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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Twin Cities (July 2016 updates)

News and updates
College in the Schools (CIS) 
Twin Cities ASR IT, OTR, CCE-IT, and College in the Schools (CIS) staff have been working on a pilot for fall term to automate the PS student records creation for new CIS students. This automation is the first phase of this project and will provide CIS staff great time savings. Testing is going well and CIS staff are reviewing the business process for the roll out of this new automation. Next phases include looking at options for the automation of term activation and enrollment.


  • Beginning fall term 2016, the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses will be using CollegiateLink for Student Group registration. 
    • CollegiateLink is an online organization management system offered through Campus Labs. It is used to help students connect with events and involvement opportunities at the University of Minnesota. The database records student group profiles, membership rosters, and events, as well as provides students with the opportunity to compile record of all of their involvements.
    • Erik Dussault (project manager) and Janet Crittenden (business analyst) are currently demonstrating what CollegiateLink is and how it can benefit departments and college offices. They are scheduled to present at the Registrar Advisory Committee, Council on Undergraduate Education, and the Advising Steering Committee. Erik and Janet will be reaching out to other departments and college offices over the next nine months to present what CollegiateLink can do for their students. The plan is to roll out an experience record to students at the fall 2017 student orientation.

Campus dates of note

  • End of summer term is Friday, August 19
  • Fall semester classes begin Tuesday, September 6

Comings and goings 

  • Christa Nicols will be leaving ASR-IT on July 29 to attend law school at George Washington. Christa joined ASR in 2011 and has made many contributions to ASR during that time.
  • Erik Bremer joined ASR-IT as a business analyst on July 18. He is from Extension.
  • Ryan Ceresnak joined ASR-IT as a business analyst on July 11. He is from Housing.
  • John Vlk joined ASR-IT as a data analyst on July 18. He is from Tyson Foods.
  • Moses Ngombe joined ASR-IT as a BI developer on July 25. He is from Citigroup Group in Kentucky.
  • Chris Johnson joined ASR-IT as a business analyst on July 25. He is from UnitedHealth Group.
  • Carin Anderson began July 25 in the position of Associate Director, Continuity and Compliance, and reports to Stacey Tidball. Carin is located in 160 Williamson. You may remember Carin from her One Stop days when she served as One Stop Counselor, or later, as a One Stop Manager in One Stop/Veterans Services which she joined in 2012.

Rochester (July 2016 updates)

News and updates
UMR has completed their registration days for new incoming fall 2016 students. A makeup day is scheduled for August 31. The next big student event will be Welcome Week, September 5-11, to start the new academic year.

Campus dates of note

  • End of summer term is Friday, August 19
  • Fall semester classes begin Tuesday, September 6

Comings and goings

Morris (July 2016 updates)

News and updates
Chancellor update
Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson will continue to lead the Morris campus through fall semester. The Chancellor Search Committee has reconvened. National recruitment continues through mid September. Off-site interviews for semifinalists will be scheduled during the week of October 3. On-campus finalist visits will be scheduled between October 26 and November 4. The committee anticipates that the new chancellor announcement will be made between November 28 and December 2.

Campus dates of note

  • End of summer term is Friday, July 29
  • Fall semester classes begin Wednesday, August 24

Comings and goings

  • Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson has appointed Jennifer Zych Herrmann as Morris’s new admissions director. Former director Ben Iverson has accepted a position at Augustana College. 
  • Job postings: The Office of Equity, Diversity and Intercultural Programs seeks a Student Support Services project director for a TRiO program that serves students who are first generation in college, from low income backgrounds, and/or have a documented disability (Job ID 311260). 

Morris recently earned accolades from MONEY, FORBES, and the Fiske Guide to Colleges.

Duluth (July 2016 updates)

News and updates
UMD APLUS fall pilot status
Duluth staff have been preparing for the APLUS pilot roll out this fall. APLUS is system that helps those who work with students advise them more effectively by capturing a lot of relevant information in one place. So far much has been accomplished:

  • Unit/sub-unit tree and student rosters for each unit have been implemented
  • Staff/faculty have been imported and assigned to appropriate unit/roles
  • PeopleSoft comment categories group, contact purposes, alerts, warnings, and exceptions have been created and associated with appropriate units

Next, staff from Twin Cities campus will travel to Duluth the last week in July to provide an in-depth training session with a "train the trainers" model. When the Duluth Pilot goes live this fall, all of our campuses will be using APLUS.

Executive Vice Chancellor update
Executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, Fernando P. Delgado, had his first day on campus July 5, 2016. Previously, Delgado was the vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. His previous experience include Hamline University and Minnesota State University Mankato.

Delgado holds a PhD and master of arts in communication studies from the University of Iowa and a bachelor of arts in political science from San Jose State University. The executive vice chancellor for academic affairs serves as the chief academic officer and oversees areas such as academic departments, IT, enrollment, and research.

Duluth Financial Collections Office name change
Effective July 1, Financial Collections has officially changed its name to Student Financial Services. This was done in an effort to better encompass all of the activity the office does as well as appear more friendly to those that visit the office.

Campus dates of note

  • End of summer term is Friday, July 29
  • August 23- 27, Welcome Week (required for all new freshmen)
  • Fall semester classes begin Monday, August 29

Comings and goings

  • OTR has hired for two positions: Sara Beverage, and Carmel Petersson - both started on June 20. They already visited the TC campus on June 22 for training.
  • Student Financial Services hired Stephanie Preckel as a Principal Office & Admin Specialist. She started on June 27.

Crookston (July 2016 updates)

News and updates 
Crookston OTR is in the process of reviewing all degree programs in the Academic Progress Audit System (APAS). Many of the current APAS’s were first designed when UMC advanced to offering four year degrees in 1995. The second significant alteration is when UMC transitioned to the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum in 2005. As programs evolved, course changes were patched into the existing APAS. Extensive changes in a program over the many years can make the coding more challenging. It has been over ten years and it is time to begin doing some extensive reviewing of the APAS coding and rewriting where necessary to ensure that each will be ready to serve the programs for the next many years. We are beginning the process and plan to conclude the changes by summer 2017.

Campus dates of note 

  • New student advisement and registration Day, Monday, July 25
  • Last day of classes for summer session 2016, Friday, July 29
  • Classes begin for fall semester 2016, Tuesday, August 23

The U of M Crookston’s online degree in accounting has been ranked among the top ten “Best Affordable Online Accounting Bachelor’s Degree Programs” for 2016 ‐2017 by CollegeStart.org, an online educational site.

Conference news

The 3rd annual Ad Astra Information Systems™ 2016 North Central Summit took place at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities on July 12-13. Fourteen academic institutions from four states were represented among our 29 attendees. Representatives from four UMN system campuses were able to attend. The Summit offered two session tracks (academics or events focused) and provided participants with training and networking opportunities with peer institution scheduling colleagues and Ad Astra staff.

Tina Falkner, Marcia DeGaetano, and Julie Selander attended and participated in the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) annual conference July 10-13. Julie and Marcia presented "Developing and Providing Integrated Student Services: The One Stop Shop for Students" and Tina moderated the session. There was a packed room of attendees wanting to learn more about the "one stop model" and there were quite a few followup questions. The opening session speaker was Jeannette Walls, best known for her memoir The Glass Castle, a New York Times best-seller for more than six years selling 4.5 million copies in the U.S. alone. She discussed overcoming hardships and the keys to turning adversity to your advantage. Attendees also had the privilege of hearing from six of the 2016 Success Stories, hearing firsthand about the important role financial aid and administrators have played in helping students pursue and achieve their goals.

One Stop system-wide redesign project

October 20th has been announced as the target date to go live. The One Stop website redesign project is ramping up for upcoming usability sessions with prospective, undergraduate, and graduate students in August. Currently, the ASR communications team is creating the content, sending it to ASR and system campus colleagues for review, and creating content in the new site. The technical team is preparing the development site that will be tested by students in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more updates.

PS 9.2 and Tools 8.55 Upgrade plan

PeopleTools 8.55 is a prerequisite of PS CS 9.2, and will provide facelifts to the user interface, such as a more contemporary look to different menus and functions. Released in December 2015, PS CS 9.2 delivers new visual guides to help casual users better navigate the system and execute activities more easily.
ASR has begun the initial stages of planning for this project. Carrie Otto has agreed to lead the PS CS 9.2 upgrade project and is transitioning to full project management mode. Carrie is forming the team of people that will be working on the project and is also collecting documentation and information to assist getting everyone educated and to define what the scope of the project will be.
A rough timeline has been developed by the Administrative Computing Steering Committee (ACSC) and the Operation Advisory Steering Committee (OASC).

  • July 2016-January 2017
    • July-August
      • Educate IT staff and gain familiarity of PS9.2/T8.55
      • Review release notes
      • Release test instance, OIT
    • September-January
      • ASR fit gap kick-off, October
      • Fit gap & priority determinations
      • Review/redesign business process
      • MIDHEUG updates from other schools upgrading
  • January-April 2017
    • Testing of tools
    • Update documentation for tools
    • Determine tech resources for code, design, and testing
  • May 2017-February 2018
    • Finalize CS 9.2 design changes
    • Retrofits and coding, developers
    • Testing
    • Training, communication, documentation, and change control
  • February 2018
    • Go live

Student Records ASR IT

SR IT staff continues to work on enhancing the Electronic Course Authorization System (ECAS) application for usability. Tthe validation processes are being updated to include 'real time' feedback, such as characters remaining in a text field as well as 'real time' field edit errors. Another significant improvement is that errors will be more clearly identified and notification of errors vastly improved upon submission. We look forward to bringing these improvements to you in August.

SR IT is participating in a project that will provide students the ability to request Parchment transcripts for one career. This change is targeted for later this year; you'll hear more on this new feature soon.

ASR IT projects

It was another busy month with the number of upgrades that we are currently involved in. With our various new systems that came out of the ESUP initiative we must stay on top of them and make sure they are always current. Some of the work we have been doing this summer includes:

  • GreyHeller upgrade - software that makes Portal accessible
  • IDPv3 (Shib) upgrade - authentication
  • Exalogic - software on our new PeopleSoft servers
  • Oracle 12 upgrade - our database 
  • Autosys upgrade - our batch job scheduler 
  • Images upgrade for HR and Financials - upgrade of PS HR9.2
  • Oracle OIM upgrade - new identity management to replace x.500

All of these systems should be transparent to the user community if tested and implemented successfully.

Borrowing history

Starting this month, degree-seeking undergraduate students at all five campuses with a history of loans on record at the University will be presented with an estimate of their total borrowing prior to responding to their financial aid award (if their package includes loans). They will be able to review the estimate of their total loans, an estimated monthly payment, and how that compares to graduates from their campus. While the estimate does not reflect loans taken out at other institutions, certain other loans, or any repayments made, it should help students understand where they stand and inform their future borrowing decisions. Similar initiatives at other Universities have yielded positive results.

 The student will see this borrowing history estimate when they navigate to the “Accept/Decline Awards” page. They will be able to view it at any time in their communication center. The information is a snapshot of their borrowing history as of the time the communication was generated (which is noted on the communication itself).

This is the second phase of this project. The first was a printed letter with similar information sent to Duluth undergraduates in May. Additional phases for educating and informing our students of their borrowing are planned for the future.

Automated PLUS processing

Starting this summer for fall 2016 loan processing, parent borrowers who want to take out a parent PLUS loan will no longer complete the University of Minnesota’s ‘Active Confirmation’ form. Instead, they will begin the loan request process at http://www.studentloans.gov. This change will expedite the process for parent borrowers, eliminate inaccurate data and time-consuming data entry from the former paper form, and drive parents to important and relevant information at the federal student loans website.

Education Advisory Board Student Success Collaborative (EAB SSC)

This project concluded and the committee will meet with Provost Karen Hanson in the near future to present the recommendation that we do not proceed with this particular tool. Reasons include:

  • No value­ added to current UMN tools (e.g., APLUS, APAS)
  • Lack of transparency
  • No way to define success as graduation in four, five, or six years
  • Difficulty interpreting UMN populations, including transfers

 Advisors provided a lot of great ideas for what they would wish to see in a perfect world.

Sue's update

The legislature still has work to do regarding a bonding bill, so as you probably have noticed, the University is in a bit of a holding pattern until a special session is held and, hopefully, decisions are made. We finally have tuition and fee information approved by the Regents; several staff on all our campuses have been busy in a number of areas preparing for the next academic year. Once again, we will try to get estimates on tuition related items moving along earlier so we are not as impacted as we were this year. Anything you can do on your campuses to help facilitate this is appreciated.

The Office of the Registrar Director position is still open. We have enlisted central Human Resources to assist with recruiting and have posted through a number of venues. Please contact colleagues from around the country about this position. Jeremy Todd will be chairing the search committee, but we have not formalized the committee yet. Jeremy and I will keep you posted on the progress of this position.

It is hard to believe we are in the middle of preparing for fall semester. The summer is going by way too fast. Thanks to all of you for helping with end of term processing, summer term items, and preparing for fall.

Eleanor's update

This summer has been a busy and productive time for all of us across the University. The Offices of the Registrar processed and distributed degrees and diplomas, the Student Finance folks set up tuition for fall, Student Financial Aid offices sent out aid offers for the approaching year, the Office of Classroom Management and schedulers have been diligently working on scheduling space for classes, and our One Stop Student Services have kept our respective students and parents informed and welcomed to our campuses.

In the meantime, work on individual and system-wide projects continues. Take a look at the newsletter to see some of these accomplishments and a few of the new projects we are undertaking.