Make way for Workday

Hamline will replace Piperline with the cloud-based HR software Workday.

Jack Fischer, News Reporter

Hamline has utilized Piperline, a student portal from a software called Banner, for decades in everything from registering for classes to performing degree audits. As technologies and workflows progress and advance, the software originally purchased by the university is now out of date and will no longer be supported. Hamline had a choice to make  reinvest and purchase new Banner software and upgrade Piperline, or transition to a new, more interconnected software. Either option would have required Hamline to make a significant investment.

It has been a long process to transition. Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Andy Runquist has been overseeing the student side of this system.

“Our Banner system is made up of a lot of patches that we’ve had to do in house,” Runquist said. “We’ve been using it since at least, I believe it was 1990 or something like that.” 

As the technology has gotten older, Hamline has had to hire people to make those patches to a system that has not aged too kindly.

Hamline has implemented a slow rollout of the new Workday software. The Human Resources department started using it, on-campus employees use Workday to log their hours and now, next month, undergraduate students will use it to register for classes. 

“Student workers have been using it to log their hours this entire school year, so from that perspective, there’s a bunch of students who sort of understand what’s coming,” Runquist said. Many students have already interacted with Workday and have varying opinions on the new software.

Before registering for classes, students will have to log into Workday and complete an “on boarding.” Students will verify their addresses, contact information, their emergency contacts and sign their FERPA waiver in a few dozen clicks, and will have to do this every year. If a student does not complete this on boarding, a hold will be placed on their account and they will not be able to register for classes, even after getting their tentative schedule approved by their advisor. 

One of the perks of switching to Workday is that it has allowed the university to look at systems and workflows critically and reassess if there could be easier ways to do things. Runquist said one of these workflows is how students request overrides. With Piperline, students needed to email individual professors to ask for an override and then forward that email to the Registrar’s Office to get an override. 

“Just one button push, boom, you’ve requested a prerequisite override that goes to the faculty members inbox both their email inbox and their workday inbox,” Rundquist said. ”They can say yes or no right then and there, and then that approval is done when you go to register.”

Additionally, Workday will do away with the days of having to write down or remember PINs given from advisors to allow students to register. 

“The advisors have to go in and say, you can register. They just press a button in Workday and then you’re good to go,” Runquist said.

When students register for classes not all of the features of the new software will be active. A new way to get degree evaluations will not go live until August, and a new way to get on a waitlist for a class will not launch until the fall.

While the new user-friendly software seems like it might be a good replacement to Piperline with lots of exciting features and upgrades, the rollout of Workday with student workers this past year has not been the smoothest.

Katelyn Mikesell, a first-year at Hamline and student worker at Starbucks said, “[WorkDay] is nice because everything is there, but it shuts down way too often.”

Especially during the first few months of the new timecard software, students often had to work with IT and payroll to fix their apps and allow them to log in. Some students report having to get a “secure email code” every time they want to log in and check in for work. 

Workday is in and Piperline will be a fossil of the past as the university moves forward. Students should be able to log in and complete their on boarding and FERPA waivers this week and are encouraged to do so as soon as they can to prevent registration holds.