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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Twin Cities updates (March 2016)

Analytics and Data Integration Formal Community of Practice shares findings
The Analytics and Data Integration Formal Community of Practice (fCoP) wrapped up in February and submitted its findings to the Enterprise Data Management and Reporting steering committee. Check out the final report.

Comings and goings 

  • Trinity Muller, Senior One Stop Counselor in the West Bank Skyway location, was recently promoted to Assistant Director in One Stop Student Services. Her new office location is in 225 Bruininks Hall on the East Bank.  
  • Josh Geiger, One Stop Counselor, also in the West Bank Skyway location, was recently promoted to Senior One Stop Counselor and will remain at the West Bank location. 
  • Justin Pouliot has accepted a job offer at Optum and will be leaving the University after 9 years. His last day is March 31. 
  • Chris Allen has taken another position in HR Payroll at the University. Chris had been the degree clearance coordinator for graduate education records in the Office of the Registrar.
  • Susan Niece joins OCM in the position of Process Coordinator (filling the vacancy left by Sandee Carlson). She will report to Sarah Kussow, and her office is in 160 Williamson.
  • Timothy Olson joins OSF in the position of Student Loan Counselor (filling the vacancy created when Jody Stadler transferred within OSF). His office will be in Fraser, and he will be reporting to Meg Calabrese.

Rochester updates (March 2016)

Accreditation news
The University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), approved for 10 years without any interim monitoring. The University of Minnesota Twin Cities (UMTC) and UMR completed this HLC accreditation process together. Following a comprehensive process that included reviewing the University's accreditation reports, meeting and interviewing dozens of campus faculty, staff, and students, and analyzing countless University documents and data, the accreditation team determined that UMR and UMTC met all 21 requirements with no follow-up activity or interim monitoring necessary related to any of the accreditation or federal compliance criteria.

Position openings

  • Transfer Counselor for the Health Professions program
  • Director of Admissions

Morris updates (March 2016)

Chancellor search continues
The Morris Chancellor Search Committee completed off-site semi-finalist interviews and has invited three finalists to visit UMM during the weeks of March 21 and March 28.

Comings and goings
Isaac Deragon, One Stop Student Services, has accepted a position with Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Duluth updates (March 2016)

New implementations for commencement 
The Registrar’s Office implemented e-forms for both undergraduate and graduate commencement tracking and name/personal data management. Additionally, the commencement program will be in an e-flip book format to align with sustainability efforts; a smaller print will be run for graduate and commemorative copies.

Comings and goings

  • Kim Riordan, EdD, Chief International Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, will be retiring her position and returning to College of Education and Human Service Professions (CEHSP) as faculty as of July 1. 
  • UMD Executive Vice Chancellor Search is progressing well and candidates are expected on campus in April. 
  • Registrar Office has one search and two positions being refilled for the areas of Record Services Specialist Job ID 308287.

Crookston updates (March 2016)

Online bachelor’s program top 15 nationally
UMC’s online bachelor’s degree in marketing has earned a top 15 national ranking among “2016 Most Affordable Marketing Degrees Online” from OnlineU.org. To be considered for this ranking, colleges were required to offer at least a bachelor’s degree or higher in marketing in a fully online format. OnlineU.org is a product of SR Education Group and is a free comprehensive guide allowing students to compare all online colleges in the U.S.

Implementation of new online registration form/process for advisors
OTR implemented a new online registration form/process for online advisors. The new process was implemented for a limited number of the spring 2016 registrations. The online process allows tracking of the registration form and provides immediate communication to both the advisor and the student once OTR has processed the registration request.

Comings and goings

  • Diane Christianson has been hired as assistant to the vice chancellor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Diane began her duties at UMC on March 2.
  • Chunhui Wang, Ph.D. who has served as the director of the Confucius Institute Satellite Office on the Crookston campus since March 2013, will return to his home institution of Capital Normal University in Beijing, China. A new director for the satellite office will arrive in August to continue sharing Chinese culture and language.

Alliance Conference highlights

Just under 4,100 people attended Alliance in Seattle, Washington. Oracle presentations focused on Version 9.2 Campus Solutions (just released in December) and PeopleTools 8.55 which provides improvements to the user interface including scaling that changes the presentation of the page depending on the device you are using. There were a few presentations related to the new cloud products and there are a small number of schools who are piloting the cloud development. U of M attendees included staff from Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. Two new Campus Solutions 9.2 terms are “fluid” and “PUM”=Product Update Manager. In CS 9.2 for Student Records there are significant changes anticipated in class search and other service areas targeted for mobile delivery.

At an 8.54 technical session there were a number of campuses commenting on some database response issues that have not yet been resolved by Oracle.

There was a special session for conversations on Competency Based Education, the range of needs on the higher education continuum both in the US and Abroad. The outstanding questions from an Oracle perspective is this fundamental deliverables that are or will be core? Should it be supported and to what level?

APLUS soon available systemwide

Duluth and Twin Cities staff met this month for initial discussion on the implementation of APLUS at the Duluth campus. The application will be used to assist staff and faculty in academic advising of students systemwide.

New procedure for granting PeopleSoft Access to student workers

Starting April 25, student workers who need view-only or basic update access to PeopleSoft Student Administration pages will be required to complete the online training courses available through the University of Minnesota’s Learning Management System. These courses may be launched and completed by the student worker at their convenience. Those who require additional access (e.g., program/plan, registration) will be granted the access with the understanding that their supervisor will provide the needed training and be responsible for all work completed by the student worker. As always, for any access to be established, an Access Request Form (ARF) with the appropriate ARF attachment must be submitted and processed by Provisioning and Requests (PAR).

IRS 1098-T reporting changes for tax year 2016

Work has begun on investigating the impacts on the mandate from the IRS to use the Charges Paid method of reporting. The University of Minnesota (and about 85% of the schools across the country) currently use Charges Billed on the 1098-T. Student Finance, SF IT, and the Tax Office will be working together to determine next action items like:

  • drafting a letter to the IRS that asks for an extension to allow for time to get system updates done (per a recommendation by NACUBO), 
  • testing the delivered PeopleSoft 1098-T calculation process to see what differences are found in reporting with the Charges Paid method, and
  • validating results with the Tax Office, and requesting any necessary changes from Oracle and OIT. 

Education Advisory Board Student Success Collaborative (EAB SSC) - Predictive Analytics University of Minnesota Pilot Project

Education Advisory Board (EAB) consultants visited the Twin Cities campus on March 7 to introduce the Student Success Collaborative (SSC) platform that was built using University of Minnesota data. EAB led an opportunity assessment with the implementation leadership team and provided training for over forty advisors who have volunteered to pilot the SSC as they advise students over the upcoming the registration cycle. The pilot implementation will run for two months. After the pilot period, feedback provided by the eight participating colleges and programs will be evaluated to determine next steps. More information about EAB SSC and the pilot...

PS Tools Upgrade update

MyU and PeopleSoft applications will be unavailable during planned update work to the PeopleSoft development platform, PeopleTools, set for Saturday, April 23-Sunday, April 24. The work will begin at approximately noon Saturday and run through noon Sunday.

The work being done is an update from PeopleTools version 8.53 to 8.54, and will ensure the University remains on supported versions of the platform for PeopleSoft applications, as well as prepares for future PeopleSoft-related initiatives.


  • The PeopleSoft core applications and some applications dependent on them will be unavailable while the update is in progress.
  • Aside from downtime during the weekend, no significant impact for end users is expected, and no action is required as a result of this update.
  • The project team has engaged our business partners to conduct pre-update testing and to coordinate timing.

Further information will be provided as the update weekend approaches. ServiceNow users also may refer to CHG0038142 for up-to-date information.

Implementing Prior Prior Year Free Application for Federal Student Aid

The System Financial Aid Council (SFAC) began discussions to prepare for the big change in applying for financial aid: the implementation of PPY FAFSA which debuts this October 1 for aid applications for the 2017-18 award year. Prior-Prior Year (PPY) refers to a policy enabling students and families to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using tax information from two years ago.

Typically, the FAFSA was not available for filing until January and was based on the prior years tax information; this shift allows filing four months earlier and using the tax data from two years ago. For example, a current high school senior planning to enroll in college in fall 2016 would be able to file FAFSA in October using taxes from 2014. This means that the high school class of 2017 will be the first high school cohort to use the PPY FAFSA, along with all returning college students in that same year.

The SFAC is working through the implications of this much earlier filing date to set expectations surrounding this change for our new and continuing students and how it will impact the timing of financial aid packages. Here are some of the items presently under discussion:

  • Communications to students (what do we tell them and when)
    • direct emails
    • portal
  • Talking points in setting expectations, especially since applying four months earlier does not translate into awarding four months earlier
    • What will this mean for high school financial aid nights?
    • How does this translate to what Admissions tells students?
  • Begin new aid year set-up and processes earlier 
    • request missing documentation
  • Communicate frequently with Admissions
    • applications deadlines
    • scholarship decisions
  • Awareness of 
    • Federal Pell grant schedules
    • Minnesota State grant awarding cycle
    • University of Minnesota cycle on setting tuition 
    • Oracle delivers critical Financial Aid fixes only at certain times and those fixes are crucial to awarding aid