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Why doesn’t Workday work?

On April 20, the Brandeis administration switched from Sage to Workday in regards to academic records and personal information—smack in the middle of a coronavirus semester. Our editors, along with other students, have experienced stress as a result of the transfer, with issues ranging from incorrect information to an non-intuitive user interface.

A large frustration with Workday comes from the incorrect transfer of credits over from Sage. We are confused to see credits that we know we have completed suddenly registering as “not satisfied” on Workday—especially when they are properly marked on Sage. It is additionally a burden for our older editors, as they are worried about their graduation requirements. Moreover, there are some credits that have not been transferred over that are prerequisites for other classes, and we are not able to sign up for the classes that we want as a result. While we are told to not worry about the untransferred credits, we still have to jump through hoops with our academic advisors and the registrar trying to get this figured out and signing us up for the correct classes.

There are also some issues that we have with Workday’s functionalities. For example, in Sage, there was only a single page where you are able to add, drop and swap classes. However, in Workday this is not the case. Instead, there are two separate pages for this, which took some of our editors more time than they would like to figure out. Moreover, when you are unable to add a class, the website does not directly tell you what is wrong: instead, an error message appears that you have to hover over to figure out what you must change. These sorts of inefficiencies in Workday are also what added to a lot of the stress during class sign-ups.

It is also difficult to understand why the administration chose now as a good time to transfer to Workday. This is a time where class schedules have drastically changed, core requirements are changing for the majority of undergraduate students and we also have to try and get used to living on campus with evolving COVID-19 policies. To us, this did not feel like the right time to transfer the entire academic system and have us get used to this in addition to everything else. 

Sage might not have been perfect, but it is certainly better than Workday for now. There, our credits are correct, creating class schedules is simple and the overall interface is significantly simpler to use. Now that we are stuck with Workday, we hope that the administration can figure out a way to make this experience less taxing for all, especially as we are all trying to adjust to a new campus life.

While we all appreciate the transfer from the ancient-looking functionalities of Sage to something that looks relatively modern like Workday, this was not the time to force all students to move to the new system. Generally, we also think that it would have been beneficial to test the website out prior to the system transfer and fix as many issues as possible, especially in regards to the correct transfer of credits.

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