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Thursday, November 17, 2016

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.

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