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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.