Q and A with Jacquelyn Meshelemiah
Jacquelyn Meshelemiah is an associate professor in the College of Social Work and a three-time alumna of Ohio State. She joined the Enterprise Project's Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) last spring. The FAC serves as the voice of faculty for Enterprise Project initiatives, ensuring the academy’s needs are heard and addressed throughout the project's transformational work. Below, Dr. Meshelemiah shares her thoughts on the Enterprise Project.
How did you first become involved with the Faculty Advisory Committee?
When my dean first asked me to be a part of this committee, I thought, "What for?! This is an HR/IT thing." I did not think about the value of faculty using their time in this way, until I started to go to the meetings. And the discussions were about looking at your pay stubs, ordering your supplies, knowing on the spot about your grant funding, hiring people. And I thought, "Oh, this applies to me!"
How do the FAC discussions allow you and other faculty to engage in Enterprise Project work?
The FAC meetings are very informative and hands-on. Project leaders continue to demo what’s available to show us how Workday is going to work. So, that gives us opportunities to ask questions and give recommendations as well. I find it to be so useful, and I’m appreciative that it’s broken down to baby steps so it's digestable. The project has been so thoughtful to faculty needs.
What benefits will the Enterprise Project bring to faculty specifically?
Faculty live in the "here and now" mode, especially when we’re pressed with the research and the teaching and administration and service. So, if we can do more things on our own, and Workday allows that to happen, it’s going to make life much easier for us. I think when faculty actually start to see the system, they’re not going to believe how easy and clear it is. The buttons, the commands, the landing page – they’re pretty straight-forward.
Also, one aspect I like is the mobile aspect. Now that’s exciting to me. I have receipts right here that I have not done anything with because I don’t want to scan them, then have to go to eRequest, so they’re still sitting here on my desk. If I could just click a picture on my phone, I could be done with this. I’m looking forward to mobile functionality – I believe in the power of mobile!
What guidance would you give to faculty who are hesitant about change?
The first thing I’m going to say is, I was a skeptic myself. I know what you’re feeling, I felt the very same thing…until I had the opportunity to see it. These changes are going to make our lives easier once we adjust our eyes to a new screen and new functions. On the front end, there may be a slight learning curve, but once you get past that, it’s smooth sailing.
Some people may say I’m an eternal optimist, but I’m a realist. So, I’m all about learning. The university pays us professors and researchers; they pay us to be forever learners.
And we all need to adjust to the reality: in the academy, change is inevitable. The academy would die – it would sink – if it did not continue to respond to necessary changes.
Aside from Workday, what other Enterprise Project initiatives are you excited about?
I’m excited about leveraging accurate data. I had the privilege of learning about Tableau this past year as a Faculty Fellow, and I love Tableau! It really does break down lots of data into this very beautiful visual that I love.
How will the Enterprise Project support Ohio State as an institution?
I honestly see these types of opportunities as challenges that will continue to take us to the next level. Ohio State can sometimes operate in a bunch of siloes. But this single system will bring together lots of decentralized pieces across this university. So in terms of the big picture, it’s going to make Ohio State feel a little smaller and a lot more transparent.