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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Eleanor's update

We are already nearing the end of the calendar year, can you believe it? It seems like October was the month for conferences—take a look at the variety of events staff from across the system have participated in this past month. Maybe you’ll see a conference that will inspire you to get involved. You’ll also see that many projects are moving along and closing in on solutions to improve our service for students.

Sue's update

While we have had challenges with various systems going amuck this term, the Office of Information Technology continues to find ways to improve. I realize it has been a difficult term for all of us—students, faculty, and staff. I continue to seek proactive approaches so these inconveniences do not occur often.

The University took the snapshot for the 2017 graduation numbers on October 31 in order that the four-, five-, and six-year cohort numbers can be presented to the Regents at the February meeting. The numbers will become public at that point. In previous years, these were released in December, but with the new format, Regent Omari pushed it to February. The release of graduation numbers is always an exciting time; we get to see if all our initiatives and hard work are drawing us closer to the Regents Progress Card.

I want to congratulate all of you for making the Campus Solutions 9.2 Technical Upgrade so successful. It is exciting to now be in Phase II of the project.

Campus Solutions 9.2 Upgrade: Phase II projects information

The Campus Solutions 9.2 Functional Upgrade (phase II) is actively working on the 15 different prioritized initiatives. Here are a few specific updates:


  • The Direct Deposit Set-up Improvements group has completed development and currently in its first testing round. Go live is December 17.
  • Escheatment Compliance is currently in development and also scheduled to go live in December.
  • After reviewing the technical analysis of the Payment Plan Improvements initiative, a contingency plan has been put in place that will push the delivery date out into the spring term.
  • The Duplicate ID Tool Enhancement and GPAS Exceptions Process groups are also entering the development cycle and currently on track for planned completion dates.

Thank you to all the stakeholders from all campuses for your continued support of the Campus Solutions 9.2 Upgrade. View the project site for more info.

ULearn transition

The University plans to retire the ULearn system for employee training registration and tracking and replace it with Canvas with an additional, new training portal. Content of online training courses will live in Canvas and registration and tracking will occur in the training portal. The training portal will be based on a custom-developed product developed by the Academic Health Center.

System-wide discussion about study abroad

More and more University of Minnesota students from across our system are exploring study abroad. Because of this, the study abroad and registrar staff met in late October to begin reviewing and sharing information on our current practices looking for ways to make the experience better especially as it applies to multi-institutional study abroad.

The meeting revealed several areas in which our processes aligned, as well as revealing areas in which we need to do more investigation. The group will continue to work on identified areas to clarify our understanding, document information, and improve the study abroad process for students.

BTAA conference

Sue Van Voorhis, Stacey Tidball, Carin Thoms, Emily Holt, and Adrienne Bricker attended the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) registrars’ conference held at Michigan State University. This was a wonderful opportunity to exchange practices and discuss issues relating to systems, policy, and compliance. Hot topics included gender identity and pronoun use in the SIS, one-time transcript/document fees, vendor relationships, and many others. This conference will be held in Minneapolis in October 2018.

Preparations for the 1098-T

The Student Finance group has begun work on the 2017 tax year preparations for 1098-T. The W-9S forms (requesting SSNs or ITINs from students) have already been sent out and the reviews of setup and updates to critical data like names and addresses are in progress.

The Campus Solutions 9.2 Payment Plan project is underway, which impacts 1098-T reporting. The current payment plan causes major issues in the ability to report what a student actually paid, so we want to create a payment plan that still does three installments per term, but in a manner that does not impact 1098-T reporting and removes the confusing payment plan transaction lines in the student account.

2018-2019 aid year underway with first ISIR load

The new aid year has begun with the successful loading of 3814 ISIRs on October 23. Here are the campus numbers from our first run:
  • Crookston - 116
  • Duluth - 958
  • Morris - 258
  • Twin Cities and Rochester - 2,482

Tech-People event

Tech-People’s fall meeting was Thursday, November 16. Tech-People, a biannual gathering of UMN’s IT communities of practice (Web-People, Net-People, DevOps, Code-People and more), features is about all aspects of IT life. Ian Whitney presented his talk, “Destroying Silos with GitHub.” Slides and videos from all talks are available at http://tech-people.umn.edu.

Destiny One registration system begins collecting admission fees

Destiny One registration system begins collecting admission fees

The Office of Admissions recently began utilizing the Destiny One Registration System to collect the application and confirmation fees for incoming freshmen and transfer students. Fees are now being collected in the system for both spring 2018 transfer students and fall 2018 freshman students.

SalesForce’s Dreamforce conference

Dreamforce is now the largest software conference in the world and the University of Minnesota had its own representation via Carrie Otto and Grant Clavelle. Held in San Francisco in November, there were 171,000 registered attendees.

Carrie and Grant attended and presented their own break-out session: “Creating a Continuum of Value through an Enterprise Implementation.” Officially, one whole conference venue is devoted to higher education. This gave Carrie and Grant the opportunity to attend higher ed sessions, network, and meet with Salesforce.org to review the University’s strategic direction.

Crookston updates (November 2017)

Staff News
Peter Phaiah, Associate Vice Chancellor, recently left Crookston after 10.5 years as UMC’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and is moving on to become Assistant Vice President for Student and University Relations at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, New Mexico. Congratulations, Peter!
Lisa Samuelson has agreed to serve as Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, effective Monday, November 6. Having worked closely with long-time Associate Vice Chancellor Peter Phaiah, Lisa will provide continuity and strong leadership for Student Affairs. We will begin to develop plans for a national search to fill the position on a regular appointment. At this time, we anticipate that Lisa’s interim appointment will extend into the 2018-2019 academic year.

Duluth updates (November 2017)

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
University of Minnesota Duluth has begun preparing for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The University will host a visit April 16-17, 2018, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). UMD has been accredited by HLC since 1968. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation.

Staff News

  • David Norman - OTR welcomes David as Business Analyst
  • Katie Meisner - Has left her Athletic and Academic Records Coordinator position in OTR

Morris updates (November 2017)

UMM receives Department of Education grant
Morris has earned a $1.2 million Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement (McNair) Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will fully fund (through September 30, 2022) the McNair project, which will prepare cohorts of low-income, first-generation students and students from groups underrepresented in graduate education for doctoral study.

It will build on Morris’s culture of support for student engagement, academic excellence, and scholarly activity, providing McNair Scholars with a cohesive series of activities designed to prepare them for successful admission to and completion of doctoral programs, particularly in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

Staff News

Congratulations to Jacqueline Johnson, University of Minnesota, Morris Chancellor Emeritus on receiving the James Farrell Re(Cognition) Award. The award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward advancing sustainability efforts in the upper Midwest.

Rochester updates (November 2017)

Chancellor search committee kicks off
In October, President Kaler kicked off the search for Rochester chancellor by assembling a committee of faculty, staff, and community leaders with a broad range of experience and expertise, and a deep understanding of UMR’s unique and innovative model. Jenny Casper is on the search committee. The committee will do its work over the course of the next three months with the goal of having a new Chancellor named in early 2018.

State of UMR Campus address, 2017
Interim Chancellor Lori Carroll provided the 2017 UMR State of the Campus on November 7. Her presentation focused on UMR Students: Passion and Purpose. She shared that a majority of UMR students have had a pivotal health care experience in childhood or adolescence that serves as the catalyst for their passion and purpose.

As part of the address there was a panel of alumni (former Rochester students) speaking to their educational experience at Rochester. The alumni shared how the great access to faculty and student success coaching model shaped their learning experience and helped them achieve their academic and career goals.

Rochester hosts 2018 Higher Education Innovation Summit

The University of Minnesota Rochester will host the Higher Education Innovation Summit June 6-8 featuring keynote speakers Freeman Hrabowski, Randall Bass, and Stephen Lehmkuhle. The summit is designed to connect creative educators and researchers seeking to transform higher education through innovations that enhance student learning.

Twin Cities updates (November 2017)

Expected Graduation Term (EGT) project
In order to further support the University’s progress toward degree efforts, a project is underway to populate the expected graduation term (EGT). Beginning with the spring 2018 cohort, the plan is to populate EGT after the census date of the student's’ first term of enrollment. The EGT will be based on the student’s admit type. NHS admit types will have the EGT populated based on eight semesters, and the NAS admit types will have the EGT populated based on six semesters.

EGT can be manipulated by the college up until the time the degree checkout status is changed to “applied.” ASR will add the degree checkout status of “applied” when the student has achieved 75% of their degree progress. Once degree status is updated to “applied” students who need to change EGT can request a change. Questions on this project should be sent to Adrienne Bricker.

Transfer Evaluation System (TES) project and Transferology
The TES project is implementing a web-based workflow to help incoming Twin Cities transfer students understand how their courses fit into their degree plan earlier in the transfer process. Students and prospective students will be able to submit courses for review on the Twin Cities’ admissions website, or explore and search for courses that have already been reviewed through Transferology—an online transfer credit database.
This project will increase the number of direct course-to-course equivalencies and elective equivalencies by systematically routing courses to departmental faculty for review. The outcomes of these reviews will be transparent in Transferology and will articulate automatically upon transfer. This efficiency and consistency will help improve the transfer student experience.

Many advisors have already attended or are planning to attend training sessions on Transferology and Transferology Lab. Advisors will use both of these products to serve students and monitor courses in the TES workflow. The project team is meeting with colleges to identify departmental evaluators and backups for each course designator—these staff will directly interact with the TES workflow. The project is planning to continually onboard faculty evaluators as they are identified, and the web page for students will be available in early January.

N/R N/R tuition proposal
At the October Board of Regents (BOR) meeting the Twin Cities Non-Resident, Non-Reciprocity (NRNR) proposed tuition increase for Twin Cities was discussed. The Regents would like the Twin Cities NRNR rate to fall somewhere in the middle of the Big 10. The current proposal is for a 15% tuition increase for each of the next two years 2018-19, and 2019-20. More discussion is expected at December’s BOR meeting.

Big Ten Alliance Military/Veterans Conference
This year’s Big Ten Academic Alliance Veterans Conference was held at the Ohio State University from October 2-5. Representatives from veterans services offices from all Big Ten schools attended, with Jabra Kawas from One Stop and University Veterans Services attending on behalf of the U of M.

The conference provided a forum for veterans services staff to discuss issues pertinent to student veterans in higher education. Highlights included a legislative affairs update by the OSU VP for Government Affairs, a tour of the OSU Military/Veterans Office and Veterans Lounge and campus, and open discussion forums for school representatives. Hosting duties for this conference rotate each year between all Big Ten partner institutions, with the University of Minnesota scheduled to host in 2025 and 2038.

11th Annual Student Veterans Appreciation Day
The 11th annual Student Veterans Appreciation Day event was held on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in the Great Hall in Coffman Union. Festivities started at 11 am and concluded at 1 pm, with pizza, pop, games, an information fair, therapy animals, and massages on the docket. This event was free and open to the public.

As in past years, University Veterans Services hosted a ‘Bridge Event’ on November 8 as a prelude to the Student Veterans Appreciation Day. Coffee and donuts were provided to those who were willing to stop at tables set up on the east end of the Washington Avenue Bridge and fill out a thank you note to military veterans. These notes were posted at the appreciation event.

ISSP Conference
The 2017 Institute for Student Services Professionals (ISSP) Conference took place on October 8-10 in Peabody, MA, and the theme was Integrating Student Services: Understanding and Exceeding Student Expectations.

Attendees from the University of Minnesota One Stop Student Services included, Julie Selander, Katie Johnson, Karen Magness-Pokornowski, Rick Zmudzien and Josh Geiger.

There were some very informative sessions, one of which focused on the idea of Service Recovery, which is the action taken by a service provider in response to service failure. Customer facing organizations inevitably need to provide Service Recovery to its customers on occasion. One Stop works to incorporate Service Recovery in interactions when the customer feels their expectations of service have not been met.

Josh Geiger and Julie Selander also provided a breakout session focused on One Stop’s training model. The breakout provided information on what content is covered in training, the teaching methodologies used, as well as assessment tools and how One Stop seeks to build culture throughout our training program and beyond.

Staff News
  • One Stop Student Services recently welcomed 3 new counselors:
    • Mila Ly was formerly a CRR in the One Stop Office.
    • Jiksa (JT) Tafara comes to One Stop from the Orientation and First Year Programs office. JT brings with him financial aid experience from his role at Bethel University.
    • Jordan Steger
All 3 will be working out of the Bruininks Hall location and have begun training on their new roles.

  • Mee Vang, One Stop Student Services counselor, has been promoted to Student Supervisor/One Stop Counselor. Mee has been with One Stop 9+ years as a Counselor and, with this promotion, will now be adding the supervision of CRRs to her responsibilities.

  • Brittany Rams joins the Graduate Student Services & Progress (GSSP) within One Stop. After a 2 year absence living abroad, former One Stop Counselor Brittany Rams rejoined One Stop as the GSSP Coordinator.

  • Chris Abts, former GSSP Coordinator, has transferred to a business analyst position within ASR's Continuity and Compliance department.

  • Nathan Carlson joined the Destiny One team with a focus on the Canvas integration project.

  • Nate Meath returned to ASR on the Student Data and Analytics team focusing on the Student Success Analytics initiative.

  • Richard Balderrama joined the Campus Community/Shared Data team in ASR IT and is focusing on production support in order to allow other team members to devote more time to 9.2 Phase 2 Projects.

  • Andy Fields, formerly of the One Stop, joined the Student Financials team in ASR IT to assist with production support and testing while other BA’s work on their 9.2 Phase 2 projects.

Joe Baker joined the Office of Student Finance Fiscal team on October 4. Joe will be working on financial aid process and return of funds.

MIDHEUG Alliance conference

Midwest HEUG (Higher Education Users Group) conference in St. Charles, Illinois on October 12-13 was attended by Carolee Cohen, Carolyn Davidson and Jack Kimmes (ASR IT) and Carla Boyd (Duluth). Read more about the conference and roles University staff have with the group on the blog.

Overall there were 396 attendees at the conference. This conference in particular offers many opportunities to take in presentations from multiple tracks and to make connections with other schools in the MIDHEUG region.

We were well represented by these staff as they participated in the following;
  • Payment Application - Jack Kimmes presenter 
  • Using Communications in Student Financials - Jack Kimmes presenter 
  • Security - Carolyn Davidson presenter
  • Student Financials/Financials Community Track - Carolee Cohen moderator
  • SF Birds of a Feather sessions - Carolee Cohen moderator
Carla Boyd finished up this year in her role as the Reporting Track Chair and has smoothly transitioned into her role as the Conference Program Chair for next year. 

We encourage others to consider submitting presentations and attending this conference in 2018 when it will be held in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Destiny One workgroup update

The Continuing Education Units/Professional Credit/Certificate/Badge Standards Workgroup kickoff meeting was conducted October 11, 2017. The group has been charged to define common standards for the issuance of CEUs, certificates, badges, and other credits offered through Enterprise-supported, non-credit registration systems.

The group’s work will also include defining assessment of worthiness, and creating a process to validate that standards are being followed and met.
  • Participants are from across the TC campus’ and Duluth
  • Some issues raised during the initial meeting include:
    • Internal vs External credentials
    • What will be best for the University of Minnesota as a whole
    • Standards for U of M sponsored credentials may differ and be superseded by professional organization or national standards
    • Benchmarking of other institutions
The group will continue to meet and establish project governance, timelines, and a standards recommendation. For more information contact dorshelp@umn.edu.

Update on Big 10 FA conference

Michelle Curtis and Deb Pusari attended the Big Ten Associate Director’s meeting at the University of Maryland. A wide variety of topics were covered and several areas were identified where additional policy development is needed. View highlights from the conference on the blog.

Topics included: 
  • Discussion on new guidance on release of FAFSA information
  • Mandatory reporting of sexual violence or abuse (especially as part of Professional Judgement appeals for budget adjustments or dependency overrides)
  • Breach procedures
All schools were struggling with interpretation of regulations in these areas and implementation of policies and procedures that will meet requirements.

We shared our University of MN student debt letters/communications that we’ve implemented for fall/spring and summer with the group and received very positive feedback from a number of schools.

MAFAA fall training day

Many Office of Student Finance and a few One Stop staff attended the annual fall Minnesota Association of Financial Aid Administrator’s (MAFAA) training in Eagan, Minnesota. Highlights include: 
  • Our new Federal Training Officer, Zak Goodwin, began the day with a Federal Update and ended the day with an open Q&A general session. 
  • MAFAA members and MN Office of Higher Education staff presented various breakout sessions on:
    • The FAFSA
    • Professional Judgement and Dependency Overrides
    • R2T4 Basics (Return of funds to Title IV financial aid programs due to withdrawal)
    • VA Benefits
    • NSLDS & COD (National Student Loan Data System & Combined Origination And Disbursement federal system)
    • MN programs: Child Care Grant, Indian Scholarship, GI Bill, Dream Act, and State Grant

Big 10 Bursars conference

Tom Schmidt and Tina Falkner attended the Big 10 Bursar’s meeting at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan in mid-October. The meeting is a great time for us to learn what our colleagues are encountering and how they are surmounting some of the same problems we encounter (or sometimes just a good place to commiserate about a shared dreaded issue).

Here are a few items that were of particular interest:
  • Tuition insurance: No schools in the Big 10 currently offer this to their students and only one school is looking into it. An aspect of this concept that was new to us, was that many of these companies require schools to cease offering any other form of tuition relief if they offer this insurance. Also, there are options for different levels of insurance. For example, it only pays out for medical reasons.The U of MN is not currently looking to offer this to students, but if the topic arises these nuances will be good to keep in mind. 
  • 1098-T: There was robust discussion surrounding the change in 1098-T reporting, (reporting what students paid instead of what they were billed). All of the Big 10, except for Indiana University will continue to report billed charges instead of paid amount in January. Indiana has significantly modified PeopleSoft to be able to report on paid amount. Like us, everyone else is trying to establish a way to meet the new IRS regulation by tax year 2018. 
  • Texting students: It was interesting to hear that none of the Big 10 schools are currently texting students about billing or other student finance related matters. 
  • Payment plan: Most schools have payment plans that mimic our own (three to four installments per term), but several schools have extended payment plans that allow students and families to pay monthly installments for the entire bill. These plans start in advance of enrollment and are timed so the money for each term is received before the end of that term. These schools have either contracted with their tuition payment vendor or have a home-grown system to provide this option to students. 
  • Military Third Party Payments and credit cards: Branches of the Military and veteran groups are pressuring schools to accept the military purchasing credit cards for payments for Third Party billings. In the Twin Cities we still have the exception to receive payment via wire transfers, as many schools do. But we learned that two Big 10 schools have lost the exemption and are covering the merchant fees for the military payments. Hopefully those of us with the exemption, will continue to be able to keep it.

UMACRAO conference

Several staff from across the university system attended the Upper Midwest Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (UMACRAO) conference that took place in Alexandria, Minnesota. Other attendees came in from Iowa, the Dakotas, and Canada.

Varied session topics allowed for much discussion: creating web forms, handling campus emergencies, creating effective registrar offices, commencement, grades and end of term processes, FERPA, and conversations about gender identity, pronouns, and preferred name.

At the conference, Amber Cellotti was sworn in as 2017-18 UMACRAO president, and Erik Sparby was elected UMACRAO treasurer.

University staff gave presentations including:
  • Registrar Lessons Learned—Amber Cellotti
  • Serving as Registrar and Refereeing the demigods - Ken Myers and Carla Boyd
  • FERPA Pre-Conference Session—Tina Falkner and Stacey Tidball
  • Financial Aid and Records Working Together—Tina Falkner
  • Reduce Debt and Improve Graduation and Retention—Tina Falkner and Holly Johnson
  • FERPA Q&A—Tina Falkner and Stacey Tidball
  • FERPA and Social Media—Adrienne Bricker
Helping Parents Navigate the Alphabet Soup: AP, IB, CLEP, CIS, PSEO, A Level — Judy Korn

Google lifecycle proposal

OIT recently presented a proposal for how long to retain Google account data, (google email, calendar, and Drive files). This proposal is driven in part because of a growing data security concern should Google ever be compromised in some way, it could pose legal concerns for the University.

Current Google account end-of-life policy defines what happens to account data when a user ends their affiliation with the University. The proposed solution ensures that OIT is enforcing the current policy and sets a limit on how long the University retains Google data.

The proposal for student information is that the account remains available for seven consecutive semesters after their most recent program activation. After this time, the account is suspended if the student does not register for classes. Once the account is suspended, Google data is retained for 5 years and then deleted.

Note: The account is suspended immediately if a student is administratively separated or if a student drops all registered courses during their initial semester. Delete account data after 5 years.

The proposal for alumni is that Graduated students with a degree retain lifetime access to their accounts, so long as they are used regularly. Inactive accounts are suspended after 90 days of inactivity. The account remains active as long as it's accessed at least once every 90 days through the Web Interface. If the account remains suspended, the Google data is retained for 5 years and then deleted.

Stacey Tidball is our point of contact for providing feedback on this proposal.

Ad Astra's Users' Conference—Aspire 2017

From the Office of Classroom Management’s (OCM) Scheduling Unit, Bob Quinney, Christine Mounts, and Derrick Aly attended Ad Astra’s Annual Aspire Conference in Kansas City, Missouri that was held in October.

This three-day conference brings together attendees from all types of academic institutions and state systems to talk about scheduling challenges and business practice in higher education offering the chance to collaborate and share ideas with many peers.

Highlights of the conference included:
  • Bob Quinney presenting on “Leveraging SQL and MS Excel Pivot Tables to Maintain Complex Scheduling Preference Sets”
  • Christine Mounts presenting on “Users and Roles/Permissions”
  • Educational sessions on how to use data to inform course offerings to create student-friendly schedules and advance completions
  • Information about the future of higher education scheduling and technology
  • Information on how to maximize campus space and resource allocation

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Eleanor's update (September 2017)

Another fall term has started, and all our various groups are steaming full speed ahead. There are a multitude of projects in the works, not the least of which is the CS PS 9.2 Upgrade with the phase 1 technical upgrade going live this weekend. You can read more about this below.

We have begun our annual campus visits with our first visit to the Crookston campus two weeks ago, and the Duluth campus visit is scheduled for the end of next week. These visits are whirlwinds. The face-to-face conversations are always full of interesting information and never fail to energize me. Just like I hope the information in this newsletter energizes you for the new academic year ahead.

Sue's update (September 2017)

Fall term is off and running again. I love seeing the students on campus. It is always my favorite time of year with all the fall activities. The Board of Regents had their September session under their new format and I heard it went well. Lori Carrell, Interim Chancellor, UMR; Sandra Olson-Loy, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UMM; and Robert McMaster, Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education, UMTC presented on the system-wide enrollment planning retreat.

The purpose of this item is to discuss the work of the System Enrollment Management Workgroup and seek strategic direction from the Board as the work moves forward. The discussion will address matching aspirations with resources, state and national enrollment environment, the University’s enrollment environment and challenges, alignment with the System-wide Strategic Plan Framework, and recommendations from the workgroup. Detailed information begins on page 39 of the MIS docket materials.

I am excited to be visiting the campuses with a few others. We went to Crookston first and we had an outstanding meeting. There was a lot of great discussion, terrific feedback, and I learned so much from everyone. I look forward to visiting the rest of you as well.

OIT annual data center maintenance outage/WBOB outage

OIT has announce it’s annual outage dates for the first weekend of January 2018. This service outage currently includes PeopleSoft and other applications. View affected services.

System-wide strategic plan update

The completion of a system-wide strategic plan incorporating an academic program investment strategy and a long-term financial framework is one of the Board’s priorities for the year ahead. President Kaler provided an update on the system-wide strategic planning at the September Board of Regents meeting. He plans to appoint a Strategic Planning Oversight Committee, which will coordinate planning efforts around five strategic focus areas:
  1. Research and discovery
  2. Outreach and public engagement
  3. Teaching and learning
  4. Medicine and health
  5. Supporting the mission

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) proposed rule struck down

On August 31 the Obama-era-proposed rule making millions of more Americans eligible for overtime pay was struck down on the basis the Labor Department set an excessively high salary threshold to determine which employees are exempt from overtime. US District Judge Amos Mazzant’s ruling affects an estimated 4.2 million workers who would have been eligible for time-and-a-half wages for each hour they put in beyond 40 a week.

The decision was widely anticipated after Mazzant granted a preliminary injunction in late November, blocking the Obama administration’s effort to extend overtime pay to millions more workers, after 21 states and dozens of business groups asserted that the rule was unlawful and would cause them irreparable harm. The new rule would have taken effect on December 1, 2016.

Multi-institutional enrollment process review underway

A system-wide group has been convened and is meeting monthly to review the multi-Institutional enrollment process. Some of the areas of concern being tackled relate to the timing of the tuition adjustments, the need to update participation information and the application, and a thorough review of the program and processes to provide transparency and access to information for both staff and students. Already implemented this fall, tuition adjustments were done earlier, and several public queries were created to assist staff in identifying program participants. Look for updates in the future as work continues.

New OCM website to launch in October

The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) will launch their newly designed website on Tuesday, October 3. The site's domain will remain the same (www.classroom.umn.edu), however specific page URLs will change. When the site launches there will be redirects (instances that redirect your browser from one URL to another) in place for commonly accessed pages so you can continue to find what you need. Additionally, a feedback form for the new site will be available.

The site has a new menu structure for better navigation and pages with streamlined content. Content includes classroom technology instructions, scheduling applications, and information about Classroom Technical Services (CTS) including audio/visual equipment design and installation information.

OCM's new site has been built on the Drupal 8 content management system and provides a better mobile experience for users. It is the first ASR website to use Drupal 8, the latest version of the University's preferred content management platform.

9.2 Technical Upgrade go-live information

A period of system downtime is necessary to complete the first phase of the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.2 Upgrade. PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and related systems will be unavailable starting 9:00 a.m. Saturday, September 23. Work is anticipated to be complete and systems available again at noon Sunday, September 24. Please review the full details on system availability and make sure your colleagues are aware of how the planned outage may impact their work.

When systems are restored Sunday afternoon, users will notice minimal changes (restricted to look and feel). Preview these changes.

Those who use PeopleSoft frequently may need to clear their browser cache and cookies when logging in for the first time after the upgrade is complete.

System Registrar Council updates (September 2017)

Improving the diploma service
Before the end of spring 2017 we sent out a message to students who were earmarked to graduate at the end of the term. The communication was sent to confirm the address to which their diploma would be mailed, as well as instructions on how to change it. The communication resulted in nearly 20% fewer inquiries about diplomas in the two months that followed. For fall 2017, we plan to add each student’s diploma name to the communication with a goal of improving timely, accurate diploma delivery.

Selecting a transcript vendor
As required by the Board of Regents, an RFP was issued since our contract with Parchment was set to expire February 18. Members of Academic Support Resources (ASR) and the System Registrar Council (SRC) carefully reviewed the vendor proposals and decided that Parchment would continue to best serve students. Later this fall, the University will transition to Parchment’s “in-network workflow” that will streamline ordering, especially for students sending records to AMCAS and other CAS sites.

Academic policy updates
The System Registrar Council (SRC) is currently reviewing several policies including the Grading & Transcripts policy and a draft policy related to preferred name and gender identity at the University. Several policies are due for comprehensive review this year, including Using Email as Official Student Communication and Withholding Diplomas and Official Transcripts.

System Student Finance Council updates (September 2017)

Recent Nelnet payment issues
Two issues with payments were presented over the weekend of September 16-17, 2017 that relate to the University’s payment gateway, Nelnet. The first issue was response time of the system. The 16th was the first billing due date for the Twin Cities and the 18th was the first billing due date for Duluth, so unfortunately there was a great deal of activity in the payment gateway. When encountering the problem with slow response time, some payers tried multiple times to make a payment in order to meet the due date which resulted in actual multiple payments. The fiscal unit in OSF is busy cleaning up multiple duplicate payments. Nelnet and the University are working together to investigate the cause of this performance issue.

The second issue was related to bank routing numbers, and was more short-lived. On Monday morning, September 18, some users encountered error messages when they tried to update a bank routing number. The issue was resolved by 9:15 a.m. and users in Duluth were able to make their payments successfully.

Students impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma
As a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, all campuses have been given a list of University students from Louisiana, Texas, and Florida to consider proactively taking action to help those impacted. The Twin Cities campus has decided to place a ‘suppress late fee’ service indicator on these students for fall semester. If students from the affected areas continue to experience financial difficulty in spring, the Twin Cities Office of Student Finance will re-examine this issue.

System Financial Aid Council updates (September 2017)

Fall financial aid disbursement
The Office of Student Financial Aid disbursed nearly $220,000,000 during the first disbursements for fall term. These numbers represent the whole university system.

Perkins expiration getting closer
On September 14, a bipartisan Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate. The bill, identical to the extension bill introduced in the House in May, would extend the Perkins Loan Program for an additional two years. (Graduate and professional students would have Perkins eligibility restored for only the first of those two years.)

Without congressional action, the program will expire on September 30, but momentum for an extension is growing in Congress. The House extension bill has accrued 160 bipartisan co-sponsors. OSF will stay tuned for updates. An extension by September 30 is not likely, however, there is talk about attaching the extension to bills slated for passage in December. The loss of the Perkins loan program will have a direct and significant impact on our students as we deliver approximately $6.3 million to students each year.

Students who have been awarded Perkins loans this year must be enrolled full-time and complete all their required paperwork by mid-September so that the loan can be processed and disbursed by the September 29, 2017, ahead of the expiration deadline.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is coming back

Come this October students and parents will again be able to fill out their FAFSAs with the help of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The DRT is not required, but it helps to avoid errors that ultimately cause additional verification steps.

The DRT will be modified for the 2018-19 year to address privacy and security concerns by encrypting the taxpayer’s information, making it unviewable by the applicant. Schools and state agencies will continue to receive all of the tax return information transferred into the FAFSA via the DRT. The encryption solution is intended to strike a balance between ensuring the continued availability of the DRT and its many benefits, and protecting the privacy of personal information and maintaining the integrity of our tax collection system.

Information Technology (IT) updates (September 2017)

Supplemental Class Search tool is retiring
The Supplemental Class Search will no longer be available as of September 23, 2017. The supplemental class search was built as a temporary solution for advisors and staff following the PeopleSoft upgrade in 2015.

Since then, new class search functionality has been added to Schedule Builder to replace the temporary solution. You may also continue to use the MyU/PeopleSoft delivered Class Search or other tools developed by colleges.

Feel free to provide feedback on the Schedule Builder Class Search via the comment form.

Student course enrollment data in UM Analytics—New!
Course enrollment data is available in the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) and is accessible via UM Analytics. Enterprise reports are now available to review enrollment trends and statistics.

In addition, users can write ad-hoc course enrollment analyses. More than 30 users have been identified and have access to the course enrollment data for a “soft launch” period, which will occur during fall 2017. During this time these lead users will use the delivered reports and data then provide feedback on whether they think it is ready for their campus, college, or administrative unit to use. These leader users will also help identify the other people who should have access in their area and what type of access they should have (report consumer or report author).

Custom Solutions
The Custom Solutions team is working with the Destiny One and SalesForce teams to build a data pipeline that will immediately display Destiny One activity in SalesForce. Destiny One clients such as Academic Health, Continuing Education, and others will use this for better interactions with their students. The team has just completed a proof-of-concept for project prioritization.

Destiny One
The Destiny One team has kicked off the integration effort with the Canvas team. The present deliverable includes a fit gap analysis of the web services available through Destiny and Canvas to deliver the capability to provision/add a student in canvas, enroll into a class, drop (as applicable), and return grades.

Crookston updates (September 2017)

Inauguration of new chancellor
Looking ahead, April 6 has been selected for the inauguration of the sixth chancellor of the University of Minnesota Crookston, Mary Holz-Clause. Mark your calendars.

Interim director of student financial aid named

Renee Mulcahy has been named interim Director of Office of Student Financial Aid.

Duluth updates (September 2017)

Student Financial Services (SFS) welcomes Ann Ozan as the third party billing and refunding specialist. Ann comes to SFS from the Athletic Ticketing Office at UMD.

Morris updates (September 2017)

September 29 is the inauguration of Chancellor Behr
The University community is invited to attend the inauguration of Michelle Behr as the sixth chancellor of the University of Minnesota Morris. Prior to the ceremony, you can share your best wishes for Chancellor Behr online or on social media using #celeBEHRtion. Messages will be shared during the celebration. RSVP by September 5 to attend.

Kudos

Rochester updates (September 2017)

UMR welcomes new Raptors
With UMR welcoming its largest incoming class of more than 225 students, campus has been buzzing with excitement. New Raptors participated in many Welcome Week activities to get them acclimated to the UMR community.

Staffing updates
  • With Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle’s retirement in August Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Lori Carrell has been named interim Chancellor. The Chancellor search committee kicks off this week.
  • With Laura Walker’s departure interim coverage has been put in place, while Rochester takes this opportunity to reevaluate staffing structures. 
  • One Stop counselor Andrea Berger will be overseeing One Stop for UMR and will manage student financial aid.
  • Center for Learning Innovation (CLI) Administrative Director Jenny Casper will be overseeing student records and will manage registration and enrollment. 

Twin Cities updates (September 2017)

Helping U: Students helping students navigate the U
One Stop Student Services and the Office for Student Affairs have partnered together to enhance the Helping U desk in Bruininks Hall.

At the Helping U desk, student-staff have been trained to connect fellow students to University-based resources such as academic support, career help, and health services. The desk is open M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Find Twin Cities Campus Study Spaces
Study Space Finder is a new service for students that includes images, building features, and study locations on the Twin Cities campus. The project is a collaboration among the Office of Classroom Management, University Libraries, Student Unions, the Office of Information Technology, AHC Classroom Services, and University Services. Email studyspacefeedback@umn.edu with questions about the website.

One Stop Student Services and MyU Portal start-of-term statistics
This year proved to be just as busy as previous years in One Stop Student Services. For the two of the busiest weeks of the year (the week before classes and the first week of classes), the volumes of calls answered, emails sent, and in-person counseling contacts were similar to last year’s volumes. In total (phone, email, and in-person), One Stop staff handled approximately 8350 contacts during the 5-day week before classes, and about 8900 contacts during the 4 days of the first week of classes.

While there are always ups and downs with the wait times throughout any given day, the average wait times for our phone queues reflected significant decreases compared to last year. For the week before classes, the phone wait times averaged 2 minutes on Queue 1 (general questions answered by student employees) and averaged 4 minutes on Queue 2 (more complex questions answered by full-time staff). This is up to a 5 minute decrease in wait times compared to last year. However, walk-in counseling wait time averages increased somewhat this year. Start of the term system performance and availability issues impacted our volumes and wait times.

The MyU Portal had increases in the number of sessions, page views, and users for the first day of the fall semester compared to last year at this same time. On the first day of fall term, there were 110,764 unique users in MyU.

Staffing Updates
  • OTR welcomed two new employees on September 11 
    • Kate Hemmer is our new Assistant Registrar who joins us from Marquette University.
    • Theresa Nelson joins as a Graduate Education Records Specialist from Student Counseling Services here at the U.
  • ASR IT
    • Nathan Carlson joined the Destiny One support team on September 18. He comes to us from Metro State.
    • After 36 years of service to the University, Linda Miza retired on September 1. In her business analyst role Linda was a valuable member of the student records team, extremely knowledgeable, and always willing to assist others. We wish her well in her future endeavors.
    • Sherief Elabbady from the Student Data and Analytics team left the University to take a role with Land O’Lakes. His last day was August 25.
    • Debbie Gillespie from the Custom Solutions team left ASR to take a role with Particle. Her last day was September 20.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Eleanor's update

As summer arrived, we all patiently awaited the results of the June Board of Regents special meeting for the University’s budget information. The board did approve a budget and we did finally get the numbers. Now the Student Finance group has been working feverishly to get those numbers set up in PeopleSoft so we can build student cost of attendance budgets, award financial aid, and charge the appropriate tuition and fees.

Also of interest at the meeting, the Regents approved the system-wide strategic plan framework. Convened last fall, this group has worked over the past year with the overarching goal to better align our resources and leverage our strengths as a system. The plan has some familiar recommendations. It will be interesting to see the future of these recommendations. Details can be found at Strategic Vision for the University System.

Sue’s update

Summer is going quickly and we have been busy finishing up spring, orienting students, providing summer courses, and preparing for fall term. I hope some of you find time to get away for a little while as I know it is difficult to do so in the summer months.

The University’s budget is finally approved by the Regents. Since we didn’t have any idea what they were going to decide for tuition, we are behind on the timing for setting thing up. Staff are working diligently to get information entered quickly. I realize for the past couple of years I have called this is the most difficult budget year, however, this by far exceeds the others. I am not confident it will be any more predictable for the future either.

On a positive note, the SRC had a great in-person meeting July 17 and 18. Several items were discussed to help prepare for the upgrade and we had great policy discussion.

Rachelle Hernandez, Associate Vice Provost of Enrollment Management, Twin Cities, has accepted a position as senior vice provost for enrollment management at University of Texas, Austin. This is a fantastic opportunity for her and the University thanks her for her 22 years of service at the University.

I want to thank Laura Walker, Rochester, for all her contributions over the years. Laura has provided stability for Rochester in many areas as the campus was created. She is remarkable and will be truly missed by all of us. I wish Laura the best.

Melissa Dingmann, Crookston Financial Aid Director, has accepted the financial aid director position at Minnesota State University, Moorhead. She has been an exceptional employee and has provided great insight on many projects over the years. This is a great opportunity for her and we congratulate her on this new position.

Discover Canvas each Thursday this summer

In early June the University announced that Canvas was selected to be the successor to Moodle. The University now invites the community to participate in a Discover Canvas event held each Thursday throughout the summer. Members of the Canvas Transition Team will be available in person and online to help faculty and staff explore this new learning environment.

PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.2 upgrade

The Technical Upgrade (phase one) is moving along as planned. We are making plans to move to the last testing environment at the end of this month as we are just two months away from go-live for this phase.

Communications and change management plans are also forming. The Functional Upgrade (phase two) has been scoped to 17 initiatives. Close to half of these groups have kicked off and are actively chartering and gathering requirements. The other half will be kicking off in the upcoming weeks. You can now get weekly, high-level updates regarding each initiative in the project status dashboard sent by Carrie Otto.

System Registrar Council (SRC) news (July 2017)

SRC quarterly rotating campus in-person meeting
The SRC meeting was hosted in Morris earlier this week. The group worked together on several current initiatives including refining the CS PS 9.2 Phase 2 projects related to student records business, reviewing and prioritizing enhancement requests to Schedule Builder, and discussion related to the decentralization of some former student records training to individual campuses.

System Student Financials Council (SFFC) news (July 2017)

Nelnet on campus
Representatives from Nelnet (the University’s payment gateway vendor) made a visit to the Twin Cities campus on July 13. The majority of the meeting was to discuss our level of satisfaction with their services and processes. We shared that overall their product works well and things have been running smoothly.

The representatives shared that the late-fall release will include responsive design for their entire application that will greatly enhance the user experience on mobile. But the most exciting change for us (yes, it’s the small things in life!) is the capability for us to update the emails generated by payment processing. This will allow us to make changes when needed, streamlining the process and providing a cost savings by eliminating the need for a Nelnet work order. This has been on our list of enhancement requests for several years.

QuikPAY enhancements
The SF-IT team is in the throes of testing a new QuikPAY release that is scheduled to go into production the week of July 24 (if all goes well). The release does not bring many big changes but it does have a mobile interface that was successfully tested and then allowed the tester to access the student account and make a payment.

Collection agency bid for student receivables
Twin Cities campus has completed the request for proposals (RFP) process for agencies to collect defaulted student accounts from Twin Cities, Morris, Crookston and Rochester campuses. We have selected four agencies, of which one was under contract under the prior RFP, and three are new. Contracts are signed and we will resume placing accounts in August. Agencies who were used previously but did not win a new contract have been told to close and return accounts they have, or appeal with Student Account Assistance if they wish to keep working some.

Heartland ECSI changes loan service practice and communication

ECSI, the University-contracted loan servicer for campus-based loans, has announced that they have set a policy that loans that reach 270 days or more past due will be classified as in default. ECSI will no longer bill accounts that reached this age. Instead, ECSI will send a letter in place of the billing statement indicating the loan is seriously past due and will direct borrowers to call Student Account Assistance (for Morris, Crookston, Rochester, and Twin Cities). This change is a result of their concern that ECSI may be labeled an unlicensed third-party collector if they continue the current practice of billing statements being sent after a loan defaults, per their interpretation of FDCPA and the CFPB regulations. This change is likely to have very little impact on our borrowers, but there may be an increase in contacts at our campuses.

System Financial Aid Council (SFAC) news (July 2017)

2017-18 financial aid awards
Now that the Board of Regents has approved the budget and set tuition and fees for the upcoming year, SF-IT, FA-IT and Office of Student Finance financial aid staff are busily inputting the figures and creating actual financial aid packages for students on all campuses.

Impact of Prior Prior Year (PPY) and early FAFSA filing date
Sometimes policy changes work as intended. As we enter into the second year of the early FAFSA and PPY, the National College Access Network (NCAN) looked at the numbers from the US Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid and found that the high school class of 2017 filed 9% more FAFSAs by June 30 than the class of 2016, an increase of 178,000 more students--over 2.1 million in total. Overall, 61% of high school seniors this year filed the FAFSA by June 30, compared to 56% in 2016.

By the end of December, 1.1 million high school seniors--about a third of all seniors nationally--had already filed their FAFSA before it would have even been available to them in the past. The University did experience higher than normal FAFSA submission levels. (Excerpted from NASFAA News)

ASR-IT news (July 2017)

Student Degree Progress (SDP) Service
SDP Service has been providing mission critical data to the SDP team, MyU portal, the Student Data & Analytics team, and has begun work with the Enterprise Data Warehouse. Data from the SDP Service helps inform business decisions that can increase graduation rates, improve retention, and identify at-risk students. A formal user group has been established and will be meeting to discuss forming a governance committee and associated processes. For more information on the SDP service, visit sdp.umn.edu.

Student Data & Analytics - Course Enrollment and EDW
The first stage of Course Enrollment data is built out in the new Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) and is being socialized with some early adopter and super-user groups. Three enterprise reports have been created and the team is collecting feedback on those reports: Course Registration Activity Pivot Table, Course Enrollment Dashboard (single term), and Course Enrollment Trends Dashboard (multiple terms and academic years).

SDP Service Expands
Planning is underway to make student degree progress data more accessible to a broad audience via the Enterprise Data Warehouse. The SDP Service (mentioned above) mines and structures data allowing Student Data & Analytics to leverage and make it broadly available for operational and strategic needs.

Destiny One Registration System (DORS)
DORS, the University's system for non-credit registration activity, has generated over $20,000,000 in revenue with 110,000+ registrations since launching in July 2015. The latest version of the software was delivered to the test environment July 5. New core functionality, bug fixes, and change requests were included in this deployment. Validation and testing are in progress by the DORS team, in collaboration with CCE and individual business units. Deployment to Production is expected the first week of August. The DORS team is also working with OIT to deliver an integration with Canvas. And finally, the DORS Reporting Center went live on June 23 for staff users of Destiny One.

Next Oracle database upgrade in planning
It is anticipated that in the April-May 2018 timeframe, the Oracle database that underpins PeopleSoft will have its next upgrade. Regression testing will be required by ASR-IT BAs. More information to come.

OIT annual data center outage: January 5-7, 2018
This outage will include WBOB data center maintenance. More details to be provided for affect on individual systems.

Crookston updates (July 2017)

Leadership Academy
The new UMC Leadership Academy will launch this fall. The program is designed to create a culture of leadership at the University of Minnesota Crookston by assisting faculty and staff in the development of leadership skills, capacity and readiness, and help position them to move their programs, units, departments, and the campus forward.

Unlike the UMC Leads program, the UMC Leadership Academy is designed completely in-house and is open to both faculty and staff. The leadership program will span the 2017-2018 academic year. Informational sessions about the program will be offered during Opening Week in August. The sessions will include information about the program, schedule, timeline, and application process. Interested faculty and staff members are encouraged to attend those sessions.

New academic programs
At its June 2017 meeting, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved two academic programs for the Crookston campus. The Board granted approval to UMC to deliver both the existing on-campus bachelor of science (BS) degree and undergraduate minor in agricultural business online, effective fall 2018. The Board also approved UMC’s undergraduate honors program. The program requires a student application process, and successful completion will include maintenance of a 3.3 overall GPA, as well as the production of original scholarship. The proposed program makes use of existing courses and resources.

Staff updates:
Best wishes to Melissa Dingmann, Director of Student Financial Aid, who is leaving the University after 12 years of service for Director of Financial Aid & Scholarship at MSUM – Moorhead