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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Duo Security requirement began November 1

Over the next 12 months, as it becomes time for you to reset your password, you will also enroll in Duo Security for UMN sign-in. Technology Help is available at z.umn.edu/dotheduo.

People Tools 8.56 upgrade - Fluid navigation approach

The PeopleTools 8.56 upgrade has begun. The target date for go-live is April 7, 2019, with testing scheduled for January through March. In July of 2019, Oracle will discontinue support of our current version which prompted the timing of this upgrade.

One of the intents of this project is to move from Classic navigation to Fluid navigation for administrative users. In doing so, the header and navigation will look different, but the functionality of pages will remain unchanged. The project team continues to work on the configuration of the fluid navigation and you can expect more details in December.

Transfer Articulation and Degree Audit (TADA) project update

We have started outreach for establishing best practices. Representatives for the Twin Cities were identified by the Advising Steering Committee and there is a group established in Duluth. A few other updates:
  • The project team began testing and the core processing is performing well so far.
  • The analysis of progress to degree encoding for majors with required minors has started.
  • The team completed a rapid prototyping usability study on the audit report. This was done with students on the Duluth campus.
  • The design for how to display “in-progress” and “future term” registration with grade basis in APAS has been completed.
For more updates, see the project status on TADA website.

Fall conference updates

Fall—in-particular, October—is a heavy time of year for conferences. Here are some updates from some of the larger conferences staff attended.

Dreamforce 2018 - 9/25-28
Jenni Peterson attended Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual conference, in San Francisco from September 25-28. Dreamforce has 170,000 attendees from a variety of industries. The number of sessions focused on higher ed continues to increase every year. Highlights included learning more about Marketing Cloud communications around student retention, advisor link product, reporting tips and tricks, as well as new products coming for 2019.

2018 Transfer Specialist & DARS User conference - 10/1-4
Stephanie Sutton, Julie Klecker, Kathryn Kvam, and Laura Butchko from ASR Continuity & Compliance Degree Audit team attended the MN State Transfer Specialist & DARS User conference held at the beginning of October in Breezy Point, MN. We all use the same software (DARS/uAchieve) from CollegeSource for our transfer articulation and degree audit systems. Stephanie and Laura presented on UMNTC’s new Transfer Evaluation Process (TES), outlining the cross-departmental collaboration that happened to ensure the new process was efficient and transparent for students, staff, and anyone looking for course equivalencies at UMNTC.

Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA) - 10/14-17
A high number of MAFAA attendees contributed to a fantastic turnout as described by conference chairs. Justin Draeger, NASFAA CEO, provided an update on the upcoming midterm elections. A recap of elements of the Tax Cuts and Job Act that was signed into law in December included an endowment excise tax and amounts discharged under death and total disability as non-taxable. The last HEA passed in 2008 and technically expired in 2013. It’s unclear what reauthorization will look like if both parties control a chamber. In addition, conference attendees raised over $2,000 for Believe—training service dogs for vets.

Tableau conference - 10/22-25
Chris Johnson of ASR-IT was one of 17,000 attendees at the annual Tableau conference in New Orleans in October with over 439 sessions offered. Tableau is a business intelligence software that helps people transform data into actionable insights. Tableau’s mission is to help people see and understand their data by gaining powerful insights through visualizations. Chris is one of several ASR-IT staff who use Tableau and he is able to share his learning and experience with those individuals in order to improve the data service(s) we provide to faculty, staff, and students.

Midwest Higher Education User Group (MidHEUG) Alliance 2018 - 10/11-12
UMN was well represented and our presentations well-attended. This was a great opportunity for staff to learn and network. Sarah Hoegger presented on the new payment plan process; Max Herman, Julie Selander, and Stacey Tidball presented on the gender identity and personal pronouns project; Lana Rosario presented on navigating veterans benefits implementation; Dan Delaney on tracking diploma status; Jack Kimmes on the escheatment process; Lindsey Konerza, Stephanie Kearley, and Ken Kiehm presented on automating single term packaging; and David Norman presented a deep dive into Google Data Studio Visualization.

Big Ten Registrar’s conference - 10/14-16

Hosted by ASR at Twin Cities, a full day and a half were dedicated to discussing pressing issues submitted by each of the member institutions at the Big Ten Registrar’s conference. Topics ranged from diplomas to policy to getting our institutions ready for the cloud. New this year was an opportunity for institutions to give lightning presentations of an interesting product or initiative. Carin Anderson shared our Study Space Finder. Other examples included the academic reporting toolkit from the University of Michigan and innovative data visualizations created at the University of Wisconsin. This was a great opportunity to share, learn, and connect with our peers. Next year’s meeting will be at the University of Nebraska.

Big Ten Academic Alliance Military & Veterans - 10/8-11

Jabra Kawas, the assistant director of One Stop & University Veterans Services, attended the Big Ten Academic Alliance Military and Veterans annual meeting hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Representatives from veterans services offices from all Big Ten schools were in attendance. Workshops included a review of the Center for Wounded Veterans and Illinois Model, school updates, working with advancement and corporate relations, and an update from the Military Family Research Institute. Jabra provided a review of the University Veterans Services annual report and led a discussion on navigating politics in higher education. Next year’s conference will be held at Indiana University. The University of Minnesota is scheduled to host in 2024.

Big Ten Bursars Conference - 10/14-16

Tom Schmidt, from Student Account Assistance in the Office of Student Finance at Twin Cities, attended the annual Big Ten Bursars meeting hosted by Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. A full day and a half were dedicated to discussing pressing issues submitted by each of the member institutions. Discussions covered billing, cashiering, customer service, collections, financial aid disbursement, credit balance refunds, student loans, student retention, tax issues, and more. During the meeting, Rutgers did a session on what things they do around media. They talked about how they analyzed their website to determine what they needed to concentrate on and how they analyzed the changes to see how usage improved. Their bursar’s office also talked about how they started a YouTube channel where their staff has created short videos around the work they do or items that students need to know about.

Big Ten Financial Aid Associate Directors conference - 10/17-19

The Twin Cities hosted 30 guests for the 1.5-day conference. Participants submit questions ahead of time, with answers provided in writing, and followed by an in-person discussion of topics including administration, policy, customer service, and processing. Tina Falkner provided the warmest welcome with our own Honeycrisp apples and the story behind them. These meetings are a great chance to measure ourselves against our peers in a non-competitive way, to share best practices and solicit advice on common challenges like summer sessions and the use of student employees. Interestingly, the University of Wisconsin-Madison accepts SNAP benefits through their convenience store food stores on campus, but not the cafeteria/dining centers. There seemed to be an even split between schools providing PJ (professional judgment) forms online versus after a pre-screen contact. Also of interest is that almost all of the schools plan to award new freshman between December and mid-February, with continuing students awarded from January to June. The University of Minnesota Twin Cities intends to send our awards out mid-to-late February and July respectively.

Astra Aspire - 10/14-17
Christine Mounts and Bob Quinney from Office of Classroom Management had an opportunity to attend the Astra Aspire users' conference. Bob presented on system administration and Christine presented on users and security roles.

With the University's upgrade to Astra Schedule's newest version still pending in the testing phases, the conference provided an excellent opportunity to network with other Ad Astra client schools, get a heads up from developers on product roadmaps, and hear directly about improvements being made to Astra Schedule v.8. There was also ample room to provide feedback and input on potential enhancements for future releases as well as on current product functionality and performance.

Institute for Student Services Professionals (ISSP)
At this year’s ISSP conference, six One Stop representatives attended valuable learning sessions, had a tour through the Buckeye Link at The Ohio State University (similar to our One Stop), and presented information to more than 220 colleagues from other institutions of higher education. Tom Taff and Julie Selander presented information to help other institutions better demonstrate the value and impact of their student services work. They showed how One Stop Student Services uses Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and student records for new approaches in data analysis and visualization to “tell the story” of student services and student success. Ian Macomber, Trinity Muller, Maia Noll, and Julie Selander presented concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion and how One Stop Student Services has been empowering staff to lead this important work to create a more inclusive workplace and welcoming experiences for students.

UMACRAO Conference - 11/7-9
Registrars and admissions staff from North Dakota, South Dakota, Manitoba, Minnesota, and Iowa met on various topics: GDPR, commencement practices, social media, and FERPA roundtables. Other sessions on social justice and inclusion, customer service improvements, serving veterans, prior learning assessment, withdrawal policy implementation, and several other pertinent sessions.

New Error & Incident form

ASR maintains an Error & Incident reporting form, used to report and track system or service problems that may impact faculty, staff, and/or students. This week, a refreshed Error & Incident (E&I) reporting form was made available: https://asrprojects.umn.edu/error-and-incident-report. A new E&I process guide is also available. This document outlines how to complete the form, communication outcomes, and follow up steps that might be needed. There are also instructions about ServiceNow access and data archiving plans.

Please update your bookmarks and anywhere you may have the form linked for others to access. The form is also linked from the ASR Intranet, the ASR Projects site, and will be updated on other staff resources by individual units.

The Error & Incident form received a facelift to make the process smoother, more user-friendly, and flexible for varied situations. Built in Drupal Lite, it addresses many pain points of the old form. Improvements include:
  • Allows for dynamic questions based on the status of an incident
  • Connects ServiceNow ticket information
  • Generates a ServiceNow ticket at the same time as submitting and E&I notice
  • Allows for easy communication between the E&I communication group members, including the person who submitted the E&I notice
  • Creates communications with unique subject lines to avoid Gmail truncating different reports into a single conversation
  • Provides the ability for a submitter to attach screenshots, images, documents, or links to shared files to either illustrate the incident, or aid in the solution

New GPAS exceptions system is live

A new, online exceptions system for Graduate Planning and Audit System (GPAS) became available October 29, 2018. The new system was built to better support timely degree progress and graduation for graduate students enrolled in GPAS-implemented programs/colleges. With this launch, exceptions are processed within PeopleSoft rather than via a paper process, allowing for automated communications and more efficient processing.

OIT prepares for transition from Transform to Perceptive Content tool

OIT continues to progress through set-up and discovery of the new e-forms tool, Jadu’s Perceptive Content Portal, which will replace TransForm beginning in early 2019. The selection of Jadu centered around the need to have a tool that the end users, the folks who own the processes, could configure rather than relying on a workflow developer to do the bulk of the work. This new tool will allow for the majority of work to be done on the business level while working with OIT for additional data integrations and deployment.

The vendor was on campus for a few days in early October to conduct technical training for the Document Management Team and facilitate installation planning. OIT will hold a kickoff meeting for the first pilot round in mid-November to review rollout plan, roles and responsibilities during the pilot, and how first-round transitions will help develop OIT business processes and training. Training of first phase participants is scheduled for early December with the development of Transform processes starting in early January.

Academic Support Resources will be transitioning the current Twin Cities processes for Tuition Refund Appeal and Change of Expected Graduation Term, and the Twin Cities and Rochester process for Cost of Attendance Appeal for undergraduate and graduate students. We have been instructed to transition these processes in their current state with needed content and workflow tweaks, and prepare them for adding usage by other UMN campuses, if interested, in a future project phase.

OIT is planning a phased rollout of Jadu. Select units currently using TransForm will be in the first pilot phase, followed by the rest of TransForm users prior to an enterprise-wide roll out. OIT has asked the future users to please be patient during their current set up and pilot phases. They will be releasing further information to the full UMN community as business practices are developed.