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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Eleanor's update

Spring has arrived and with it comes all the activity and preparation for graduating students.
As we keep our heads down and work with the many daily details to support students’ progress towards degrees we sometimes forget the bigger picture. But let’s not. Instead, let’s remember this is the time of year we can actually see the results of all those efforts: students leaving the University with degrees!

Student Records folks are making class search easier for students to find the right classes at the right time, and the Student Financial Aid group is providing Prior, Prior Year (PPY) guidance in this transition year. Student Finance folks are making sure students can continue to do business with the University electronically, and One Stop Student Services staff are continuing to promote financial wellness. Read on to learn more about all of these and other efforts contributing to student success at the University.

Sue's update

March is full of twists and turns when it comes to the weather. We started off with spring, moved into tornados, and finished with snow. This reminds me of responding to various legislative requests this year. The bill for students attending closed, for-profit higher education institutions financial aid eligibility and credit transfer authorization is on hold. The new bill brought forward recommends we accept all students that are in the top 10% of their class. Governor Dayton was not in favor of the request to support student success for the institution. There is a lot of interesting discussion occurring. Also in February, Regents Omari put forth a resolution (2:39:00) which I recommend you view.

At the Association of American Universities (AAU) registrar’s conference, many schools are targeting the Campus Solutions upgrade for later this fall. Cornell just went live over President’s Day weekend with no major issues. Other notable items from the conference include course and term compliance monitoring, student success initiatives, and filling in the financial gap for students.

Thank you for your help as we head into spring.

Internal audit update

Review the report on the internal audit findings on the 2015 PeopleSoft upgrade conducted this past fall: Campus Solutions Upgrade Audit Report. As a reminder, two surveys were developed to seek input from advisors and faculty go-tos (faculty support) on various aspects of the upgraded student system. Feedback was organized into three categories: general survey feedback on areas of concern, system issues, and common enhancement requests.

Student email lifecycle

While reviewing student degree progress data, it became known that a large number of students did not have active email addresses, even though they were listed in APLUS. Subsequent investigation revealed two issues with email lifecycle: 1) APLUS displays an email address as a formula of Internet ID + @umn.edu rather than pulling email addresses directly and 2) many email accounts had been suspended as part of a clean-up effort during the December Google Application upgrade.

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) was using the agreed-upon six terms (excluding summer) since last active term, but the start date of that term was used, effectively making it one term shorter than the intended six terms. OIT/IDM will continue using the start date of the last active term, but will now count seven terms prior to deactivation, resulting in the agreed upon six terms.

Additionally, it was discovered that students with a “leave of absence” status were being deactivated. Since this is not desired, Academic Support Resources (ASR) is continuing to work with OIT to change this.

Finally, for those of you who use APLUS, please note that the email address listed in APLUS cannot be assumed as active because of the aforementioned way that data is populated.

Learning Management System (LMS) vendor demos

The University is quickly approaching a decision on the future of its centrally supported Learning Management System (LMS). The decision is officially between two options: 1) the "Software as a Service" hosted version of Moodle (represented in the evaluation period by MoodleRooms), or 2) the Canvas LMS. This month the University community was invited to learn more about the Learning Management System (LMS) evaluation currently underway. Join in person or online as representatives from each vendor will demonstrate the features and functions of each system and answer questions. To learn more about why the University is evaluating Learning Management Systems, read the Latest LMS News: Five Things the University Community Needs to Know.

Senior administrators introduced

Dr. Scott Lanyon was introduced at the February Board of Regents meeting as the new Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education. He was appointed in 2016. The graduate school spans the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses.

Lynda Welage has been named dean of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, effective July 31, pending approval by the Board of Regents at its March meeting. As dean, Welage will be chief executive officer and chief academic officer of the College of Pharmacy, which spans the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. Welage brings extensive experience as a collaborative academic leader and an accomplished translational researcher, educator, and pharmacy practitioner.

Access Request Form (ARF) updates

The Provisioning Access Request’s (PAR) new website for Enterprise Access Requests was launched at the end of January. The new design keeps the ARF and the instructions for filling it out on one page, provides the option to expand all categories or collapse them, and replaces PDF attachments with ServiceNow workflows. There are still a few PDF forms, but the plan is that all the PDF forms will be converted to a workflow by April.