All posts by Carla Herling

Internal department sites coming to myDrake Sept. 23

In an effort to better target communications to both internal and external audiences, ITS and University Communications and Marketing are collaborating to expand myDrake. This team has been developing an internal website (intranet) to house campus-facing information securely, and provide an easier path to navigate to forms, instructions, department news, and other key information for the Drake community. This internal website (intranet) is built on the same platform as the myDrake campus portal and the new navigation page will become available from myDrake on the evening of Sept. 23.

A new link called Department Sites will be added to the Campus Resources section of myDrake and will initially take you to existing departmental sub-sites on ITS will be working with departments to move selected content into the new internal website and out of

If your department would like to volunteer to be an early adopter, please reach out to Jeff Regan at

— Carla Herling, ITS

Direct Travel: Drake’s new non-athletic travel partner

Drake University made a change to its travel program earlier this spring switching to Direct Travel as its new travel management partner for all non-athletic departments.  Drake Universityand Direct Travel have been working closely over the past few months to ensure a seamless transition with minimal impact to our travelers and overall travel program.    

As the University begins to allow some travel again, we wanted to take this opportunity to outline how to get set up with Direct Travel.

 A few items to note:

  • Existing travel profiles including preferences, loyalty numbers, unused tickets, etc were transferred to Direct Travel
  • The phone number is still 877-263-2550
  • New agent support email address:  
  • New Direct Travel Itineraries (Direct2U)

Online Booking Tool
Drake University is using Etta powered by Deem as its online booking tool.  Etta provides business travelers an effortless and modern booking experience including enhancements like Deem’s innovative Travel SafetyCheck which presents hotel neighborhood safety scores as well as current and historical COVID related information in the selected area.  Setting up your Direct Travel profile is easy!  Just follow these simple steps.  Watch the training video for step-by-step instructions on how to book your first trip!

In the coming weeks, we will continue to share information about our travel program, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email  

— Heather Winslow, Administrative Services Specialist

All Staff Council presents: Walking the Dog

Grab your walking shoes and join the All Staff Council in walking the Bulldog Mile every Friday at noon from Oct. 1–Nov. 19.

It’s simple: show up at the start of the Bulldog Mile (sidewalk southeast of the Olmsted Center) and follow the signage and large blue paw prints while enjoying the fresh air and a conversation with a colleague. An ASC committee member will greet you (weather permitting), and walk the Bulldog Mile with you. We look forward to seeing you there!

Sydni Jennings, Dean’s Office, CPHS

Join this year’s Healthiest State Walk

Grab your walking shoes and join this year’s Healthiest State Walk on Wednesday, Oct. 6.

We know that you spend a lot of time working, and it is important to find ways to prioritize staying healthy and active. The Iowa Healthiest State 11th Annual Walk, presented by Delta Dental of Iowa, is a great way to get started, or keep moving.

To mitigate risk, we will not meet as a large group to start the walk together this year. Instead, we are asking faculty, staff, and students to take a break sometime during the day on Oct. 6 and go for a walk. Thirty minutes is ideal, but any amount of time is great. If you are on campus, walk the Bulldog Mile. This one-mile path begins on the sidewalk east of the Olmsted Center. Just follow the signage and big blue paw prints.

As an added bonus, everyone who sends an email to after they complete their Healthiest State Walk will be placed in a drawing for a chance at prizes.

Let’s get moving and “Walk the Dog”—the “Bulldog Mile!”

Linda Feiden, Human Resources

Called to be True Blue

Ann Guddall and Marietta Jackson were surprised with True Blue awards by the All Staff Council Recognition Committee this month.

Ann Guddall, budget manager, Academic Affairs, was recognized for “being reliable and generous with her time and expertise. Ann leads the academic budget officers and does so with thoughtful and clear communication. She is always direct and always professional. She has fostered so much teamwork among the BOMs.” Ann is a true example of We are All in This Together. She was nominated by Drinda Williams.

Marietta Jackson, Sodexo manager, was recognized for “always having a smile on her face and being happy to go the extra mile to make sure everything goes smoothly at the register and behind the counter. Marietta is the pentacle of customer service and is very welcoming to all.” Marietta is a true example of Joyful Accountability. She was nominated by Teresa Downs.

If you would like to recognize a staff member for being True Blue, visit our webpage to learn more and submit a nomination.

Drake Law School’s Laurie Doré and Mark Bennett selected for Supreme Court task force

The Supreme Court’s task force to review the Iowa Rules of Evidence will include Laurie Doré, Ellis and Nelle Levitt Distinguished Professor of Law, and the Honorable Mark W. Bennett, director of the Drake University Law School Institute for Justice Reform and Innovation. Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen established the Iowa Rules of Evidence Substantive Review Task Force to evaluate and recommend substantive updates to the Rules of Evidence. The task force is charged with comparing the Iowa Rules of Evidence to their federal counterparts, identifying differences, and providing input to the Supreme Court regarding conforming changes.

Professor Doré is an expert on Iowa evidence and civil procedure. She has authored the Iowa Practice Series, Vol. 7: Evidence (West) since 2009. She has taught Evidence at Drake Law School since 1992.  Hon. Mark W. Bennett (ret.) served a total of 28 years on the bench as a U.S. district court judge in the Northern District of Iowa (1994-2019; chief judge 2000-2007) and U.S. magistrate judge in the Southern District of Iowa (1991-1994.) He has presided over more than 300 jury trials in six federal courts spanning the Middle District of Florida to the District of the Northern Mariana Islands and has authored numerous articles on improving trial practice.

“We are proud of the experience and expertise Judge Bennett and Professor Doré offer this process,” said Jerry Anderson, Dean of Drake Law School. “They will be invaluable assets to the important work of this task force.”

— Theresa Howard, Law School

Community Engaged Learning faculty conversations

This fall the Office of Community Engaged Learning is facilitating a Community of Practice focused on Changemaking.

Changemaking has become the umbrella term we are using to inspire a culture of students with a bias toward action—whether as an entrepreneur or engaged citizen—to challenge prevailing social issues. It is also the theme of our spring Global Citizen Forum and one of the priority themes of our next comprehensive campaign.

If you missed our first Changemaking 101 session, a recording of the session is available on the CEL website. (Select the Community of Practice drop down).

 Our second session, “Moving from Direct Service to Social Innovation: The Drake Way,” is scheduled for Oct. 5 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Building upon our Changemaking 101 session (slides attached, review the recording by clicking the Community of Practice drop down) we will dig into what Changemaking can look like in practice at Drake and continue to explore the Grinnell Service and Social Innovation model in context to Drake’s culture and campus. We will also introduce the Pathways of Civic Action and Social Change, explore Drake examples in action, and provide room for you to share current social change projects you and your students are working on.

Please contact Renee Sedlacek Lee, director of Community Engaged Learning, at to register.

Renee Cramer, Provost’s Office

Task force for remote and flexible work update: The home stretch

If you have been monitoring our updates, you already know that the task force has been busy examining options for staff policies addressing remote work and flexible work arrangements. The task force is currently putting its recommendations in writing and finalizing some related draft documents. At present, the task force remains on track to complete its work in the first week of October.

From the perspective of the task force members, this has been a really interesting journey, but not necessarily an easy one. We are trying to think about a post-crisis landscape, while we still navigate through the existing pandemic. We also recognize that Drake is a complex organization and options that may work beautifully in one unit may not be feasible in another. We do not want to make recommendations that are so broad that they are useless, yet they cannot be so specific that they lack the flexibility to be applicable across the institution.

The task force has come to appreciate that Drake made some adjustments—and possibly even some compromises—during the darkest days of the pandemic because we had to. In examining practices for long-term adoption, we must apply a different lens. For purposes of the task force’s work, we have focused on sustainable change and modernization of how the institution can manage and engage staff.

Nevertheless, the task force is optimistic about what lies ahead. “From the survey results to industry articles, it is clear that employees desire increased flexibility and autonomy in determining how they accomplish the tasks of their role. While this requires a needed shift to assessing performance based on productivity versus presence, I believe we can collectively excel,” observes task force member Andy Verlengia, director of Alumni Relations.

In the end, we hope our hard work and recommendations will help the institution take an important and lasting step forward. We would like to think that this is an example of positive change and meaningful collaboration stemming from a most challenging time—a silver lining for both the institution and its staff.

— Maureen De Armond, Human Resources

Great Colleges To Work For: Focus on communication

In last week’s OnCampus, the Drake community reviewed highlights from the 2021 Great Colleges To Work For (GC2WF) survey. Based on themes in survey responses, three focus areas have been identified for the year. As a reminder these are:

  1. Ensure a consistent and robust cascade of communication;
  2. Facilitate re-connection and attend to our culture; and
  3. Leverage internal, professional development opportunities for leaders.

While the GC2WF survey results are insightful and enlightening for big picture purposes, we need to drill deeper to identify concrete opportunities for improvement for each of these three focus areas. Your targeted suggestions and specific ideas for change and innovation in each area are what we need now. From there, we will work on pulling together proposals and initiatives for concentrated efforts in each these areas.

For the next few weeks, we’ll focus on idea-gathering relating to the first priority. Please share your ideas on ensuring a consistent and robust cascade of communication is shared with and accessible to faculty and staff.

How can you contribute?

First, you can complete this short survey. It consists of 3 questions asking for your ideas, suggestions, and observations about communication. The survey should only take a couple minutes, but it will be of tremendous help to us. This survey is open now and will be open through Oct. 5.

Another option is to attend one of two virtual brain-storming sessions. In these sessions, we will first talk a bit more about the GC2WF survey, review existing communication practices, and then we’ll share ideas for how to improve communication practices:

  • Communication Brainstorming Session 1: Thursday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Join via Teams.
  • Communication Brainstorming Session 2: Friday, Sept. 24, from 2–3 p.m. Join via Teams.

In future OnCampus issues, we’ll share your feedback and focus on what actions can be taken to ensure there is a consistent and robust cascade of communication. Once we feel we have a firm plan of action addressing the first priority, we’ll move on to the second priority focusing on connection and culture.

Quick Note on Pulse Surveys: Drake regularly relies on surveys to gather ideas and feedback. As a reminder, the GC2WF survey in the spring and the Administrative Services survey in the fall are the two primary annual surveys used to gather regular and general feedback from campus. Some colleges and departments conduct targeted annual surveys as well.

You should also expect to see periodic invitations to respond to short, pulse surveys—such as the one linked above—designed to solicit either quick feedback or diver deeper into a narrow topic. While we expect employees to participate in the GC2WF and Administrative Services surveys and comply with college or department expectations for responding to targeted surveys, pulse surveys are optional, even if participation is encouraged and helpful.

— Maureen De Armond, Human Resources, and Nate Reagan, President’s Office