Pronouns in ctcLink Employee Self-Service: Work is Underway
The ability for employees to indicate their personal gender pronouns in the ctcLink Employee Self-Service module is a priority for the Washington state community and technical college system.
Carmen McKenzie, SBCTC Director of Data Services and co-chair of the systemwide Data Governance Committee (DGC), presents the following update on the work of the DGC Demographic Committee, also referred to as the DemoCom.
About three years ago, SBCTC was asked to implement a mechanism to collect Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) data for students and employees in ctcLink.
SOGI in Campus Solutions
An ad hoc SOGI subcommittee first met in October 2019 brought together college representatives and broad functional areas to issue a proposal in early March 2020. From there, an Enhancement Request was approved by the ctcLink Working Group in late March 2020. SOGI data collection for Campus Solutions (CS) was implemented into ctcLink on July 30, 2020.
The question of whether students and employees could also indicate their personal pronouns in ctcLink first arose during the SOGI Subcommittee’s work.
To move work forward as quickly as possible, the subcommittee decided to break these data points into two phases:
- Phase I focused on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender (sex), gender-affirming name prefixes, and gender-affirming ethnicities.
- Phase II will include analysis and a proposal concerning the business processes related to collecting student and staff names and pronouns in Human Capital Management (HCM)
SOGI in Human Capital Management
While the focus was on Campus Solutions, HCM was also included in that work.
While working on implementing the employee SOGI HCM page, it was discovered that Pronoun selection is also collected on this same page. DemoCom was consulted to determine the best way forward and decided to continue implementation of the new page including Pronoun selection with PeopleSoft-delivered fields.
Work is now underway to implement the collection of SOGI data in HCM.
Several members of the DemoCom are currently working through Phase II Pronouns implementation considerations for employees. It may seem an easy matter; however, each conversation sprouts additional branches.
The use of pronouns is delivered functionality in ctcLink PeopleSoft, but McKenzie said there has been a lot of lively discussion and disparity in which pronoun values to add.
More than just adding pronouns to a dropdown list
Here are just a few issues the DemoCom is considering during its meetings:
- Which pronouns will be configured? The list could be extensive, and we want to be inclusive.
- Where will the pronouns show up across ctcLink PeopleSoft products?
- Will a user be able to select more than one pronoun? For example, both “his” and “they”?
- Use of “Birth sex” and “Current sex” fields on the form. The new page in HCM also includes the collection of “Current Sex” and “Birth Sex.” Legal sex is already collected through an HR business process (and there is no known need to collect further sex information) so DemoCom agreed to hide these two fields on the new page. Figuring out how to hide fields on a page without customization may slow down the work. McKenzie believes it can be done through ctcLink Security settings, but this requires further research.
McKenzie said that before the DemoCom submits its Enhancement Request, the proposal will have been vetted with the college system for feedback and sign-off. This means the process takes a little bit longer, but by the time they are finished they will have ample feedback to best meet the needs of the colleges.
Pronouns still need to be implemented in CS. The CS functionality differs from HCM, so requires additional work.
Be watching your commission and council eLists for opportunities to engage with this work!
Once the DemoCom committee and college system have agreed upon the requirements, the SBCTC technical team will set an implementation timeline.
What else is the DGC Demographic Committee Working on?
In addition to the Personal Pronouns Collection project, DemoCom teams’ work includes:
- Adding custom questions to Student Self-Service to collect information required for state and federal reporting.
- Developing a proposal for appropriate use and terminology for legal, chosen, primary names, and pronouns, in ctcLink.
- Identifying and resolving associated problems with historic use of a “Primary Indicator” for Race. This topic primarily impacts HCM, with some CS impacts.
- Deployed Additional Ethnic Background Codes in September 2022 to both maintain alignment with state and federal mandates and honor the diverse backgrounds of our students and employees.
Three newly formed ad hoc DGC subcommittees comprised of systemwide representation are working on:
- Course Modality and Instruction Mode
- Continuing Education Data Quality
- Best Practices with the handling of EMPLID