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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.