programs in high-demand areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, computer science, computer engineering, data science, software engineering and others related to innovation in the areas of digital agriculture, manufacturing, water quality, vaccine delivery technologies and the biosciences. 

Provisions in the education appropriations bill prevent the regent universities from increasing spending on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs, training and hiring while the state Board of Regents reviews DEI programing and efforts at the three public universities.

"This is a process, and people should continue their good work," Wickert said. "Our culture on campus today is exactly the same as it was before."

Successful conference

The professional development conference drew 281 P&S employees in February. Among the 138 participants who completed a post-conference survey, 98.5% were satisfied or very satisfied overall. The 2024 conference will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 21.