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Monday, September 22, 2014

Comings & goings (Twin Cities, September)

Jennifer Selander re-joins the training team on Monday, September 22. She is not a new employee at the University of Minnesota nor the ASR Training Team. Jenn spent the last two years as a Business Analyst in Student Records. She is looking forward to picking up where she left off and helping out wherever training is needed. Welcome back, Jenn!

Justin Pouliot has accepted the position of Web Team Manager starting on Monday, October 6. Justin started with the University in 2006 and he has been a business analyst in FA-IT since 2011. The leadership he exhibited as a business analyst and his recently completed MS degree in Management and Technology makes this a great move for ASR-IT as well as aligning with Justin's long term career goals.

Kudos (Twin Cities)

Big congratulations to the Fall 2014 Outstanding Service Award Winners, Aileen Lively (ASR-IT), and Toni Pangborn (OCM). They were among the 12 recipients of this award conferred by OIT. They will be celebrated for their contributions at a banquet next month.

Save the date: Veterans Appreciation Event

Join fellow University of Minnesota students and staff at the 8th annual Student Veterans Appreciation Day on Thursday, November 6, 2014 from 1-3 p.m. at Coffman Memorial Union. This event is free and open to the public.

Office of Student Finance

Twin Cities first day financial aid disbursement total for fall 2014 was $147,691,758, compared to fall 2013 at $145,319,630. The University is capturing the tuition revenue earlier and changing the bill due date to an earlier time seems to have gone relatively smoothly, based on the overall number of complaints and comments received.

Changes to Graduate Student Services & Progress customer service model

Graduate Student Services & Progress (GSSP) is undergoing some changes to their staffing and customer service model. These changes will allow GSSP staff to continue to provide exceptional, timely customer service while streamlining points of contact (e.g., walk-in, phone, email).

Effective September 8, GSSP began their new phone answering system, utilizing Auto Call Distribution (ACD) functionality. This allows up to five people to call the main number (612-625-3490) at the same time. If that line is busy, they will will be able to hold to speak to someone on that same line (it won't go to voicemail). Calls will be answered in the order they are received.

Additionally, GSSP will be transitioning out of ServiceNow and into Salesforce. With the transition to Salesforce, there will no longer be "tickets" (incidents) when sending an email to gssp@umn.edu. Additionally, all interactions will now be logged on the student or staff members record for historical reference. Inquiries for GSSP should still be sent to gssp@umn.edu.

One Stop and the first week of the semester (Twin Cities)

One Stop and the first week of the semester
The first week of the semester proved to be extremely busy for the One Stop staff. In just the first week alone (Sept. 2-5):
2,381 calls were answered (average wait time was 3:46 minutes)
2,310 emails sent

  • 3,077 (STSS One Stop; HelpingU desk; Veterans Services)

  • 193 (St. Paul)

  • 414 (West Bank)

The top 5 CRM categories were:

  • Student account (billing/payment): 698

  • Financial aid (loans): 594

  • Financial aid (packaging): 351

  • Student Accounts (refunds): 192

  • Financial Aid (Disbursement): 115

Rochester Updates (September)

Our youngest campus continues to plan for the future. The University Board of Regents discussed the first-ever master plan charting the future growth and development of the Rochester campus. The plan would transform part of downtown Rochester into a 10-acre, pedestrian-only campus and weaves the campus into the fabric of downtown Rochester, while creating and maintaining a distinct identity that allows the campus to leverage intellectual and economic resources in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota.

Comings & goings (Morris, September)

Here is some very exciting news for our campuses: starting September 29, Clare Dingley will be joining the Twin Cities campus as a Business Analyst 1 working on the Academic Advisement implementation. This means Clare will be ending her time at Morris and her role on the FSC as the Morris representative. Additional details about who will take her place at Morris are not available yet. In the weeks ahead there will undoubtedly be more thank you notes and recognition of all Clare contributions, and also many welcomes and introductions. Thank you, Clare, for all your work, and for all the work yet to come!

Kudos (Morris)

UMM has again been recognized by Washington Monthly for both affordability and social engagement. Of the 386 schools included on the magazine's annual "Best-Bang-for-the-Buck" list, UMM was ranked 1st in Minnesota, 3rd among liberal arts colleges, and 36th overall. In the public-good listings, the campus was ranked 121 out of 246 notable liberal arts colleges.

Morris Updates (September)

On Monday, September 22, staff from the Twin Cities campus visited Morris to explore the adoption of APLUS for the campus. Tina Falkner, Kurt Lietzau, and Eleanor Pijut met with Jennifer Herrmann, Retention Coordinator & Morris Academic Alert system Administrator; Brenda Boever, Executive Student Personnel Worker, Office of Academic Success; Dr. Bart D. Finzel, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean, along with Morris Master Adviser. Additionally, Tina presented a FERPA workshop for the campus.

Duluth Updates (September)

Duluth will present an all-campus ESUP update on Wednesday, September 24. The event is very comprehensive and will provide information from an ESUP Overview, to breakout sessions for Student, HR, Finance, and Reporting, and Portal Session.

Comings & goings (Duluth, September)

A recent staffing change within the Office of the Registrar will have an impact on our services and ESUP involvement. Ginger Johnson has accepted a One Stop Counselor position at UMD and will transition to her new role at the end of the month. We are forming transition plans but as you are well aware, Veteran's Services is complicated and Ginger has served this population for many years. Congratulations to Ginger!

After years of dedicated service in the Business office at UMD, JoAnn Morley will retire on October 31. Interviews are in progress for her replacement and the hope is to hire soon, but it will be hard to replace JoAnn. Congratulations, JoAnn!

Kudos (Crookston)

For the second year in a row, the University of Minnesota Crookston ranks number one in the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings in the category Midwest Top Public Regional Colleges. The ranking is the 17th consecutive year the Crookston campus has appeared in the top four.

Crookston Updates (September)

  • ASTRA Classroom Scheduling is ready for implementation this spring 2015. The system will go live and produce a first, true run on October 7. We would say fingers crossed, but we are confident that all will go smoothly.

  • Key ESUP leaders will visit UMC on October 30 and 31 to demonstrate major features of the upgraded student systems, give detail on the availability and type of training resources available, addresses security and more!

  • During the first week of classes, UMC OTR staff served over 366 phone calls.

In-state tuition and the Post-9/11 GI Bill

Legislation was recently passed that grants in-state tuition for spouses and dependents of veterans that are using the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This change will go into effect July 2015. Currently, veterans are eligible for in-state tuition waivers based on their time of active duty service. The provision to expand the benefits for spouses and dependents is part of The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014.

Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding signed

The Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding (DoD MOU) was signed for all University of Minnesota system campuses on September 5. Institutions that allow students to use Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) were required to sign the DoD MOU to continue accepting these funds. By signing the agreement, institutions agree to provide information to students regarding the financial cost to attend, as well as provide academic and student support services to the service members and their families that are using FTA.