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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Eleanor's update (September 2017)

Another fall term has started, and all our various groups are steaming full speed ahead. There are a multitude of projects in the works, not the least of which is the CS PS 9.2 Upgrade with the phase 1 technical upgrade going live this weekend. You can read more about this below.

We have begun our annual campus visits with our first visit to the Crookston campus two weeks ago, and the Duluth campus visit is scheduled for the end of next week. These visits are whirlwinds. The face-to-face conversations are always full of interesting information and never fail to energize me. Just like I hope the information in this newsletter energizes you for the new academic year ahead.

Sue's update (September 2017)

Fall term is off and running again. I love seeing the students on campus. It is always my favorite time of year with all the fall activities. The Board of Regents had their September session under their new format and I heard it went well. Lori Carrell, Interim Chancellor, UMR; Sandra Olson-Loy, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UMM; and Robert McMaster, Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education, UMTC presented on the system-wide enrollment planning retreat.

The purpose of this item is to discuss the work of the System Enrollment Management Workgroup and seek strategic direction from the Board as the work moves forward. The discussion will address matching aspirations with resources, state and national enrollment environment, the University’s enrollment environment and challenges, alignment with the System-wide Strategic Plan Framework, and recommendations from the workgroup. Detailed information begins on page 39 of the MIS docket materials.

I am excited to be visiting the campuses with a few others. We went to Crookston first and we had an outstanding meeting. There was a lot of great discussion, terrific feedback, and I learned so much from everyone. I look forward to visiting the rest of you as well.

OIT annual data center maintenance outage/WBOB outage

OIT has announce it’s annual outage dates for the first weekend of January 2018. This service outage currently includes PeopleSoft and other applications. View affected services.

System-wide strategic plan update

The completion of a system-wide strategic plan incorporating an academic program investment strategy and a long-term financial framework is one of the Board’s priorities for the year ahead. President Kaler provided an update on the system-wide strategic planning at the September Board of Regents meeting. He plans to appoint a Strategic Planning Oversight Committee, which will coordinate planning efforts around five strategic focus areas:
  1. Research and discovery
  2. Outreach and public engagement
  3. Teaching and learning
  4. Medicine and health
  5. Supporting the mission

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) proposed rule struck down

On August 31 the Obama-era-proposed rule making millions of more Americans eligible for overtime pay was struck down on the basis the Labor Department set an excessively high salary threshold to determine which employees are exempt from overtime. US District Judge Amos Mazzant’s ruling affects an estimated 4.2 million workers who would have been eligible for time-and-a-half wages for each hour they put in beyond 40 a week.

The decision was widely anticipated after Mazzant granted a preliminary injunction in late November, blocking the Obama administration’s effort to extend overtime pay to millions more workers, after 21 states and dozens of business groups asserted that the rule was unlawful and would cause them irreparable harm. The new rule would have taken effect on December 1, 2016.

Multi-institutional enrollment process review underway

A system-wide group has been convened and is meeting monthly to review the multi-Institutional enrollment process. Some of the areas of concern being tackled relate to the timing of the tuition adjustments, the need to update participation information and the application, and a thorough review of the program and processes to provide transparency and access to information for both staff and students. Already implemented this fall, tuition adjustments were done earlier, and several public queries were created to assist staff in identifying program participants. Look for updates in the future as work continues.

New OCM website to launch in October

The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) will launch their newly designed website on Tuesday, October 3. The site's domain will remain the same (www.classroom.umn.edu), however specific page URLs will change. When the site launches there will be redirects (instances that redirect your browser from one URL to another) in place for commonly accessed pages so you can continue to find what you need. Additionally, a feedback form for the new site will be available.

The site has a new menu structure for better navigation and pages with streamlined content. Content includes classroom technology instructions, scheduling applications, and information about Classroom Technical Services (CTS) including audio/visual equipment design and installation information.

OCM's new site has been built on the Drupal 8 content management system and provides a better mobile experience for users. It is the first ASR website to use Drupal 8, the latest version of the University's preferred content management platform.