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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Eleanor’s update

We’ve had a smooth start to fall term across all our campuses, made possible by your collective dedication to supporting student success.

It’s a busy time, and it is also time for making our annual campus visits. Sue and I will be making visits to all the campuses this fall. We will begin this month at Duluth, followed by Crookston in October, and Morris in November. Rochester will be scheduled soon.

These annual visits provide opportunities to meet face-to-face and exchange information and updates, review achievements from the past year, and strategically focus on our future initiatives and projects.

Please read through this month's’ system campus update to get an idea of all the exciting work that has been underway.

Sue’s update

Fall term is off and running for all of us and we have hit the census day as well. Thanks to all of you on behalf of the students for making this work smoothly and seamlessly for them.

I only have a few updates for you. Interviews are occurring for the Student Records position formerly held by Ingrid Nuttall. Thanks to the search committee for their efforts. I appreciate the Student Records Council meeting with the candidates as well.

President Kaler announced that Boyd Kumher will be the University’s new Chief Compliance Officer. Boyd comes from Case Western Reserve where he established a compliance program. He replaces Lynn Zentner who retired this summer.

Finalists for the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Search have been named. Each finalist’s information will be released one day prior to the candidate coming to campus.

Internal Audit is planning an audit of the Enterprise System Upgrade of the Student System. The audit will address new system functionality, efficiency, and effectiveness. The audit will be performed in three phases: the planning and survey phase; the detailed testing phase; and the reporting phase. As I learn more about this process, I will keep you updated. Grant Clavelle is the point person, so I will be asking the auditors to send all questions through him. They are not to contact you directly.

I am excited about my campus visits and look forward to seeing everyone.

Prior Prior Year (PPY) tax document usage and early FAFSA submission

There are two major changes to the 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application process:

  1. Starting this fall, the FAFSA will be available earlier (October 1, 2016 instead of January 1, 2017) for 2017-18.
  2. The FAFSA will require information from an earlier tax year. Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, students will report income information from two years prior, rather than one year prior as has been the case in the past. So for the 2017-18 year, students will be using 2015 tax data. The term commonly used to describe this change is using prior, prior year tax data. The advantage is applicants will very likely have completed their taxes for the tax year used on the application rather than using estimated data or delaying applying until their taxes are completed.

As part of these changes the Department of Education is strongly encouraging the use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). This tool, which is part of the FAFSA, allows many applicants and their parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA and transfer the required information directly into the FAFSA from the IRS. Students who use this tool are much less likely to be selected for verification, a process by which a student is required to submit additional documentation to support that the data reported on the FAFSA is accurate.

Admissions and financial aid staff have been meeting to discuss how the University will adjust deadlines, application processing, and estimated awards in response to above mentioned changes. Plans are contingent on PeopleSoft providing the technical support needed to successfully implement the new timeline.

The week of September 12, 2016 the ASR-IT financial aid team received a critical fix from Oracle to allow processing of the 2017-18 financial aid application. The critical fix is scheduled to be installed with Bundle #42 on September 25th. However, this is contingent on the outcome of testing; any defects may impact the timeline.

Estimated financial aid award notices for admitted, incoming freshman and transfer students are scheduled to begin going out the last week of January 2017. The priority deadline for financial aid application (for the Twin Cities campus) will remain March 1, 2017.

Actual financial aid award notices for incoming students, and continuing students, are scheduled to begin going out in July after tuition and fees have been approved by the Board of Regents. Students filing the FAFSA early will be notified that the FAFSA has been received and to expect award notices in mid-to-late-July.

Constitution Day

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the US Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787. It recognizes all who, born in the US or by naturalization, have become citizens. In 2004, under Senator Byrd's urging, Congress changed the designation of this day to "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day," and added two new requirements in the commemoration of this day. The first is that the head of every federal agency provide each employee with educational and training materials concerning the Constitution on September 17th. The second is that each educational institution which receives federal funds should hold a program for students every September 17th (or a weekday closest to the 17th).

Here are the programs being held across our campuses in recognition of Constitution Day:

  • Twin Cities and Rochester campuses had a MyU portal Constitution Day tile and included it as a timely topic on One Stop during the week of September 12th.
  • Morris campus held an event on Sept 19th. The Library sponsored a Constitution Day panel entitled "The Supreme Court Speaks: Readings from Court Opinions." The presentation was followed by a discussion of the cases presented.

  • Crookston campus’ Student Engagement Office hosted, “I have a friend who…” It was a casual conversation with Professor David Seyfried and Polk County Public Defender Eric Gudmundson regarding Constitutional rights and responsibilities, on September 19th.

Study Away - but not too far

The President’s Office is working with each campus to create a “study away” experience for students who want to spend a term on another University campus. Each campus has identified a set of classes for students to take for their study away experience. ASR is working with the President’s Office to determine how tuition and fees will be handled. Students will need advisor approval to participate in Study Away, and a shared form is being drafted.

9.2 Upgrade

Project Manager Carrie Otto has been visiting with the system councils and the ASR BA leads as part of PS Campus Solution 9.2 Upgrade project planning.
Discussions with each of the student council groups (Student Finance, Financial Aid, Student Records, SEVIS, Admissions, and Campus Community/Shared Data) have already taken place.

It currently appears this upgrade will primarily be a technical upgrade from version 9.0 to 9.2. requiring much less functional staffing resources than 9.0 upgrade project did. Technical review of functionality and tools will be conducted and then overviews will be brought to the councils for input on the inclusion of the upgrade. Any items that require business process review will include functional stakeholders.
Current project team members are:
  • Carrie Otto - Project manager
  • Eleanor Pijut - Project support
  • Jake Flemming - OIT project lead
  • John Vollum - Change management
  • TBD - Communications
  • TBD - Training

The project is following this tentative timeline:

  • Phase 1: Plan & Discover, July - October 2016
  • Phase 2: Analyze & Design, October 2016 - January 2017
    • Pause for Tools 8.55, February 2017- April
  • Phase 3: Configure & Develop, April - June 2017
  • Phase 4: Test & Train, August 2017- Feb 2018
  • Phase 5: Deploy & Optimize, February - May 2018

One Stop Website Redesign update

Work on the system One Stop website project is nearing the finish line. We just completed our second round of usability and the site tested very well. The most common words used to describe the site were: informative, helpful, easy to use, and clean. We are working on final styling changes, content approvals, and communication planning as we head for our planned launch date, October 20th. Thank you to the many stakeholders contributing to the setup of this new and improved site. A formal project update will be coming soon.

APLUS Moodle Pilot

For the past year, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Biological Sciences have participated in a pilot in APLUS that allowed academic advisors to be alerted if—based on data from Moodle—one or more of their advisees earned poor grades in their assignments or hadn’t logged into the course site over the preceding two-week window. Advisors would then reach out and ascertain what might be happening and, if necessary, set up an appointment to discuss further. Although the information was generally useful for individual courses, advisors noted that it was much more meaningful if they were alerted if the student was exhibiting the above mentioned behaviors in multiple classes simultaneously. Results from the year-long pilot were very encouraging, and as a result, the Moodle pilot has been expanded to Crookston, and many more classes on the Twin Cities campus.

Tech Project updates

Campus Codefest
The ASR Custom Solutions team partnered with ASR Student Data & Analytics team to sponsor a student degree progress visualization project at the 2016 Campus CodeFest. The team collaborated with approximately 15 people over two days and created 5 visualization prototypes in 3 different technologies. Some of these visualizations will continue to be built-upon by the Student Data & Analytics team for student retention and degree progress efforts.

Time Conflicts Workflow
The Class Time Conflict workflow launched on August 15, 2016 for all campuses in the University of Minnesota system. This workflow allows students to request approval to register for courses and classes that are in conflict (i.e. have start/end times that overlap) online and have their requests routed electronically for approval and processing. Since the launch date there have been a total of 112 requests across all campuses, with 110 requests on the Twin Cities campus, and one request each at Crookston and Morris.
  • Bundle 42, to be implemented 9/25/2016
  • HR Images upgrade
  • PeopleSoft Oracle Database upgrade from version 11.2 to 12.1. This upgrade is necessary to keep the PeopleSoft systems, as well as the University's Oracle Database portfolio, on a currently supported version.

ASR IT Testing
ASR-IT business analysts continue to work on the many technical initiatives that are currently underway. Here are a few:

Crookston (September 2016 updates)

News and Updates
Financial aid nights underway
The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships has started scheduling financial aid nights at area high schools. The office will also be a site hosting the MOHE Statewide Financial Aid Conference at the end of the month.

Fall 2016 enrollment highlights
Fall 2016 enrollment for degree-seeking students is estimated at 1,821. This is a slight decrease from the prior two years but still near our record-high numbers. This includes a new cohort of students taking classes at the White Earth Tribal & Community College in Mahnomen, MN.

Summer graduates

The Office of the Registrar at the University of Minnesota Crookston congratulates its approximately 50 summer 2016 graduates.

APLUS/Moodle pilot
UMC has over 80 classes participating in the APLUS/Moodle pilot this fall.

Higher Learning Commission’s Persistence and Completion Academy
HLC’s Persistence and Completion Academy provides participating institutions a structured, mentor-facilitated, four-year program aimed at evaluating and improving student persistence and completion rates. Seven faculty and staff, including Ken Myers, Registrar, and Melissa Dingmann, Financial Aid & Scholarship Director, have been selected to be part of the UMC team. The team has been actively engaged in a Data Discovery visit and is preparing for the November conference being held in Chicago where there will be roundtable discussions and feedback from the Academy based on and driven by the data compiled by the team.

Comings and goings
  • After 18 years of service, Mary Feller left the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships in late August to take a position at University of North Dakota.
  • Welcome back to Kayla Pahlen who returned to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships from maternity leave at the end of August. Ivy Jeanne Pahlen joined big brother Timothy at the end of May.
  • Michelle Christopherson was named Crookston’s Admissions Director this past May. She previously held the position of Director of the Center for Adult Learning. The duties and priorities of CAL, along with CAL staff, have since been disseminated to both the Office of Admissions and to Liberal Arts & Education Department.

UMC celebrates two anniversaries this year: it’s 50th year as an institution of higher learning and 20th year of offering online academic programs

Duluth (September 2016 updates)

News and Updates

Significant discussions

Campus prioritization continues to be a significant area of work for the campus. The faculty analysis is complete and staff analysis is in progress for aligning UMD resources and revenues.

Presentations of UMD campus climate
On Tuesday, September 13, UMD Chancellor Lendley C. Black invited the campus to hear the results of the campus climate survey that students, faculty, and staff participated in last fall. The primary goals of the project were to identify successful initiatives; uncover any challenges facing members of our community; and develop strategic initiatives to build on the successes and address the challenges that impact how community members experience living, learning, and working at UMD. UMD has already scheduled and invited faculty, staff, and students to participate in one of the follow-up Idea Sessions to help build action plans based off of the challenges and opportunities identified in the climate survey.

Fall Enrollment Highlights
Overall, the fall 2016 enrollment is estimated at 10,850 total (undergraduate, graduate, professional, and non-degree students). This is down just a bit from the official 10,878 count of fall 2015.
  • New freshman enrollment is up more than 6% from last fall, with 2,130 freshman enrolled for fall 2016.
  • Degree-seeking, undergraduate students are up 1.5% (9,076).

Schedule of classes highlights
  • 4,187 distinct classes scheduled for fall 2016 (-139 classes from fall 2015).

Transfer credit highlights
  • 3,721 transcripts were received by the UMD Registrar for articulation of credit decisions in 2015-2016.
  • A total of 7,926 courses were reviewed by faculty for transfer decision, recorded and programed by UMD OTR.
  • In 2015-2016, academic credit was received from 25 international institutions, UMD received international academic credit from 19 institutions for fall 2016, of which 15 were new institutions for UMD.
  • In 2015-2016 Reverse Transfer:
    • Twelve AA degrees were awarded by Lake Superior College out of 61 student who authorized records to be sent (19.7%) which is 7.5% of the total students invited to participate. Summer AA degree results have yet to be received.
    • Nine students of the 12 AA degrees awarded have received their UMN bachelor's degree, 3 have reduced the number of liberal education credits required to complete their degree (estimated student savings at the non-banded rate of $5,948), 49 students will continue in the program for fall 2016.

As of September 1, Duluth began piloting APLUS with a limited number of staff. These staff will be piloting APLUS throughout the fall semester. About half way through the term feedback will be gathered with the hope that APLUS will then have an expanded roll out to the broader campus community for spring 2017.

Fall registration cancellation due to non-payment results
Duluth originally cancelled 29 students’ fall 16 registration due to non-payment of the prior term (Spring 16 or Summer 16) from an original list of 357 students. Of those 29 students that were cancelled, 21 of them have paid their past due bill, and 20 of them have re-registered for fall 16 courses. Many thanks to Deanna Nordeen in Student Financial Services for all of her hard work!

Comings and goings
  • Kathy Peterson from the Office of the Registrar accepted a promotion and is a program manager in the Office of Financial Aid. Congratulations, Kathy.
  • Kris Grant has left UMD for a new job. September 19 was her last day. Her position will be posted in the future, but for now, Scott Schweikert will temporarily provide coverage.

Kudos Duluth is one of Sierra’s Top 30 Cool Schools for 2016
The University of Minnesota Duluth has once again been named a "Cool School" on the Sierra Club's List of The Top 100 Green Schools. The list recognizes educational institutions and individuals across the country that demonstrate new and innovative approaches to school sustainability, environmental initiatives, and a commitment to leading the way in energy and environmental design.

Morris (September 2016 updates)

News and Updates
Chancellor Search Committee update
The Chancellor Search Committee has reviewed applications and will be conducting off-site interviews from a selected group. Tentative dates for finalists to visit campus are October 26 through 28, and October 31 through November 4.
Morris is one of Sierra’s Top 30 Cool Schools for 2016

Office of Academic Success (OAS) names director:
Brenda Boever has been named director of Morris’s Office of Academic Success (OAS), which includes advising, academic assistance, disability resources, and success coaching. Brenda had been acting as the interim director. The mission of the Office of Academic Success is to ensure equal access to educational and academic supports, resources and information, and to promote excellence within the vision of lifelong professional and personal satisfaction in order to foster a University of Minnesota, Morris renewable, sustainable education, during the student’s academic career.

Morris campus publishes preferred and primary name statement
Recent attention and focus on Title IX issues surrounding gender, and campus climate initiatives across the University system aimed to foster and support a climate of inclusion, have elevated conversations on the use of preferred name. The system registrar council (SRC) has engaged in on-going discussions related to this and has submitted a business case to add preferred names to several student reports. Morris campus is the first of our campuses to publish a name statement to provide information on types of names and usage. Take a look: http://www.morris.umn.edu/policies/preferred-name/

Statewide Financial Aid Conference and Financial Aid Nights
One Stop Student Services has started scheduling financial aid nights at area high schools and was also a host site for the MOHE Statewide Financial Aid Conference on September 20th.

Comings and goings
  • New staff in One Stop Student Services:
    • Lauren Combellick - One Stop Counselor
    • Nicole DeCoteau-Vause - One Stop Counselor
  • New staff in Financial Aid/One Stop Student Services:
    • Nick Skulan - Student Services Specialist
  • Jessica Porwoll joined the Office of Academic Success this summer as a Lead Success Coordinator. She will be working with First Year Coaching and Academic Alerts.

College of Distinction
Morris has been named a 2016-17 College of Distinction for engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities, and successful outcomes. Washington Monthly recognized Morris for its commitment to public good and affordability.
Morris achieved its highest placement to-date and was the highest ranked Minnesota college in the magazine's annual sustainability ranking. Sierra Club ranked Morris 28th in its 2016 ranking of America's greenest colleges.

Rochester (September 2016 updates)

News and Updates
Nursing Guarantee Option Program Starting in Fall 2017, the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) will be offering a Nursing Guarantee Option for students interested in a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree through the University of Minnesota.
Students admitted to the program will complete their first year of courses at UMR in the bachelor of science in health sciences program, which will provide first year prerequisite courses that are required for students entering the BSN program. Years two through four of the BSN program, nursing students will be enrolled in the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, located on the UMR campus.
Financial Aid Nights Underway Rochester One Stop Student Services has started scheduling financial aid nights at area high schools.

Chancellor’s Welcome Back event All students, faculty, and staff were invited to the Peace Plaza for lunch from Newt's, pictures with Rockie Raptor, and a program to welcome everyone back to campus on Sept 6.

Comings and goings

Twin Cities (September 2016 updates)

News and Updates
One Stop St. Paul location officially opened Aug 29 This is a new collaborative model working side by side with CFANS. The remodeled space has a bright, open feel and features a new counter with rehabilitated barn wood, four self-service computers, and flexible work space.

ASR staff completed move to Fraser ASR's Office of the Registrar and Office of Student Finance staff—formerly located on the St. Paul campus and in Williamson, Fraser and Bruininks Halls—are now officially in 200 Fraser Hall. The move took place in August. Staff still have their same phone numbers if you need to contact them.

Student degree progress tool being developed for Twin Cities and Rochester campuses Later this fall, the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities and Rochester campuses will launch a new tool within MyU that helps undergraduate students better understand their degree progress and plan for four-year degree completion. This tool utilizes data from APAS to calculate a student's progress within their degree program. Students will receive recommendations, based on their individual progress and University experience, to help guide them toward four-year degree completion. Multi-institution and transfer students are also included. For this reason, students on your campus may become aware of the new Degree Progress information. If you have questions, contact the ASR Student Degree Progress team.

New Academic Support Resources website A redesigned Academic Support Resources (ASR) website launched Monday, September 12. The new ASR website hosts information on training, support resources, ASR departmental contacts, resources for faculty and staff, and links to applications managed by ASR. Watch a short video introducing the new site.

Comings and goings

  • Darcy Fastner promoted to Student Worker Supervisor in One Stop on August 29.
  • Betsy Everts promoted to Assistant Director in One Stop on August 15.
  • After 16 years with the ASR Training team Nancy Killian has moved to ASR SR-IT unit as a  Business Analyst 2 effective September 12.
  • After 30 years of service to the University, Toni Pangborn in the Office of Classroom Management has announced her retirement, effective this October.
  • Ruth Newman will be retiring from OSF’s Fiscal unit on Friday, September 30.