Stakeholder Interview: Rehan Sadiq

Stakeholder Interview: Rehan Sadiq

December 08, 2023

Preparing our community for Workday Student

As UBC approaches Launch 2 of Workday Student, we thought it would be helpful to share some insights from the people behind the project. Over the next several months, we will bring you the perspectives of those who are either working closely with the project or who will be impacted end users. In our third instalment, Dr. Rehan Sadiq shares his thoughts on how he believes Workday Student will better support UBC’s students, faculty, and staff. 

Name: Dr. Rehan Sadiq

Title: Provost and Vice-President, Academic and a Professor of Civil Engineering at UBC’s Okanagan campus. He also serves as an Executive Sponsor for the Integrated Renewal Program - Student (IRP Student). 

Describe what your role is with the IRP Student program: 

In collaboration with Dr. Lesley Cormack and the other Executive Sponsors, I assist in decision-making for the IRP Student program to ensure our colleagues on both campuses are prepared for this transformative change. One aspect that is particularly important to me is understanding how the implementation of Workday Student will impact our Faculties, and identifying measures to ensure the implementation process is smooth. As with any major change, we anticipate that some concerns will arise. Our role is to guide Faculties and departments through the process, address any challenges, and ensure they see positive outcomes. 

What excites you most about transitioning to Workday Student? 

Our current Student Information System (SIS) is over 30 years old and is simply not sustainable. Technology has changed so much, making it challenging to continue maintaining the old system. This change has been years in the making and has been carefully considered. We know the transition to Workday Student may bring some challenges, but I believe the new functionalities will lead to significant improvements and efficiencies. 

I am excited about the integrated approach of the new system. The access points for students, faculty and administrators are more streamlined and efficient. Tasks that previously took multiple applications will soon be accomplished solely through Workday Student. 

What are your thoughts on the progress being made by the IRP Student team? 

The interesting part about this project is that we are building the application while in motion. Launch 1 occurred in October and overall, the results have been positive. As with any new system, there is room for improvement and the IRP Student team is fixing issues that arise ahead of Launch 2 in February. I have full confidence in the consultation and communication that is driving this project. I view the ongoing positive feedback surrounding Launch 1 as a testament to the project's careful planning and execution. 

What message do you have for staff or faculty who are nervous about adjusting to Workday Student? 

I encourage everyone to have a positive mindset. I can appreciate the concerns of our faculty and staff, and, at the same time, I also want to highlight the positive aspects, such as improved functionality and adaptability. Part of my role as an Executive Sponsor is to provide reassurance. Effective communication, robust training and a strong support team are some ways we are preparing for this transition.  

I was part of the team that previously introduced Workday for Finance and HR, and there were many learnings from that experience. What stands out the most is the importance of clear communication about the institution's vision and providing necessary resources for faculty and staff. I have tried to ensure these learnings are carried over to the current project. 

What is being done to ensure the UBC Community is prepared for the transition to Workday Student? 

The IRP Student team is working hard to prepare our community for this transition. Change management is something we take very seriously, and we aim to make this transition as smooth as possible for all users — students, faculty and staff. Training is currently being rolled out through a consistent stepped approach that aligns with our academic cycle. As much as possible, the training schedule intends to provide our community with time to learn and determine how they can incorporate the new system into their operations. Further support is in place to assist with any challenges that may arise. 

We encourage you to reach out to your Primary Transition Lead (PTL) to share your thoughts and comments.