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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Eleanor's update

This fall we have been out visiting with Duluth, Crookston, and Morris campuses sharing information and seeking input on current initiatives. These visits allow us to exchange information face-to-face and listen to each other’s concerns. They also allow us to work together to support each other, and look for opportunities to tackle challenges.

Shortly after returning from Crookston I saw the information from President Kaler announcing the formation of a new committee: the System-wide Strategic Planning Committee. As I read through the information, it was almost like time traveling back to the ESUP project and the formation of the various student steering committees which we have continued as system councils.

Some of the articulated goals and the posed questions are items we adopted during ESUP and have continued to strive towards over the last several years. Take a look at the following and see if these items sound familiar.

  • While still being mindful of the distinctive missions and strengths of our five campuses, each campus plan will continue to locally guide decision-making and resource-allocation.
  • The system-wide plan should articulate the common values, processes, and expectations across campuses, and how the unique strengths of each part of the system.
  • Make planning efforts to better align our resources and leverage our strengths as a system.
  • Recommend new opportunities to leverage a system-wide perspective to benefit all of our students and citizens across the state.

  • Who are we as a University system? What are our collective strengths and commitments? What are the unique strengths of individual campuses?
  • How do we ensure that the unique areas of strength are complementary and connected within the system?
Each committee member is to work as a “University citizen,” not solely as a representative of a specific campus, unit, or constituency, so that the committee will think creatively and big about how we can make our University of Minnesota system more impactful and greater than the sum of its parts.

Sue's update

We are well into the term and preparing for spring term. Our campus visits have been beneficial and I always enjoy the environments of the campuses. Seeing the students, the campus changes, and the staff energizes me to see how we can collaborate even more.

Adrienne Bricker will begin Monday, November 28 in the Office of the Registrar. This is the position formerly held by Ingrid Nuttall. She comes to us from Hunter College, City University of New York, and brings a variety of project management experience, has implemented student degree progress initiatives, has worked with faculty on re-engineering general education requirements, and has an understanding of PeopleSoft. Her background in both financial aid and academic records will allow her to immediately contribute and lead initiatives both within Academic Support Resources (ASR) and with our external stakeholders.

Please continue to contact me if you have any questions about current initiatives.

Prior Prior Year (PPY) and early FAFSA numbers

October 1 arrived, and so did the ISIR (Institutional Student Information Record) applications. Even though this is the earliest students have ever been allowed to apply for aid, we were ready. As ISIR applications continue to arrive for students who have been admitted to the University they are loaded into the system. For students who haven’t yet been admitted to the university, their ISIR will remain in the suspension file until they are admitted; ISIRs for students who are never admitted will remain in the suspense file. For students selected for verification, communications are underway.

We will convene a group of admissions and financial aid staff in the early spring to examine what we might be able to do differently in coming years.

2018 ISIRs first load 10/4/16:
Crookston - Loaded: 8; Suspended: 29
Duluth - Loaded: 107; Suspended: 483
Morris - Loaded: 41; Suspended: 93
Twin Cities - Loaded: 389; Suspended: 2,464

Current stats as of 11/14/16:
Crookston - Loaded: 255; Suspended: 265
Duluth - Loaded: 2099; Suspended: 4,052
Morris - Loaded: 431; Suspended: 712
Twin Cities - Loaded: 6,725; Suspended: 14,904

Study Away - but not too far

University Relations (UR) made the Study Away website live on Oct 14. The intention of this site is to provide a high-level overview, whereas more detail lives on the One Stop website Study Away page. The application for Study Away has been published on One Stop and Study Away websites. ASR created a new plan and sub-plans under the “MULTU” academic program for Study Away for tracking and reporting purposes. The program starts this month with registration for spring term.

CS9.2 project update

The CS9.2 upgrade project is ramping up into discovery and analysis sessions. Business analysts will review new features and functionality coming with Campus Solutions v.9.2. Recommendations on new features will then be presented to the system councils for feedback and a final recommendations. These sessions will be taking place throughout November and December.

After a pause on the project for the PeopleTools 8.55 upgrade, the technical upgrade portion of the CS9.2 project will roughly take place between April and October of 2017. Immediately following this, the project will continue building in any new features or functionality to meet business needs through March of 2018. Timelines are still in flux and will be communicated more broadly when finalized. Please contact Carrie Otto with any questions.

One Stop website redesign project went live

The project launch was successful! Many students and staff are using the new sites for each system campus. Here are total user sessions since launch:
  • Crookston - 1,714
  • Duluth - 20,395
  • Morris - 4,458
  • Rochester - 1,353
  • Twin Cities - 213,810

There has been excellent system-wide collaboration and attention given to assist in making minor tweaks to the sites post-launch. The public feedback form provided helpful input, and feedback has quieted. The form has been removed (or will be) from each of the homepages of the five system campus sites. The Twin Cities communication team is working on creating documentation, and will be training system campus communications/web staff for future maintenance of the site. There will be a final project report coming soon as we closing the project. We will move into an ongoing governance model for the future. Thank you to all who have contributed to this project.

ASR IT updates

Tech project updates

  • Gopher “Day of Code:” a day dedicated to practicing the craft of programming. Mark your calendar for Thursday, January 12, 2017. We'll be inviting programmers from throughout the Twin Cities. Look for more information in late November.
  • PeopleTools patch: A new patch from Oracle PeopleTools was implemented for increased security, and other upgrades are happening to keep our environment on current releases. Our ASR IT community tracks and supports these efforts.
  • Parchment project: A technical project working with Parchment was recently completed that allows transcript requests by career. There have been many single-career transcripts generated since this functionality was implemented, proving its usefulness.
  • Behind-the-scenes tracking and support activities for the enrollment season have begun.
  • Class Search enhancement: Preliminary work on identifying technical solutions for an enhanced class search function has begun.

Access Request Form (ARF) update

The OIT Provisioning & Request (PAR) office has heard our concerns and has been working to make improvements to the access request process. PAR has moved to convert all access requests PDFs into ServiceNow workflows. PAR has implemented these access requests to be entirely within ServiceNow so no PDFs are required.

The following items have been changed:

  • APAS
  • APlus
  • CCS
  • Reporting Center (CS & HR)
  • ECAS Dept & College Approver Roles
  • ECAS Central Admin Approver Roles
  • PCAS Dept. College & Campus Approver Roles
  • PCAS Central Admin Approver Roles
  • Promotional Scholarship
  • REPA
  • Scholarship Entry
  • STARs
  • Sign In As
  • ULearn
  • Ofc of Internal Audits

Conference news

It is eye-opening to review the list of conferences in which our staff from across the system have actively participated. We cover a broad and diverse span of knowledge in order to support students’ success in higher education. Here are some brief highlights from those conferences:

CIC/Big 10: Big Ten Academic Alliance Military and Veterans Group Conference
Jenni Peterson attended the annual Big Ten Academic Alliance Military and Veterans Peer Group Conference held on the UW- Madison campus. All of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Schools with the exception of Northwestern were represented. In addition to important updates and sharing what each school is doing for their military-connected students, there was a focus on employment and internships post-graduation. We also had the opportunity to meet with a Wisconsin lawmaker to discuss what state-issued mandates we have across the group to support student veterans and their families.

SalesForce - DreamForce Conference
Grant Clavelle and Carrie Otto attended the SalesForce - DreamForce conference on behalf of ASR. It lived up to its “largest software conference in the world” billing, as over 170,000 people made their way to San Francisco. Grant and Carrie presented “ROI is King” which was well received by a higher education audience of about 150 people. There were a lot of opportunities to go to other sessions (2,700 total) and network with higher ed peers and Salesforce executives. There were also many great keynote sessions, including philanthropist Melinda Gates, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Congressman John Lewis, astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly, performer and philanthropist Will.i.am, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, motivationalist Tony Robbins, and more.
UMACRAO Conference
At the recent UMACRAO conference, it was a pleasure to gather with registrar and records colleagues from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Rochester, Crookston, and Morris, and other institutions. Several University of Minnesota staff presented at the conference and participated in leadership roles.
  • Session presenters:
    • Tina Falkner presented “Financial Literacy: Helping Our Students Help Themselves”
    • Tina Falkner and Stacey Tidball presented “FERPA: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask”
    • Rachel McKessock and Allie Cummelin presented “Collaborating Across Units for Student Degree Progress & Retention”
    • Judy Korn was a co-presenter with Liesl Fowler, Augustana College, and Crystal Comer, Augsburg College, and presentedGetting it Right on Your Campus: Preferred name, Pronouns, Gender”
  • ASR staff with roles who received recognition:
    • Amber Cellotti, Chair of the Program Committee,  and also won the Exemplary New Member award
    • Erik Sparby, Historian

Institute for Student Services Professionals (ISSP)
Andy Fields, Fue Chee Yang, Betsy Everts, and Julie Selander attended the annual ISSP conference at the University of Knoxville, Tennessee. Betsy and Andy presented along with Jerrad Harrison from Miami University in a session titled “Investing in Student Staff to Expand the One Stop Service Model.” The University of Tennessee provided an in-depth tour of their One Stop Express Student Services operation.

Minnesota Association of Financial Aid Administrators (MAFAA) Fall Conference
Several staff from One Stop (Marcia DeGaetano, Mee Vang and Rick Zmudzien) and Office of Student Finance (Larry Bloom, Michelle Boland, MEG Calabrese, Dianne Danov, Kari Ellering, Tina Falkner, Cheryl Johnson, Roxanne Johnson, Carol McDowell, Regina Moran, Deb Pusari, Nate Rosckes, Cathy Schuster, Amanda Temple, Deb Wilkin, and Christina Wilson) attended the MAFAA’s Fall Financial Aid Conference late October. The conference was full of prior prior year information as well as the Department of Education’s guidance on resolving conflicting data between AY17 and AY18.
MN Collection Network Mega Conference XXIV
This is a great conference for higher education collection and Accounts Receivables professionals to connect, network, and meet other potential vendors. The University of Minnesota system was well represented. Attendees included Jill Stanislawski, Deanna Nordeen, Kelly Johnson, and Nichole Lofald from the Duluth campus. Lydia Self, Melissa Gasper, Penny Levine, Steve Miller, Rick Stroncek, Didi Nguyen, Doug Rositzke, and Maggie O’Neill attended from the Twin Cities. Deanna is vice chair of the MN Collection Network Committee this year and also facilitated the Accounts Receivables (A/R) panel breakout session. Doug Rositzke participated in the Perkins Loan panel, and Lydia Self serves on the MN Collection Network Committee handling Purchasing.

Aspire 2016
Ad Astra’s annual user conference, Aspire 2016, was held October 16-19 in Kansas City, Missouri. Hundreds of people from colleges and universities across the country attend the conference every year. Christine Mounts, Phil Hunter, and Susan Niece from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities scheduling team were in attendance. Christine Mounts presented two case studies at the conference, one describing how the University uses security roles in Astra Schedule to manage multiple campuses and decentralized scheduling, and the other on the University’s migration to the Astra Cloud.

TouchNet - COMTECH Conference
This conference is focused on commitment to a seamless unification of campus commerce. Maggie O’Neill from Student Account Assistance attended the Campus commerce automation and integration COMTECH conference. This bi-annual finance conference for schools and collections agencies featured sessions in multiple tracks presented by Heartland / ECSI, TouchNet, and Onecard. Experts provided guidance on best practices and strategies to run campus business better, all in effort to help us build our knowledge with industry leaders, peer presenters, and product experts. Sessions focused on new ways to:
  • streamline operations
  • cut costs
  • tighten security
  • improve the student experience

A pre-conference workshop on PCI included a powerful lineup of sessions on how to keep our campus payment data safe, as well as the regulations we are required to follow. It covered trending threats, regulations, executive planning, point-of-sale strategy, choosing the right path, closing the loopholes, case study, and what happens during the first 48 hours after a breach.

Midwest Higher Education Users Group (HEUG)
The MIDHEUG was held October 17 and 18 in Waukesha, WI and was attended by staff from Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. Twin Cities staff members Deb Brown, Carolee Cohen and Jack Kimmes from ASR IT were in attendance. Brad Carlson from OIT attended and presented. And Duluth attendees included; Jill Stanislawski, Donna Triebwasser, Carla Boyd and Joanna McCord. There were roadmap sessions for 9.2 and Cloud. Jack did a well-attended workshop on “Tuition Setup.” He also did a query session. Carolee was the Track Chair for Student Financials and Financials sessions. Topics covered were: 1098-T, payment security, parent/guest access for SF self-service, refunding, veterans tracking, query, and tuition setup. More than 375 people attended.

Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Statewide Veterans Conference
Erica Friedman from One Stop/Veterans Services attended the MN Statewide Veterans Conference in St. Cloud on October 7. State and federal legislators spoke about current programs and their work on bills supporting veterans and their families. Breakout sessions focused on education and employment benefits and available resources for veterans and their families. Representatives from U of M programs Military Family Learning Network: Family Transitions and ADAPT 4 U (supporting families during and after deployment) were among the organizations available to answer questions about their programs.

Big 10 Bursar meeting

In early-October, Tina Falkner attended the Big 10 Bursar meeting. The meeting discussed topics ranging from canceling students for non-payment once the term has started to what monetary threshold is used for holding enrollment, transcripts, etc. Sometimes it’s comforting to know that many of our colleagues struggle with the same issues we do and haven’t found a perfect solution yet either.

Crookston (November 2016 updates)

Chancellor Fred Wood to leave the University
The Chancellor search at UMC has begun. Serving as chancellor at the University of Minnesota Crookston since July 2012, Chancellor Fred E. Wood announced in September that he plans to retire from the University of Minnesota system. He shared that he needs to care for his extended family in northern California as the reason he is leaving his leadership position in Crookston. Chancellor Wood has accepted a new position in California that will begin on January 1, 2017.

Last week President Kaler was on campus and had an open forum relating to the Chancellor search. A Search Firm was also on campus last week and met with several faculty and staff. A specific timeline is not available but updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships moving
The Office will be moving to the basement of Hill Hall over the next few days to make way for the International and Diversity Center on Campus. This move will result in Financial Aid and the Registrar’s office being right across from one another.

Training on APAS:
Amanda Grimm, Twin Cities’ ASR Continuity and Compliance degree audits team member,  visited Crookston and worked with staff in the registrar’s office over a two-day span to make required coding changes to support APAS refinements, update its appearance, and meet new policy changes. In addition, Crookston is considering pursuing changes to APAS to allow them to have access to the new MyU SDP. The goal is to complete this project by summer 2017.

Out and About
  • Barb Phaiah, Principle Office and Admin Specialist, represented UMC OTR at the November UMACRAO conference at Arrowwood in Alexandria, MN.
  • Kayla Pahlen and Crystal Hanson from the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships attended the Minnesota Association of Financial Aid Administrator’s Fall Training.
  • Melissa Dingmann was a scholarship reader for the Gilman Scholarship Program in Houston, TX earlier this month.
  • Melissa Dingmann and Ken Myers attended the Higher Learning Commission’s Academy of Persistence and Completion Round Table discussions in Chicago last week.

Comings and goings:

  • Welcome to Jessica Benson who will begin as a Student Finance Counselor 2 on November 21. She is coming from St. Cloud State University where she has worked in the Financial Aid Department there for the past three years.

Duluth (November 2016 updates)

Spring Registration
Registration queue opened for spring 2017 on November 7.

Comings and goings 
Welcome Carl Huber he started work October 25th as a Financial Aid Educator for prospective students.

Morris (November 2016 updates)

Chancellor’s search update
Three finalists visited campus from October 26 to November 4. The anticipated dates for the announcement of the finalist is between November 28 and December 2. More information can be found at the Chancellor’s Search website: http://committees.morris.umn.edu/chancellor-search

Minnesota Association of Financial Aid Administrators (MAFAA) 2016 fall training
Staff from the Office of Financial Aid and One Stop Student Services attended the Minnesota Association of Financial Aid Administrator’s Fall Financial Aid Training Day on October 25.

Rochester (November 2016 updates)

News and Updates
The Rochester Student Association went door to door in East Rochester and collected 290 pounds of nonperishable food item donations for Channel One Food Shelf. Trick-or-Canning is an annual event of the Rochester Student Association in which students ask for food donations to benefit the Rochester Community.
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.

Twin Cities (November 2016 updates)

News and Updates
October 23 MyU Student Degree Progress (SDP) launch
Twin Cities and Rochester campuses successfully launched a new tool within MyU that helps undergraduate students better understand their degree progress and plan for four-year degree completion. Members of the Student Degree Progress and APAS teams provided a demonstration of the tool in early November for advisors and staff. Student have been receptive to the new Degree Progress tool, and since launch, 8,436 student have viewed the new tool on the Degree Progress tab. 2,828 student have continued to the second page to learn more about their degree progress.
If you have questions, contact the ASR Student Degree Progress team.

Financial aid verification training
On Tuesday, November 15, the Twin Cities Office of Student Finance staff who are responsible for verification completed verification training in preparation for upcoming 2017-18 verification responsibilities.

Comings and goings
  • Catherine Anderson joined ASR on October 31 in the position of PeopleSoft Degree Audit Analyst in Continuity and Compliance. She is located in 160 Williamson Hall and reports to Stephanie Sutton.
  • Ashanti Gholson to ASR - Continuity and Compliance. Ashanti will be working in a one-year position as PeopleSoft Degree Audit Analyst.
  • Jenni Peterson from One Stop has been hired as an Associate Director in ASR-IT. Jenni began her new role on November 14.
  • Sarah Hollerich, Graphic/Multimedia Designer with Continuity and Compliance, has transferred to another position within the University. Her last day in ASR was Thursday, October 27.

  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) elects new President
Congratulations to Tina Falkner on her election as President-elect of AACRAO. This is the first time in the history of the organization that this position has been held by someone with specific background in Student Records and Student Financial Aid. Way to go Tina!

  • Upper Midwest Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (UMACRAO)
And congratulations to Amber Cellotti on being elected as President-Elect for 2016-17 who will then serve as the 2017-18 President of UMACRAO.

  • Community Fund Drive with a twist!
One, two, three, four, we declare a PENNY WAR! From October 14-31, 2016 ASR staff engaged in a Penny War to raise money for the Community Fund Drive. It involved several ASR staff members’ pets that have been featured in our internal newsletter, News & Notes. ASR staff 'voted' for their favorite pet. All funds ASR collected went to the U of MN Foundation to be added to the Completion Fund Scholarship.

Our featured pets for the Penny War were: Tonks; Bears; Snickers and Meep; and Newman. Congratulations on raising $527 funds, and of course congratulations to the winner, Tonks.