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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Twin Cities updates (January 2016)

Diploma pick-up
The Twin Cities Office of the Registrar is piloting a diploma pickup initiative for fall 2015 graduates. The goal is to provide an opportunity for graduates to receive their diploma as soon as possible and reduce (even if by just a few) the number of returns we receive. We have just over 50 students who have asked to pick-up their diploma.

Analytics and data integration FCoP wrapping up
The analytics and data integration Formal Community of Practice (FCoP) is wrapping up its work and will be presenting final recommendations to the Enterprise Data Management and Reporting (EDMR) governance group in March. The final FCoP meeting will be February 17 from 1-2:30 p.m. More details will be available on the FCoP website.

Update on Timely Graduation policy 
The 30-day review period for the revised administrative policy: Promoting Timely 
Graduation by Undergraduates was completed as of January 7. The new policy language will be published on the University Policy Library within the week. The policy outlines the University’s expectations for when a student must declare a major, and provides a schedule that takes into account transfer credits earned by New Advance Standing students and Inter-University Transfer students. To ensure students declare majors and take courses applicable to their degrees, this policy allows colleges to place a hold on a student’s record to ensure advisors and students meet prior to registration for the next term.

Financial Aid Basics and More
On Thursday, January 7, the Office of Student Finance (OSF), One Stop Student Services, and the Office of Undergraduate Education partnered to present financial aid basics (and more) to academic advising staff on the Twin Cities campus. Nearly 80 academic advisors attended the session and were very interested in learning more about how they can help students with financial aid issues (without becoming financial aid counselors). A large portion of the meeting talking about Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), Work Study, Cost of Attendance appeals, Special Circumstances appeals and enrollment changes and the subsequent impact on financial aid. Those in attendance noted that having regular workshops that discuss financial aid in general and do a deep dive into specific topics that pertain to academic advising would be helpful and welcomed.

IT systems upgrade
ASR-IT staff are now in the midst of our next enterprise upgrade, PeopleTools, which is a
layer of PeopleSoft that contains the look and feel, colors, fonts, date routines, etc. This
upgrade will run now through mid-April and will require multiple testing rounds during that time. This will also cause other bug fix work from our backlog portfolio to be curtailed for March and April; only critical bugs fixes will be addressed.

1098-T forms available through MyU
In the coming week, students with a completed eAgreement will be able to access their 2015 IRS 1098-T form via MyU (only tax years for which they are eligible to receive a 1098-T are available to view). Students who have a 2015 1098-T available online will receive an email notice letting them know it is ready; a notification will also be added to MyU. Parents/guests with student account access also have access to the 1098-T through MyU. This is a significant gain in efficiency and will greatly reduce the number of forms needing to be mailed.

New Aid Year 
FA-IT staff have started pulling in records 2016-2017 (ISIR) nightly (M-F), to process for the next Aid Year (fall 2016). This allows One Stop staff to access the information to respond to student inquiries on the receipt of their application for next year.

Destiny One Registration System (DORS) Update
Colleges/units who have non-credit registration needs should review the Events Calendar, Tickets and DORS Matrix to evaluate if Destiny is the appropriate tool to support your non-credit registration needs. Benefits include:
  • Provides a single, effective system to support non-credit registration processes.
  • Creates efficiencies by eliminating the need for duplicate shadow systems.
  • Integrates with existing University enterprise systems (Shib, Moodle, EFS, and soon Salesforce).
  • Provides a secure, consistent, and compliant way to accept credit card payments.
If you are interested to see the offerings that are currently live and open for enrollment, please visit learning.umn.edu.

Program and Curriculum Approval System (PCAS) modifications/fixes
A number of modifications and fixes will be implemented for the PCAS application and anticipate 19+ being completed this month; a sampling is listed below. This is a focused effort with dedicated resources, and we are excited to be able to make these improvements.

  • Electronic Course Authorization System (ECAS) course to display in the Executive Summary & the draft catalog display
  • Add text to differentiate between sub-plans and honors sub-plans
  • Approval notification emails with text to include graduate or undergraduate level
  • Program website displayed on General Info Section in Executive Summary page
  • Add "Update Additional Terms" button for PhD programs
  • Fix to embedded text under General Requirements for Undergraduate Certificates

Stay tuned for additional details and updates!

Comings and goings  

  • Marietta Upsher retired on December 11 from the Office of Student Finance, Financial Aid Loan unit; Jody Stadler interviewed for and was offered a BA position; Jody’s former position will be posted soon. 
  • Two new Business Analyst 2’s started in Student Records IT on January 19: Carli Baker-Pacheco and Marc Keaveny.
  • Bernie Miller, SR-IT BA3, has left the University effective January 19.
  • Fritz Skinner, IT Reporting Team, has left the University effective January 15.
  • Megan Kamrath, assistant director in One Stop Student Services, will be leaving the University February 5 to pursue her passion for textile art on a full-time basis. One of Megan’s pieces is now showing at The Textile Center.

Rochester updates (January 2016)

Destination Medical Center (DMC)
The Med City Beat, a Rochester online-only news service, partnered with University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) students to create an in-depth report on Destination Medical Center (DMC), the plan to make “Rochester the world’s premier medical destination”. The project was part of UMR's Community Collaboratory (Co-Lab) course where students partner with community organizations. The course aims to extend a student's learning experience into the local community in an way that also adds value to the community.

Health Scholars Day on Saturday
UMR is busy planning for their first Health Scholars Day on Saturday, February 20. This invitation only, day long event is for students who have been admitted and identified their “passion for health care”. Scholarship competitions will take place in the afternoon, with interviews, displays or storytelling, followed by a Chancellor’s dinner and guest speaker. Health Scholars Scholarships range from $1,000-$8,000

  • Health Care Passion Scholarship 
  • Difference Maker Scholarship
  • Health CORE (Community of Respect and Empowerment) Scholarship

Comings and goings
Rochester has posted for a database marketing specialist position.

Morris updates (January 2016)

Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institutions Program (NASNTI) Grant 
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Morris $1,997,003 Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institutions Program (NASNTI) grant that will fully support the Morris Native American Student Success Project (NASS). The goal of Morris NASS is to increase the educational attainment of American Indian students by eliminating college achievement gaps. This grant funding builds on Morris's commitment of service to American Indian students and communities.

Chancellor's Search Update
The search for Morris’s next chancellor is fully underway. Here is the timeline the ten- member search committee appointed by University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler is following:

  • November 19, 2015-February 22, 2016: Aggressive national recruitment targeting potential candidates
  • Week of March 7, 2016: Off-site interview of semi-finalist(s)
  • March 21-April 1, 2016: Anticipated on-campus interview of finalist(s)
  •  April 2016: Announcement of appointment

Comings and goings

  • Congratulations, and goodbye to former director Jim Hall who has accepted a position with Ramsey County as chief information officer. 
  • Welcome Matt Senger who is serving as Morris’s interim director of information technology. 

Duluth updates (January 2016)

Duluth Reverse Transfer Agreement Pilot
Twenty-six students have authorized the ongoing sharing of their records with Lake Superior College (LSC) as a part of the pilot Reverse Transfer Agreement. Both LSC and UMD have signed agreements with the National Student Clearinghouse for transfer of data and we look forward to those next steps in the process to automate the sharing of records.

AACRAO International
Joanna McCord, Sarah Hatfield, and Carla Boyd just returned from the three day AACRAO International Educational Services Winter Institute (a new country every hour) plus a two day workshop on China and India educational systems and credit. They have an enormous number of new resources to share and information nuggets gleaned. If anyone working with international credit is interested, they are happy to share what they are putting together based upon these experiences.

Thank you to Travis Trautman, his team, and the security team for updating over 400 Duluth faculty and staff records so they could run the APAS (Academic Progress Audit System) report for any student. This has been tremendously well received by faculty and staff, with many great feedback emails. Thanks ASR and OIT teams!

Comings and goings

  • The Duluth Financial Collections Office will be welcoming Shirley Kortekaas to our office on January 25 as the new principal account specialist. Shirley comes to us most recently from UMD’s Dining Center as a senior cashier.
  • Jodi Lieske (degree services specialist in the Duluth Registrar’s Office) has accepted a position in the College of Education and Human Service Professions effective February 1. She will be advising students and serving as a systems specialist. She has tremendous expertise in PCAS, ECAS, and APAS and will continue to be a tremendous resource for us all with the added benefit of even more direct contact with students.

Crookston updates (January 2016)

Smooth start to spring term 
Spring semester began on January 11 with the usual increase in student traffic; no offices reporting any critical system issues, but staff are very busy with the start of the term activities.

UMC meets all criteria for accreditation
The Office of Academic Affairs has received the final report from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) team that conducted the Comprehensive Quality Review visit in November. According to that document, UMC meets all criteria for accreditation. The team also found that UMC is fully compliant with federal requirements addressed in the site visit.

Crookston Organizational Structure changes
Crookston Chancellor Fred Wood has announced the following changes this month:

  • The Center for Adult Learning and the present Office of Admissions will be unified under a single office. This unification will be completed before beginning a national search for a new director of admissions. It is driven by a desire to improve effectiveness in a time of substantially increasing competition on the admissions front.
  • To facilitate continuous improvement in retention efforts, Crookston will reintegrate Student Affairs and Academic Affairs. Effective January 1, 2016, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Peter Phaiah now formally reports to Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Barbara Keinath. In recognition of the importance of Student Affairs to the success of UMC and the life of UMC students, Associate Vice Chancellor Phaiah will continue to serve as a member of the Chancellor’s Administrative Cabinet.
  • With these changes the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships,will continue to report to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Peter Phaiah, but now Peter will report to the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Barbara Keinath. The Registrar’s Office will continue to report to Barbara Keinath.  

Admissions Director Search
Representatives from the search firm Spellman Johnson will be leading a nationwide search for the new admissions director and will be on campus January 26-27 to meet with various constituents.

Comings and goings

  • OTR has hired Cyndi Wentz to join the team! Cyndi has been working as an Administrative Assistant in the Math, Science & Technology Department. She is also a graduate of the University of Minnesota Crookston. She started her new duties on Tuesday, January 19. Welcome Cyndi!!
  • Crookston Business Office: New Business Office cashier Dana Grunewald has been hired as a student services specialist/executive operations in the UMC Business Affairs Office. Dana will be replacing Peggy Chaput who moved over to Accounts Payable. She began her responsibilities at UMC on December 7, 2015. Dana is a lifelong resident of the Crookston area.

University-wide updates (January 2016)

AACRAO Best of the Best Program
From the Duluth Registrar's office: Sarah Hatfield and Carla Boyd’s presentation, Justice as Fairness – An Analysis of Transfer Credit Policy as a Social Justice Issue, was one nomination from the Upper Midwest AACRAO and it has been selected by the AACRAO* Program Committee as Best of the Best Programs. Carla and Sarah will be presenting at the Annual Meeting and have earned one free registration. Congratulations!

*American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, AACRAO is a nonprofit, voluntary, professional association of more than 11,000 higher education admissions and registration professionals who represent more than 2,600 institutions and agencies in the United States.

Sue's Update (January 2016)

I only have a few updates for the group. Carla Boyd is nominated to serve on the HEUG* Board of Directors. Voting has opened, so please go ahead and vote. This is quite an honor to be nominated.

The Budget Office is finishing their meetings with the system campuses; Duluth’s meeting is next week. All the meetings have been very educational for the Budget Office and I know Richard Pfutzenreuter wants to release the funds very soon. The campuses made proposals on increasing graduation and recruiting efforts.

At the February Regents meeting, a resolution on enrollment management is to be presented. The Twin Cities is quickly trying to get more information and clarification from the Regents to determine if this request of Twin Cities only or system-wide.

I hope you had a great start to spring semester. Thank you for all your help.

*The Higher Education User Group (HEUG) is a Non-Profit, international organization consisting of Higher Education institutions that use application software from the Oracle Corporation. It represents over 23,3000 individuals, 900 campuses in 34 countries on 6 continents across 20 timezones. It is the largest independent, self-organized industry specific user group in the world. 

Eleanor's Update (January 2016)

It’s a New Year and it’s spring—term that is, time for reflecting on the past year and preparing for what’s ahead: Student Financials will be producing the 1098-T for the first time in PS V9; Financial Aid just did an Aid Year Rollover; and Student Records is fine tuning business processes related to enrollment, class search, and the backbridge.

The spring term is off an running and things seem to be going smoothly systemwide. ASR-IT put in place additional support for the start of the term to address any potential system issues. We did not experience any major system-wide problems; it appears that we are finally settling into our business in the PS V9 world.

You may notice in this month’s newsletter that we have begun to provide a fuller definition of some of the acronyms we use. They are second nature to so many of us—but we often forget they can be daunting or confusing to those outside our fields. Hopefully this additional information will be helpful in building understanding across our areas of expertise. Let me know what you think.