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College of Liberal Arts

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Our college’s breadth, depth and adaptability make it ideally suited to the needs of a diverse state with a growing, dynamic economy and a rich history. The liberal arts prepare students to understand and learn from that history, to analyze problems from multiple viewpoints, and to draw upon knowledge from a range of cultures past and present. It prepares them to be creative and flexible leaders, citizens and workers, dedicated to making the world a better place for everyone.

The value of the liberal arts extends beyond our majors. Every student who attends the university, regardless of major, will take classes in our college during their undergraduate years as part of their core curriculum — classes in rhetoric and writing, the humanities, American and Texas history and government, and courses in a variety of behavioral and social sciences.

This is what distinguishes a liberal arts education at a public research university: the exposure to leading scholarship and teaching in a variety of disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences, and the opportunity to explore ideas across those disciplines in classrooms, laboratories and in our communities. 

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  • The university's HR system is housed in a cloud-based SaaS called Workday.
    Cloud-based means the software, and how we connect to it, including our profiles, personnel files, and the entire interactive experience all live on someone else's servers, not located at or owned by UT. And SaaS is short for Software as a Service, which means instead of the old school way of paying for and downloading software on our devices, we pay for accessing the software from other devices, those same aforementioned servers. We don't own Workday, we don't maintain it, we pay to access it, or something along those lines.

         So it's kind of like a subscription service for music, only slightly less... musical.

    • When Workday was launched at UT the first week of November 2018, it was the start of a considerable learning curve, given how different Workday navigation is to the previous HR systems at the university. 
    • Each college has its own infrastructure based on what makes sense for their setup. At present, the College of Liberal Arts Workday infrastructure consists of a mix of directly and centrally-based processing. Some business processes are handled by the HR and Finance teams in the Dean's Office, others are handled at the dept/unit level. The centrally-processed requests have associated forms and tools that must accompany the requests to assist the central teams with accurate processing.
    • The nature of centrally-processed Workday requests can make it difficult for department and unit-level staff to have a clear understanding of how, when and by whom their requests are handled. Because admins often do not hold the security roles required to access related information, some transparency is lost along the way.
  • Transparency in Workday Processes

    With CoLA's hybrid Workday environment - some processes being handled by the department or unit, and others processed by central teams in the Dean's Office, it's easy to see how transparency can get lost along the way. Ordinarily, the answer to addressing transparency is to seek out training that would give people the tools to access the information they need.

    • The university's Workday webpage maintains access to training, self-paced and Zoom-based online Instructor-led training (ILT). While the self-paced training is easy enough to access, ILT training is less so, given access is controlled based on specific roles an employee already holds in Workday.
      • This makes it difficult to train into something you want (or need) to learn, and eventually, be able to do directly.

    While we can't change level of access or magically open up those trainings, what we can do is try to demystify Workday by sharing what we have and what we know, explaining what's involved, and who does what - which can lead to better understanding of exactly what to ask for, as well as lessen guesswork or miscommunication.

    Check out the rest of this section as we build it out with as much information as we can get our hands on. Let us know if there is something else we can bring to this site to make it more helpful for you.

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