Go to the U of M home page

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Twin Cities updates (November 2015)


Student Financials Updates

  • 1098-T: SF IT staff and Student Accounts Assistance in OSF are working on data preparation steps and testing the PeopleSoft bundle changes will occur in November and December. System campus finance staff will be reviewing setup in December for accuracy.
  • Spring 2016 tuition setup: This is in progress and expected to be completed by requested dates for each campus. Departments/colleges were reminded that updates to fees for spring should be made in TFMS so they are included in the initial calculations.
  • SF system fixes:  A fix for the bill “Remit To” address will move to production on November 22. An update to the MyU: My Finances tab payment plan link is in testing now. 

Destiny One Registration System (DORS) update  
This system is intended to assist students in registering for professional and personal development courses, certificates, and conferences. The rollout and adoption of DORS continues at a very fast pace, which is exciting. There are potential new users contacting us each week. Duluth CE is testing now and we had a call with Crookston on November 16 to formally introduce them to the system.

We want to remind colleges/units who have non-credit registration needs that there are choices available when selecting a system. The Events Calendar, Tickets and DORS Matrix is a resource the ASR Destiny Team collaborated on to allow potential users a quick glance at the functionality provided by each tool. If you are interested to see the offerings that are currently live and open for enrollment, please visit learning.umn.edu.

Carolee Cohen recognized with IT@UMN Outstanding Service Award
Ten University IT staff received an IT@UMN Outstanding Service Award for their contributions to the mission of IT@UMN. The biannual award recognizes those demonstrating high performance in the areas of creativity, organizational abilities, work success and teamwork. Among this year's recipients was Academic Support Resources' Carolee Cohen. Congratulations, Carolee!

Student Records IT

  • Danita Jorgensen hired as Senior/Lead Business Analyst 4
  • Aileen Lively has returned as is working part time (16 hours a week) on special assignments

One Stop Student Services

Class Time Conflict Form & Regents Scholarship Workflow Gen Project
The current Class Time Conflict form is being reinvented. Academic Support Resources staff are simplifying the approval process for students, staff, and faculty by converting this paper process to an online workflow. The WorkflowGen process is being developed with input from students, staff, and faculty. This form was selected for an electronic workflow based on the volume received in One Stop. The next WorkflowGen project is for the Regents Scholarship form/process which will have a kick-off meeting in the next week.

GSSP move to One Stop completed
Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has completed the transition into One Stop Student Services at the Bruininks Hall location. While the staff, phone numbers, and emails have not changed, the physical location has changed from Williamson Hall to Bruininks Hall. During the transition time, there was minimal service disruption to students and other constituencies. At this point, service has been fully integrated into the One Stop model in Bruininks Hall and has been met with positive feedback from current graduate and professional students.

New staff in One Stop
One Stop Student Services is excited to welcome four new One Stop Counselors to the
team! The start date for these counselors is Monday, November 30. With experiences
ranging from financial wellness work to residence life to sales, we are confident that they
will be great additions to the team. Here is a bit more information on them:

  • Ian Macomber: graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a BA in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. Ian currently works for a private housing/leasing agency and has worked as a student worker in One Stop.
  • Johanna Lowrey: graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a BA in Psychology and Liberal Arts. Johanna currently works at 3M in Product Sales.
  • Laura Weisner: graduated from The Ohio State University with a BA in Psychology and Communication and from Ball State University with a MA in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education. Laura currently works at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Residence Life.
  • Karen Magness-Pokornowski: graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a BS in Psychology and an MA in Higher Education Administration. Karen currently works at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst but previously worked at St. Kate's in financial wellness.

Rochester updates (November 2015)

Scholarship & Donor Banquet
On October 29, our annual scholarship banquet was held to honor more than 50 current UMR students have been awarded scholarships from 23 generous donors. Student accomplishments were recognized and gratitude expressed to the generous scholarship donors who assist in funding the education of some of our outstanding students. The night included presentations from three UMR students who shared their personal stories and why they chose UMR.

Month of Giving Campaign
UMR’s students and staff participated in a “Month of Giving” during October. Activities included donating nonperishable food items to Channel One, collecting change and donations for the Women's Shelter, a Make a Difference community service day.

Gail Sauter honored with Lamp of Knowledge Award
Gail Sauter, Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations, has spent a lifetime working in higher education in Rochester. Gail was recently presented with the Lamp of Knowledge Award at the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Celebration. The award is given to an individual, business, or organization associated with the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce that actively supports higher education partnerships in Southeastern Minnesota. Recipients show a commitment to fostering higher education opportunities.

Comings and goings

  • BS Health Professions Transfer Success Coach position: UMR is currently seeking a BSHP Transfer Success Coach. This position will provide leadership in coordinating and executing the recruitment, application, and matriculation plan for BSHP transfer students to UMR. Please refer to the employment website for additional information.
  • Janet Crittenden retired from the University of Minnesota November 2 upon the completion of her contract with the Rochester campus. Janet was critical in establishing much of Rochester’s student business practices for registrar functions, One Stop, and student finance.

Morris updates (November 2015)

Chancellor search committee convenes
The first week in November, Peh Ng, Chancellor Search Committee Chair, Ann Yates, Search Consultant, and Jon Steadland, Office of the President, held listening sessions for the Morris campus and community to solicit feedback on essential characteristics for the next chancellor.

One Stop and Financial Aid news
On November 5, Morris served as one of the host sites around the state for the annual Statewide Financial Aid Conference. One Stop Student Services presented the material to a number of area school counselors and community organizations.

Annual Scholarly Accomplishments Event
The campus gathered on November 10 for the annual Celebration of Scholarly Accomplishments that showcases faculty, staff, and retirees’ research and artistic activities from the past year.

Office of the Registrar 
Morris spring registration began on November 16. Student advising sessions are underway.

Duluth updates (November 2015)

Recently completed the conversion of student loan accounts from Campus Partners to Heartland ECSI. ECSI’s system went live for borrowers on Monday, November 16.

Comings and goings
Financial Collections has officially filled the loan collector position by promoting Nichole Gryskiewicz effective November 2. A search has started to fill the Principal Accounts Specialist position vacated by Nichole.

Crookston updates (November 2015)

Higher Learning Commission visits Crookston
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) was on campus November 9-11. Meetings with the various constituents on campus went very well, largely due to the advance preparation by staff.

Regents visit Crookston
Four members of the Board of Regents visited campus in late October, where they attended multiple open forums with faculty, staff, and students and toured the campus.

New spaces
The Admissions Department vacated their shared office space in mid-September leaving the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships a plethora of space.
The new $15 million Wellness Center is currently under construction and scheduled to open summer 2016.

Comings and goings
An analysis of the Admissions Department is being conducted by our interim Admissions Director, Bill Cleaveland, U of MN Twin Cities. This review will assist in creating a new job description for the Admissions Director, which should be posted early next year.

Barb Phaiah has been hired for a full-time position in OTR as Principle Office & Administrative Specialist, starting November 9. For the last two years, Barb has been working in OTR at a 75% appointment as a Office Support Assistant.

OTR is in the process this week of interviewing several candidates to fill another Principle Office & Administrative Specialist position related to the review of transcripts being shifted to OTR.

University-wide updates (November 2015)

System One Stop Website Project
The System One Stop Website Steering Committee and Content Strategy Subcommittee has been working hard to collect and analyze data and feedback regarding all the campus needs for the new site as phase one to create the content strategy nears the end. Additional information can be viewed in the October project status update.

Student veterans celebrated
Student veterans were celebrated this month on several campuses. Take a look at the events held across our campuses in expression of appreciation.

At Crookston the Jazz Band celebrated veterans during November 13 and November 14  concert performances at the local VFW, featuring music from the 1920's, 30's and 40's.  The concerts included several patriotic numbers, honoring veterans and their service to our country.

On Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11, UMD  hosted a  free open house in appreciation of its veterans, military members, and their families in the Kirby Garden. Glensheen, the historic Congdon estate, offered free standard tours for all veterans of the armed services, active service members, and their accompanied families. Also for the 5th year UMD has been honored with the Military Friendly School designation by Victory Media.

Vice Chancellor Bryan Herrmann represented  Morris in honoring our student veterans at a community wide celebration held at the Morris Area High School on November 11. This is the fifth year Morris has been honored with the Military Friendly School designation by Victory Media.

Twin Cities hosted the 9th annual Student Veterans Appreciation Day  on November 17. The event was held to honor University of Minnesota student veterans' sacrifice and service to our country. The free event included pizza and games provided for all attendees; information fair for veterans with resources from the University and the community; and relaxation resources: PAWS, a masseuse from Boynton, and Reiki courtesy of CSPH. First 200 student veterans received a commemorative coffee mug or water bottle. The public was invited to stop by to leave a written thank-you message to our veterans.

Sue's update (November 2015)

I enjoyed seeing many of you for our system campus meeting earlier and only wish we could get together more frequently. We had a lot of cross functional sessions that were so worthwhile. I truly believe we work very well as a team and focus on the University and its students.

The Budget Office is scheduling meetings with Crookston, Rochester, and Morris during the December Regents’ meeting to discuss the Regents’ process card. Eleanor and I have been invited to attend and she’ll provide you updates from those meetings. I believe they are scheduling a campus visit with Duluth.

We have received some applications for the Office of Student Finance director position. Jeremy Todd will be leading a small search committee to determine if we have viable candidates. If they believe we can move to interviews, all of you will be invited to participate. We will keep you posted.

The Education Advisory Board and Student Success Collaborative Corporation (EAB, SSC) is reaching out to your campuses. As I have mentioned them briefly, we will be evaluating the predictive information this spring to see if it provides the University with information we currently don’t have available to us. I hear they are reaching out to some of your campuses, please do not sign up as we set the Statement of Work up for all campuses and we are providing them with all campuses data. Feel free to give me a call for more information.

As registration has started, we all continue to work with passion and pride for the success of the student experience. Thank you.

Please continue to reach out to me with any questions you may have on any topic.

Eleanor's update (November 2015)

The fall all campus in-person meeting has come and gone. It seems we never have enough time together to do all the things we’d like to do, and the meeting evaluation results support that sentiment. Thank you to those who responded to the evaluation. I’ll be looking at the interesting dynamic between wanting more team time and wanting more cross functional opportunities and seeking to create ways to meet both desires going forward.


Value of whole meeting
Value of the general session
Value of the team session
Value of the reception
Some survey comments:
  • It would be nice to have a "mixer" of sorts. We just sat with our own campus - not as valuable as mixing us up. We need help with being mixed up...
  • I really appreciated the time we had for our small working groups. This was of utmost value!
  • Suggest sharing across the various areas with the whole group, such as top 5 things each group is working on.
  • The ability to meet in person with dedicated "chunks of time" is always helpful and meaningful.
  • More times for open dialogue or meetings among the group. When sharing what each unit is doing, more time for questions and answers.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Update on system One Stop meetings

After the upgrade, representatives from the various One Stop offices across the system decided to start a working group similar to the SR, FA, and SF functional steering committees to discuss and work through issues that face students and other customers. The group has started to meet every other week on Thursday afternoons. Representatives from each campus are: Jill Beauregard & Lori Kurpiers (UMM), Brenda Herzig & Jody O'Connor (UMD), Laura Walker (UMR), Melissa Dingmann (UMC), and Carrie Otto & Nate Peterson (UMTC).

One Stop Student Services begins with a busy start of the term

One Stop's fall traffic has been feeling the effects of upgrade related changes in business processes and systems problems. Within the week prior and the first week of classes there were 6,058 calls answered, 6,566 walk-ins, and 6,677 emails sent to customers. Overall, this is approximately a 15% increase in traffic from last year at the start of the term.

Destiny One Registration System (DORS) update

The Destiny One Registration System (DORS) is live and the rollout continues across the University community. There are currently 9 units live in production with 12 more testing and soon to be live. There have been over 200 users trained in the system and the interest keeps growing. Duluth will be the first system campus to utilize the new solution. A few additional fun facts to date:

  • $395,000 in registration revenue 
  • 1,423 enrollments in 107 different courses and 179 sections

If you are interested to learn more about this solution visit our website or contact us at dorshelp@umn.edu.

Office of the Registrar (Twin Cities) - September 2015

In addition to supporting the Bundle 38 regs release, SR IT has several initiatives that we are looking forward to delivering soon including: a new Mid Term Roster Report for Advisees; improvements to the Official Degree Granted report and the Discontinued Students Report; a fix for deleting Education Abroad data; Student Attribute update process setup fix (QBU); correction to auto drop Facility ID (room) for class changes when appropriate.  Also, transfer credit backbridge issues continue to be a focus.

ASR-IT (Twin Cities) - September 2015

The BA's are working on getting Bundle 38 (Regs 4) tested for September 27,migration date. And along with the bundle, FA has production fixes going in for MSG, Work Study and FA Term for the september implementation. The Student Financials team continues to work with each campus to refine the setup for the payment plans. A production fix for the issues with the direct deposit set-up for adding a bank account is also being tested.

Rochester Updates - September 2015


Finish in 4 Scholarship Gift
A gift from a Rochester area businessman helped the University of Minnesota Rochester reach a milestone with a gift that puts total donations received since the school opened in 2006 at more than $1 million.

Sophomore Suppers
Recognizing the challenges that sophomores encounter, UMR has created the Sophomore Supper Series—a free, sophomore-only monthly event that is part of a broader Student Stress Inoculation initiative. The first event, held September 8 at the People’s Co-op with the theme of nutrition, was well received by students.

Comings & goings

New Hires

  • Barry Standorf - Facilities & Operations Coordinator
  • Cassandra Bologna - Executive Office and Administrative Specialist - Human Resources
  • Crosby King - Admissions Representative
  • John Hachtel - Director of Marketing and Communications
  • Rachel Nguyen - Admissions Representative
  • Robert Reese - Health CORE Coordinator
  • Will Harmon - Residential Life Director

Morris Updates - September 2015


UMM named a Top Public Liberal Arts College
U.S. News and World Report has released its 2016 college rankings, naming UMM one of the nation's Top Public Liberal Arts Colleges. This is the 17th consecutive year in which UMM has been included on this list. The campus also was included on the "A-Plus Schools for B Students" and "Foreign Student Factor" lists.

Duluth Updates - September 2015

Updates/ Projects


  • The Reverse Transfer project with Lake Superior College will begin next month. 
  • The ELSi program at UMD will begin spring 2016. 
  • UMD successfully supported the new MN Board of Teaching requirements for spring and summer graduates but is interested in confirming what other campuses having students do in order to comply. 
  • This week the ABET accreditation team was on campus. Their questions for the Registrar centered around prerequisite checking, enforcement of prerequisites and exception decisions.  
  • Duluth is looking forward to seeing demo of APLUS and learning from the implementation experiences of our colleagues. 
  • Associate Professor Jill Jenson has been appointed the director of the Center for Writing and Learning Excellence; there are some exciting collaborations underway in this area. 

Student Finance
The ECSI to Campus Partners conversion has been delayed by one month; the conversion will now happen on November 1. Implementation planning is already in progress.


Among the top in the region
UMD is ranked 7th on the list of Top Public Schools in the Midwest in U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges 2016." Placing 36th in Regional Universities Midwest, UMD also received high rankings for its business and engineering programs.

Comings & goings

  • Steve Keto has been hired as the vice chancellor for finance and operations. A UMD alumnus, he most recently worked as the associate vice chancellor at North Carolina State University, where he oversaw the Budget Office, Controller's Office, Office of Contracts and Grants, and Office of Cost Analysis. Keto begins Oct. 1
  • Melissa Honkola has been hired as the director of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity. 

Crookston Updates - September 2015


Higher Learning Commission seeks public comment on UMC
University of Minnesota Crookston is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. UMC will host a November 9-11 visit with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Learn more >

Transcript Evaluation
Transcript evaluation will be transitioning from Admissions to the Office of the Registrar during the fall semester.  A job description is being developed and will be posted in the next few weeks.


UMC in U.S. News rankings
For the 18th consecutive year, the University of Minnesota Crookston ranks among the top public colleges according to U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges 2016." The campus placed second in the Midwest Top Public Regional Colleges category. Additionally, the campus ranked 34th nationally in the Best Online Degree Programs category and 29th in the category, Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans. Learn more >

Analytics & Data Integration

Analytics & Data Integration is one of this year's formal communities of practice (fCoPs). As part of the annual IT governance process, fCoPs are developed by IT leadership and charged with specific work and clear scope. The Analytics & Data Integration fCoP is being led by Ingrid Nuttall. This fCoP will improve the University's ability to make data-driven decisions by researching common business needs, sharing best practices, and creating enterprise service recommendations around data integration and end-user analytics. Kick-off meeting: September 21 at 10 a.m. in HHH-50B. Join the Google group.

Board of Regents meeting held September 10-11

Agenda items of interest:

  • University Progress Card – President Kaler presented for Board review the University Progress Card, a new university-specific benchmarking and goal-setting tool for driving progress at the U of M.
  • Affirmative consent – The Board ratified changes to the administrative policy Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence.
  • Budget work session – The Board of Regents discussed fiscal year 2017 budget assumptions with CFO Richard Pfutzenreuter, Associate Vice President of Budget and Finance Julie Tonneson and President Eric Kaler, to initiate the University budgeting process.

Meeting  minutes have not been finalized, but will be posted on the Board of Regents website once ready.

September 17: Constitution Day

On September 17, higher education institutions around the United States honored the U.S. Constitution for Constitution Day. So, just how important is the U.S. Constitution? Do you know how it was created? Can you imagine being one of the founding fathers who helped shape an entire nation with their words and ideas more than 200 years ago?

The importance of the U.S. Constitution to these United States of America can’t be overstated. From its inception in 1789, this ever-changing (27 amendments) document has served as the backbone of the laws that govern our country. Find out more about the U.S. Constitution or take a quiz to find out what founding father you are.

Big change to Federal Aid Application

President Barack Obama took executive action on Sunday, September 13 to allow the use of prior-prior year (PPY) tax information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Using two-years prior tax information on the FAFSA (as opposed to one-year prior information) will increase the form’s accuracy and give families an earlier and more accurate idea of their anticipated financial aid and college costs.

Beginning with the FAFSA for the 2017-18 academic year students will be able to submit their FAFSA applications as early as October 1, 2016, rather than January 1, 2017 – a move that will allow them to see their federal aid offers sooner, and ideally make better-informed decisions when applying to college.
With the switch to PPY, students and families will be able to:

  • File the FAFSA earlier. The FAFSA is made available January 1 of each calendar year, yet it is uncommon for a family or individual to be prepared to file an income tax return in the month of January. Under the new PPY system, the 2017-18 FAFSA will be available in October 2016, rather than January 1, 2017, and students can use the PPY’s completed income tax return.
  • More easily submit a FAFSA. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), which allows automatic population of a student’s FAFSA with tax return data and decreases the need for additional documentation, can be used by millions more students and families under PPY, since tax data from two-years prior would be readily available upon application.
  • Receive earlier notification of financial aid packages. If students apply for aid earlier, colleges can in turn provide financial aid notifications to students earlier, ensuring that students and families have more time to prepare for college costs. Early notification also means more time for financial aid administrators to counsel students and families. 

In the near future we will start our institutional conversations about what this means for us. More updates will be provided as we know more.

Perkins Loan Program

The University of Minnesota is one of approximately 1,700 public and private U.S. colleges and universities where low-income undergraduate and graduate students borrow money from their schools through the Federal Perkins Loan. However, this option may soon expire. Without congressional approval to reauthorize the Federal Perkins Loan, the program will end September 30 of this year.

The University has packaged and offered Perkins per usual but the September 30 deadline means that first time Perkins borrowers will need to have their Perkins money disbursed prior to the September 30 deadline. Students who have had a Perkins loan disbursed on or before June 30, 2015 are grandfathered into the program as long as they remain in the same academic program.

Daily updates

With the busy start of the year and issues popping up, we want to make sure that we share information broadly, but do not further inundate you with multiple messages. We have a process in place for providing early alerts of reported issues via the ASR Emergency list where each campus is represented. And as of this fall, we have begun providing further follow up and updates to the All Campus group daily (as needed). We hope this both consolidates the information and ensures everyone is aware of both issues and progress toward resolutions.

Sue's Update - September 2015

I appreciate everyone working through the many issues that have arisen during the last few weeks and keeping the focus on serving the students. I told the executives that the student stream would not feel the true impacts of the upgrade until fall term. However, I didn’t anticipate all of the system issues which I apologize to all of you. I usually have contingencies ready for our processes and did not plan well this time. I do appreciate the OIT staff working 24/7 for two weeks to address the problems as quickly as possible. They were relentless on trying to solve the issues and reached out immediately to Oracle, IntraSee, and GreyHeller which I appreciated. I know this was hard on all of you as well and we will evaluate and plan for registration later this fall as well as look at how we can make the start of spring flawless. Thank you for working as one University team.

Eleanor's update - September 2015

Happy fall term—and what a start it’s been! Do you need something to look forward to?  Preparation for the fall All Campus in-person meeting is underway. The invitation and lodging information will be shared this week with a drafted agenda to follow.

As the agenda is coming together it’s clear to see we are in a period of adjustment as we fully exercise the PS V9 system. You’ll see many of the topics for the meeting are from our post go-live lists, but there are a few new items that we’ve encountered with the start of fall term; this includes several cross functional topics.

We have some work to do but if any group can pull together and figure it out, make a plan, and execute to a successful resolution for students, you are the group working together that has always gotten the job done.

Since not everyone can attend in-person, there will be remote access via WebEx for the All Campus meeting on Tuesday morning. Whenever possible, each team will be offering Google hangout for sessions; check the agenda to see which sessions will offer remote access.

There is a great deal of information to share, and teams will have lots to work on but don’t dismay, even with all the work there will be time for networking opportunities. I am looking forward to our gathering next month!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

8xxxxxx ID numbers now being issued

Historically, University of Minnesota identification numbers were assigned sequentially as new numbers are needed by staff, faculty and students. However, ID numbers are currently being issued starting from 8xxxxxx for new employees. Colleges and staff may start seeing these numbers more frequently, they can be trusted and treated the same as other U of M identification numbers.

One Stop implements Salesforce knowledge base FAQ software

One Stop launched it's new knowledge base FAQ software through Salesforce. The software will help counselors and other staff access and contribute important information in one shared resource for students, streamlining workflows and improving response. For a few weeks, the software will go through a soft launch while users watch for bugs and monitor student behavior. When all articles are published and things prove to be working well, One Stop will begin to bring more focus through their current home and contact us pages. Eventually a link to the knowledge base will be placed in MyU.

Student Reports Project

A Process for Report Prioritization project is underway and Ingrid is representing the Student pillar.

The group’s Purpose is develop a plan by September 1, 2015 that leads to the implementation of a process that can be consistently and uniformly followed for the identification, review, prioritization and selection of reporting projects by the EDMR Steering Committee that informs the OIT workplan.

Project Team Membership consists of; Sue Paulson, Vern Wehrle, Gary Ogren, Bill Kanfield,  Ingrid Nuttall, Ruth Dodson, Diane Kistler, Steve Gillard

The group has met four times and has:

  • Drafted a project plan including purpose, scope, and key deliverables
  • Developed an interim prioritization process, evaluation template and evaluation criteria
  • The intent is to use the interim process to move near term, high priority projects forward as well as to inform the long term plan

Many of you have been contacted and have provided information on reports needed for this project. Thank You. Look for a follow-up in September regarding the new process.

2015-2016 MN Tuition Reciprocity Rates released

We have received the 2015-2016 tuition reciprocity rates for the University of Minnesota campuses from the MN Higher Education Office. Of note this year, all reciprocity students from Wisconsin should now be charged the higher of the Minnesota or Wisconsin resident rate for the level, program and campus attended. The State of Wisconsin will no longer offer these students a tuition supplement to bridge the gap between the higher Minnesota rates and the Wisconsin rates, since that feature expired at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year.

Extending the transcript or the comprehensive student record

There is growing interest across the country in creating a compendium to the traditional academic transcript that documents student experiences and learning outside the classroom. In the past these have been referred to as co-curricular transcripts and often were viewed as the purview and responsibility of student affairs areas. Current thinking about this topic, however, focuses on experiences that can be validated by the institution (so aren't just self-reported by the student) and have more of a direct connection to the curriculum, student learning outcomes and the overall mission of the institution. Carla Boyd (Duluth) and Tina Falkner (Twin Cities) participated in a series of conversations and brainstorming sessions at a recent conference, to define the framework for this new student record. The discussion was lively and surfaced opportunities and concerns regarding this endeavor. The University of Minnesota hasn't yet started down this path, but as the framework takes shape it will provide some great starting points for us as a system. Please contact Carla or Tina if you want more information about this initiative. More updates will be provided in future newsletters as this concept progresses.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Comings & Goings - Crookston (July 2015)

Carola Thorson Director of Admissions has resigned her position and will be leaving UMNCR. We are all sorry to see her go.

Comings & Goings - Morris (July 2015)

Ben Iverson has been hired as the next director of admissions. Ben brings to Morris extensive experience in student recruitment and advising, both in the domestic and international market. Ben currently serves as director of international admissions and advising at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Ben will begin his appointment on Monday, July 27. He fills the role previously held by Bryan Herrmann, who has become Morris’s next vice chancellor for facilities and finance, vacated by Lowell Rasmussen’s retirement late last month.

Also One Stop has a new employee. Devon Johnson has been hired as a counselor in One Stop Student Services, he joined the Morris One Stop staff  on July 13.

Comings & Goings - Rochester (July 2015)

Norman Clark will start on July 27 as the new Administrative Director of Academic Programs for the Center for Learning Innovation. He will be responsible for the management of daily operations of the Center for Learning Innovation (CLI) and the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) academic programs which includes the Bachelor of Science in Health Professions (BSHP) and Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS).

The following positions are open:

  • Director of the Office of Admissions
  • Residential Life Director
  • Health CORE Coordinator
  • Director of Marketing and Communications

Employee Engagement (E2) survey

Sue and the ASR directors have met and reviewed our data from the October 2014 Hay Employee Engagement (E2) survey, based on that review ASR has decided to focus attention on two items; Development Opportunities, and Survey Follow-up. Sue appointed John Vollum to work with the managers on the Hays survey project. John has pulled together TC staff to assist in this project, creating the ASR Engagement group.

This  group consists of representation from across ASR Units: Christa Nicols- ASR IT, David Crane - OCM, Matt Tveter - Continuity & Compliance, Marcio Thompson - One Stop, Mara Schneider- OSF, Tonisha White - OTR/GSSP, and Eleanor Pijut - ASR. Each member will work in conjunction with the ASR directors of their units.

So far members have met twice and begun delving into survey results with each unit. The group has been sharing progress with each other, exploring different methodology in researching identified areas, and has begun working out a schedule and plan for next steps.

Look for future updates on progress of this project, and if you would like more information contact John Vollum at vollu004@umn.edu. Since this was a systemwide survey it might be interesting to exchange ideas with each other.

Summer staff event and fundraiser

Staff are getting creative in anticipation of the Second Annual ASR Silent Auction/Raffle fundraiser to be held in August. Part of ASR’s mission is to make a positive difference in students lives, so the funds raised are contributed to a TC Scholarship fund for students in need. Items from last year ranged from skilled crafts and artistic skills to coupons for yard work, all funds generated went to scholarship. Let’s see if we can outdo last years total raised!

Financial Wellness Counseling progress in One Stop

One Stop has received many inquiries from departments and offices to come and talk about what we are doing in One Stop as it relates to student financial wellness. Interest ranges from athletics to OFYP to college offices. One Stop has had eight appointments with students since beginning this initiative last month, with more than that expressing interest when they come back in the fall. Our most common topics discussed include creating a spending plan, living like a student now, and issues related to graduation and loan repayment.

Recent feedback from one of the presentations included: “I will be the first person in my family who is going to college so I have no siblings to give me advice & tips. The program was a substitute to the sibling I needed.” and “This course has given me a great opportunity to learn about how to save and make good decisions when going off to college.”

SF fall tuition set-up underway

The Student Financials group continues to work on fall tuition setup so calculations can happen as scheduled by each campus typically this is in early August for most campuses and careers.

Awarding of financial aid packages for 2015-16 begins

FA has begun awarding financial aid packages for the 2016 aid year. Staff have been hard at work across the system - here’s the breakdown:

  • Crookston awarding will be later this week (July 13-17).
  • Duluth is currently running simulations to test out aid offers. Staff will be reviewing the output prior to a live awarding run.
  • Morris is our first campus to fully have awarding run and has 1,044 students packaged. Way to go!
  • Twin Cities has packaged the following careers:
  • 3,056 GRAD 
  • 364 LAW
  • 673 MED
  • 308 PHAR
  • 285 VMED
  • 303 DENT
  • 16,461 UGRD Students  (first-degree-seeking)

Assignment of eFAAN notices typically begin going out to students a few days after packaging. Let’s get ready to hear from our students!

U of M Board of Regents approves annual budget

A tuition increase of 1.5 percent ($150-$180 depending on campus) for resident students was approved. For resident graduate/professional students, tuition increases range from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent. Non-resident undergraduate students on the Twin Cities campus will see an increase of 7 percent, or $1,350 annually, reflecting the U’s goal to move that rate to the middle of the Big Ten. Low- and middle-income students will largely have the tuition increase offset through new investments by the University, state, and federal financial aid, including a proposed $1.4 million increase in need- and merit-based aid. The new aid will mitigate or eliminate the tuition increase for 42 percent of the U’s resident undergraduates who have family incomes below $100,000 annually.

Astra Schedule upgrade

The much anticipated Astra Schedule software upgrade was completed early this week. This upgrade did not impact PeopleSoft/CCS. Our UMN Astra system maintenance team has been working closely with Ad Astra developers to ensure a smooth upgrade and to ensure UMN business processes will be accommodated in the upgrade. We appreciate your patience while we worked to find a time to upgrade Astra Schedule that allowed for testing in PeopleSoft 9.0 production. One of the benefits of the upgrade is the improved performance speeds of the calendars.

Sue's Update (July 2015)

Once again, I want to thank all of you for the tremendous upgrade team effort. You do not know how much it was appreciated by me that we could all come together and address the many interesting issues that appeared during this time. It is exciting to get back to making a positive difference in students’ lives through our work with faculty, staff, and students. Focusing on providing quality service to the University from all our units is much more rewarding and exciting than upgrading software. I realize we are still stabilizing and looking at ensuring everything will run smoother, however, being in this mode of operation allows us to get to where we want to be sooner.

The Regents and President Kaler recently had their retreat and I am sure we will have a few requests or new initiatives from this meeting. You may have noticed the Regents are going to take a more active role in the business of the University and we may all be asked to provide additional information during the year. As I hear more, I will keep you updated and please share what you hear as well.

Eleanor is busy scheduling our visits to your campuses, however, summer slipped by and many will be later this summer or early fall. If there are items you need us to address before our visit or have items we should cover, please let us know.

Enjoy the warmer weather.

Eleanor's Update (July 2015)

Happy July! What a spectacular Minnesota summer we are having – I hope you all get a chance to take some time and enjoy it. Summer is flying by, and I keep wondering how it has gotten away from us. Sue and I have been looking at calendars to find workable dates to get some campus visits in before the snow flies. Looks like we’ll be traveling in late summer early fall to visit the campuses.

The All Campus membership list has been updated this month, so don’t be surprised when meeting placeholder notices begin appearing on your calendars for the year. We are also working on our fall in-person get together for sometime in mid to late October, held in the Twin Cities. If you have suggestions for a theme, topics, or agenda items for this meeting, please send them my way.

Even with the upgrade behind us, the pace of work has not slowed down. It’s encouraging to see the continuation of collaboration across offices, units, and campuses as we all move forward towards stabilizing our business. Teams have been ranking and prioritizing projects from the parking lot list so we won’t forget anything and will be prepared to meet deadlines. ASR is looking at a similar approach to make sure all student reporting needs are met. And we are all getting used to working with in new organizational units like the Portal group.

So many opportunities and so much change – do you wonder when the dust settles how things will be? Maybe that will be our focus when we get together in October. One thing for sure is the dedication to making a positive difference in students life will continue to guide our decisions.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Update on Destiny One: non-credit system

The Destiny One Registration System (DORS) will be launching with five pilot units May 22nd. DORS will be the system of record for non-credit professional and personal growth learning opportunities at the University. This system helps manage entities such as courses, sections, certificates, applications, and conferences. It has a robust enrollment management component that focuses on learner self-service, and there are a number of financial tools, such as coupon discounting, revenue sharing, and group management that will be extremely beneficial to any unit that offers non-credit learning opportunities.

The initial implementation focuses on course registration, and includes integration with the University identity management system (Shibboleth) and with the Moodle course management system. The onboarding units are setting their own pace for adoption, but will be able to create courses and open them for registration in the production instance of this exciting new tool.
Over the coming months the DORS team will be onboarding fast follower units, and then looking to expand across the University. Duluth Continuing Education is the first system campus to come to the table with a need and we look forward to working with them. Contact dorshelp@umn.edu if you have questions!

Student Records update

The Student Records Functional Steering Committee with representatives from all campuses met in the Twin Cities on May 18-19. The group tackled several tasks, among them were;  review and prioritization of the SR post go live parking lot items, redefining the purpose of the SR FSC group beyond the Upgrade project, and collaborating on a SR systems operations calendar.  And finally, John Vollum facilitated an exercise on “Lessons Learned from the Upgrade” for the group.

Student Degree Progress

In March, ASR began a pilot outreach program to 150 students who haven’t graduated but left the University of Minnesota with more than 90% of their degree completed. These efforts have combined research, email, and mail pieces that emphasize how close the students are to completion. A survey is included to ask about the barriers that they face to receiving their degrees; this information will later be used to improve campus retention efforts. ASR staff work with the responding students to connect them with University staff (e.g., college advisers, professors, One Stop staff) to figure out next steps. So far the pilot project has yielded a positive response from students leading to 8 (5.3%) new degrees posted and 37 (24.6%) students in contact with either ASR or their adviser to find out more about what they can do to complete their degree.

Veterans Updates

All campuses of the University of Minnesota are compliant with Section 702 of Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act). In-state tuition will be extended to spouses and dependents of veterans and active duty servicemembers who are using transferred Veterans Administration education benefits and are attending school within three years of the servicemembers' last period of active duty service.

The Parent Program provided honor cords to graduating student veterans, current service members, and ROTC cadets for spring semester. University Veterans Services on the Twin Cities campus piloted distribution of the cords by asking students to complete an exit survey if they wanted to wear the honor cord during their commencement ceremony.

New service model for One Stop

One Stop is making some exciting additions to their service model in an effort to continue to meet the changing needs of students, parents, faculty, staff, and serving those internal and external to the University community to ensure student success. One Stop Counselors have developed the curriculum, advising standards, and learning outcomes for one-on-one financial wellness counseling sessions with students. These counseling sessions are designed to empower students to examine their financial lives, and realize the impact that financial education can have on student success measures, such as academic degree progress and timely graduation. All One Stop Counselors are now required to have their certification as a Personal Financial Manager. One Stop Counselors will also be working collaboratively with the Student Degree Progress Team, collegiate staff, and faculty to proactively work with current and former students on their degree progress goals by developing success plans that will assist the institution with increasing retention and graduation goals.

ASR-IT update

IT continues with upgrade clean-up. In the first four weeks of operations after go live, we have continued to be available for issues as they have arisen. Although there have been hundreds of ServiceNow incidents and up to a 60-70 coding changes, there has been little that was ultra critical. Most items were cleaned up within days of triage, analysis, and coding. There continues to be issues with file transfers and batch jobs, but we are extra vigilant in checking and running file transfers and batch jobs that were problematic. For the most part we are nearing our standard operating procedures (SOPs) for production and support.

Office of Classroom Management update

The Office of Classroom Management will host the Ad Astra North Central Regional Summit again this year. The 2015 Summit will have an expanded agenda and take place over 1.5 days in mid-July. There ​will ​be ​sessions ​geared ​to ​learning ​more ​about ​how ​to use ​Astra ​Schedule along ​with ​networking ​and ​training ​workshops on ​the ​second ​day. Campus super users should expect an invite from Sarah Kussow the week of May 18.

Student Accounts Assistance update

Cash will no longer be accepted for tuition and fees starting June 1. Students may pay their student account bills online by echeck, credit card, or international wire; or by mailing in their statement with a check to the lockbox. SAA will still be able to accept personal checks, cashier’s checks, and money orders if necessary. Since January 2013, Student Account Assistance (SAA) and One Stop staff have been notifying students paying with cash about this eventual change and providing suggestions of how they can convert their cash.

With the Upgrade past, this is one of the final impacts of the closure of the Bursar’s Office. Also, the final drop box located in Bruininks Hall will be closed. This will increase efficiency and reduce administrative burden while also increasing security for students and staff.

Interim plans for Office of Student Finance Director

Tina Falkner has assumed the interim Office of Student Finance (OSF) Director role. At the OSF inservice she presented information on one of her first projects at OSF—that of preparing the hiring plan for the OSF Director. Jeremy Todd and John Vollum will be working on this project with Tina. The system campuses will have input and participation in development of the job description and in hiring the new director. The project is expected to run from May to January. Tina has asked staff to begin thinking about two questions: what are OSF key strengths and, of what accomplishments are you as OSF staff most proud?

Rochester updates (May 2015)

  • The University of Minnesota Rochester held commencement at the Mayo Civic Center Auditorium on Saturday, May 16 with a total of 93 students commencing.
  • Staff felt the Upgrade went smoothly and are adapting well. Overall staff felt that the training leading up to the cutover and the enhancement support offered after was invaluable to the success in transitioning to the new MyU and upgrade to 9.0.

Comings & goings
Current faculty and staff employment opportunities at the University of Minnesota-Rochester include:

  • Health CORE Coordinator
  • Administrative Director of Academic Programs for the Center for Learning Innovation

Morris updates (May 2015)

  • The 2015 Faculty and Staff Recognition Dinner was held on Thursday, April 30. Hosted by Chancellor Jacqueline R. Johnson, the event provided the University of Minnesota-Morris an opportunity to congratulate faculty and staff award recipients and to thank retirees for their service to the campus.
  • The University of Minnesota, Morris celebrated their 52nd Commencement on Saturday, May 9.
  • The Office of Financial Aid staff attended the Minnesota Association for Financial Aid Administrators (MAFAA) Conference in Brainerd from May 6-8.

Comings & goings

  • Current faculty and staff employment opportunities at the University of Minnesota-Morris include: 
    • Information Technology currently has an open position for a network administrator
    • Director of Admissions 
  • Angie Senger was hired as a full time student support specialist
  • Student One Stop Services has welcomed a new staff member: Emma Strachan

Duluth updates (May 2015)

Senator Amy Klobuchar spoke at UMD's two commencement ceremonies May 16 at AMSOIL Arena, Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. A total of 2,325 students will graduate from UMD this year, with 1,998 bachelor's degrees, 321 master's degrees, and 6 doctoral degrees

Comings & goings

  • Carly Morwitz will be leaving Office of the Registrar in June.
  • Mark Goehring has joined UMD and will be working with Astra class scheduling. Mark is the new "scheduling guru" in Duluth, replacing Amanda Fudala.

Crookston updates (May 2015)

  • On May 9 Crookston celebrated the 107th graduating class. The very first was in 1909, when the site was home to the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA). 
  • The annual Faculty and Staff Awards Celebration Luncheon was held on May 12, where retirees and several staff were recognized and received service awards.
  • As to the Upgrade—the faculty and staff are pleased overall with the transition and support that has been provided. A few minor growing pains, but very smooth sailing!   

Comings & goings
OTR has hired Arlene Tahran who will work part-time to assist with imaging materials. Arlene recently retired after serving approximately 45 years as the Administrative Assistant in the UMC Business Department.

Email account lifecycle

Good news for students—the student email account lifecycle has recently extended student’s accounts to two years of inactivity before closing them. This change will help collectors, advisers and students.


The University’s eBusiness agreement went live on May 13 across the system via an interruptive alert. So far, over 48,659 agreements have been completed. The Student Finance functional committee group, including One Stop representation are working on a process for anyone who opts out of the eBusiness agreement.

Legislative metrics finalized

The Higher Educations Omnibus bill recently released includes performance goals tied to funding; 5% of the FY17 appropriation will only become available based on the number of the following goals met:

  1. Increase by at least one percent the four-year, five-year, or six-year undergraduate graduation rates, averaged over three years, for students of color systemwide at the University of Minnesota reported in fall 2016 over fall 2014. The average rate for fall 2014 is calculated with the graduation rates reported in fall 2012, 2013, and 2014.
  2. Increase by at least two percent the total number of undergraduate STEM degrees, averaged over three years, conferred systemwide by the University of Minnesota reported in fiscal year 2016 over fiscal year 2014. The averaged number for fiscal year 2014 is calculated with the fiscal year 2012, 2013, and 2014 numbers.
  3. Increase by at least one percent the four-year undergraduate graduation rate at the University of Minnesota reported in fall 2016 over fall 2014. The average rate for fall 2014 is calculated with the graduation rates reported in fall 2012, 2013, and 2014. The averaged number for fiscal year 2014 is calculated with the fiscal year 2012, 2013, and 2014 numbers.
  4. For fiscal year 2016, reallocate $15,000,000 of administrative costs. The Board of Regents is requested to redirect those funds to invest in direct mission activities, stem growth in cost of attendance, and to programs that benefit students.
  5. Increase licensing disclosures by three percent for fiscal year 2016 over fiscal year 2015.

We all continue to be impacted by the mandated reallocation of $15M of administrative costs for FY16. The Board of Regents is requested to redirect those funds to invest in direct mission activities, STEM growth in cost of attendance, and to programs that benefit students.

Upgrade notes

The enhanced support period continues with review and resolution of problem reports system wide. One reported issue is the new class search functionality has not been well received and is under review for a quick short term temporary solution. The command center continues in operation but some meetings have been canceled or shortened as reported issues are diminishing. Much of the business is now transitioning fully to the University staff, as on June 19, the project officially wraps up and the consultants will be leaving. As the ESUP Upgrade project wraps up, please take the opportunity to provide your feedback by completing this survey.

Sue's update (May 2015)

Thanks to all of you for making the Upgrade a success. The teamwork from all campuses has allowed us to build a solid foundation from which to move forward for student success. I am challenging the steering committees as they transition to think broadly how we can still continue to increase retention and graduation rates. Review how your committee should function going forward to continue to make progress.

Some major accomplishments from this year include:

  • A total of 482 PeopleSoft 9.0 modifications in the student workstream; this is a 53% reduction from 8.9
  • 31 pillar applications were replaced or retired through the upgrade, resulting in $4M OIT annual savings
  • Launch of STAR online scholarship application: 1,500 students have used the online scholarship application in its first year
  • peerTransfer now live: allows international students to pay the University from bank accounts in their country of origin without having to arrange for a wire transfer or pay bank transfer fees. So far, 315 payments have been received, accounting for over $2.3M paid to the University.

To view some of the 2014-15 accomplishments from across the system, please view this presentation.

Eleanor's Update - May 2015

Just when we think we’ve got some breathing room with the successful Upgrade implementation behind us—here comes a new day, full of tasks, and the projects we’ve had in the parking lot. Several new initiatives and new opportunities are already underway as each functional area begins review and prioritization of items for post go live action.

But let’s not forget to pause, take a breath, and celebrate our success. Let’s recognize the journey we’ve taken together. The understanding we’ve gained, the contacts we’ve made, and relationships we’ve developed with each other over the course of the project have strengthened us so we are now more than ready to tackle these new projects.

I hope to support you all in the sustainment of these new relationships. My temporary test coordinator assignment activities are wrapping up as the implementation is done and we are in the enhanced care phase of the project. I have begun transition back to my systems campus relations role, once again defining and refining my role to best serve and support you. I look forward to our continued partnerships.

Now take a look below to see just a sampling of what has been happening across the system.