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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.


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

Duluth updates (July 2017)

New Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science building
University of Minnesota system leadership and UMD’s community partners jump started construction of the Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science (CAMS) building with a groundbreaking ceremony last week at its future site, across from the Darland Administration building. Construction began this week and will take almost two years. When completed, CAMS will supplement the classes currently happening in the chemistry building, which was built in 1948 for 300 students. It's now serving more than 5,500 students a year.

Staff updates:
Congratulations go out to Nichole Lofald, on the birth of her baby girl, Asa Leigh, on June 28. Both mom and baby are doing great!

Morris updates (July 2017)

Chancellor’s inauguration announced
Morris will celebrate the inauguration of the sixth chancellor, Michelle Behr on Friday, September 29, 2017 at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) conference
Staff from the Office of Financial Aid attended the 2017 NASFAA National Conference in San Diego, June 26 – June 29.

Staff updates:
One Stop Student Services welcomes new staff member, Quentin Tatum. His first day was July 12.

Marie Hagen has been promoted to the Assistant Director of the Office of Financial Aid. Congratulations, Marie!

Rochester updates (July 2017)

Chancellor retires
Rochester Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle steps down from campus leadership on August 1 of this year. Serving as UMR chancellor since its founding 10 years ago, Lehmkuhle indicated his decision to retire is based on UMR’s “strong upward trajectory” and his deep confidence in “an enterprising and skilled leadership team” to carry the campus forward.

Staff updates:
Best wishes to Laura Walker who after nearly eight years of service has left her position as Director of One Stop Student Services on July 17.

Twin Cities updates (July 2017)

University to host Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit
One Stop Student Services at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is thrilled to host the 4th annual Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit (The Summit) from July 30-August 1, 2017! The conference will take place at The Commons Hotel on the Minneapolis campus.

Please let either Nate Peterson (pete2787@umn.edu) or Betsy Everts (everts@umn.edu) know if you have any questions about this conference, Live Like a Student, or the financial wellness outreach campaign on the Twin Cities campus.

Staff updates:
Welcome to:
Marcus Muller--joined on July 10 as Academic Records Specialist. He is located in Fraser Hall and reports to Erik Sparby.
Laura Butchko--joined ASR Continuity & Compliance June 30. Laura will be working in the temporary position of Business/Systems Analyst 2 reporting to Stephanie Sutton.
Morgan Pasterski--started in the position of Academic Records Specialist on July 10 and reports to Amber Cellotti.
Roger Peterson started in the of Business/Systems Analyst in the Student Financials IT team on June 12 and reports to Carolee Cohen.

Best wishes to Phil Dolan, CTS, who is leaving the University after July 6 for another opportunity. Phil joined CTS in spring 2016.

Farewell to retirees:
Sarah Johnson, who spent 37-years in ASR.
Kathy Georges, who retired from the University on June 2, 2017.
Mark Galarneau, a senior One Stop counselor, after a 14-year run in One Stop.

Thank you to Sarah, Kathy, and Mark for the multitude of contributions throughout their time in ASR, and best wishes to them as they start their new adventures. Life tends to give happiness in installments--the biggest and best one being right ahead. Congratulations!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Eleanor’s update

As we’re embarking on summer term and preparing for the next academic year we have many projects in the works. This System Campus Update issue highlights several OIT technology related projects that impact all of us, as well as an update on the Campus Solutions PeopleSoft 9.2 Upgrade project. When I read about all of this work in progress it makes me wonder whatever happened to the “lazy hazy days of summer?”

Sue's update

Another semester under our belt. It was a rough road system-wise at the end, but we made it. Hopefully it is behind us. Commencements are complete. Summer classes have begun and orientation is right around the corner. Terrific job, everyone. We are still waiting on the Board of Regents regarding tuition, however, it is dependent on our legislative final budget so it could be a bit before we hear anything. It has been a rough legislative session for the University of Minnesota this year at the state capital. Hopefully the University can establish meaningful relationships going forward for next year with the hiring of Matt Kramer, vice president for university and government relations.

Board Of Regents system-wide strategic plan

At the May 11-12 meeting, University Regents reviewed a draft of the system-wide strategic plan covering all five University campuses. The proposed plan focuses on three strategic intentions related to the University’s core mission, as well as a capacity-building plan for the system and specific steps to advance this work. The system-wide strategic planning process formally launched in Fall 2016. Feedback was collected from students, faculty, staff and leaders at each campus, as well as Extension, the College of Continuing Education, Research and Outreach Centers, Public Engagement Council, external stakeholders, and staff and faculty governance bodies. The Board is expected to take action on the plan at its June meeting.

Custom Solutions 9.2 upgrade

PeopleSoft Enterprise Component Tools Training took place for business analysts and IT staff on April 18-22. Training evaluations showed that 80% of participants gained valuable education regarding the benefits of the tools. The technical upgrade (phase 1) is progressing as planned. We are scheduled to begin our first round of testing May 22. The functional upgrade (phase 2) scoping is near completion. Thank you to all who have been part of conversations to generate priorities. If you would like to receive project updates, email Eleanor Pijut (e-piju@umn.edu) to be added to the lists.

One Stop website governance

In order to maintain the new One Stop website and ensure the functionality of the site, the System Campus Steering Committee finalized a governance process for the site. The governance document outlines everything from various roles, style, content, tools, and expectations for the site.

The steering committee is composed of one designee from each system campus, and one One Stop representative from the Twin Cities campus. Each campus has a designated backup approver for when primary members are unavailable. Members of the steering committee are Melissa Dingman (UMC), Brenda Herzig (UMD), Jill Beauregard (UMM), Laura Walker (UMR), Carin Anderson (UMTC), and Richard Campo (UMTC, One Stop). If you have questions or concerns regarding the One Stop website, contact your campus’ steering committee member.

Public forums: vice president/chief information officer finalists

The University community will have the opportunity to hear from the finalists for the next vice president for information technology next week. Public forums will be held at the Best Buy Theater in Northrop and live-streamed across the system. Candidate resumes and livestream links will be posted when they become available. See forum dates and times >

IT feedback survey closed--learn what’s next

The Office of Information Technology’s annual IT feedback survey closed for this year’s input phase of the IT governance process on May 1. This year, more than 1,800 responses were received--an increase of nearly 50% over last year!

In addition to the survey, meetings were held with leaders from each of the colleges and system campuses. The combined individual- and unit-level input will be provided to IT service owners and senior leadership for consideration as they determine priorities and initiatives for the coming year. The last part of the input phase is to synthesize the collected feedback, an event that will be held on June 15. More details will be shared closer to the date.

Moodle future for the University

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has determined that the current onsite Moodle structure will not continue to meet the University's needs, and proposed that the University transition to a cloud based system, either Moodle Cloud or Canvas.

Learning Management System (LMS) forums and vendor demos occurred throughout the University system during March. Presentations included LMS demonstrations, system campus open forums, and town halls about the LMS evaluation, followed by a listening session dedicated to the community’s input. Information produced as a result of these sessions is available for review.

OIT Next Generation WiFi planning

As part of the Next Generation WiFi planning, the networking team has been working on reducing the number of University SSIDs, which would:
  • Simplify user experience
  • Increase performance
  • Improve scalability and stability
  • Enhance security and onboarding features
More information can be found at Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE) concepts and the consortial efforts underway at the University to advance this work.

TransForm OIT pilot program

Academic Support Resources is participating in an OIT pilot program for a new tool, Perceptive TransForm, a digital form and workflow tool that allows for digital signatures and multi-step workflows. If implemented enterprise-wide after the pilot, TransForm will be an option, in addition to WorkflowGen, for units who are looking to streamline the intake and processing of student requests.

TransForm features include:
  • Easy-to-use form designer - work can be done within unit, not exclusively by a developer
  • Build multi-step workflows and approval processes, including multi-directional routing features
  • Ability to attach multiple documents to the form
  • Easy Perceptive Content integration (both produced by Lexmark Perceptive Software) for processing and archiving in a form layout - not just a data sheet
  • Simple versioning control and new version deployment/old version removal
  • SIS integration - auto-populate form with PeopleSoft data
  • Multi-system integrations possible - including CRM, housing systems, and other database systems.

ASR’s pilot includes two forms: Cost of Attendance Appeal process for Twin Cities and Rochester students, and Change of Expected Graduation Term process for Twin Cities undergraduate students. By converting these to electronic forms, we have decreased processing time, increased data validation, and removed One Stop from the middle of the process, allowing them to continue to counsel students on the policy and procedure, but streamlining the workflow for more efficient and timely processing.

The tool will be managed and supported by the OIT Document Management team, while units will manage the creation and maintenance of the forms within TransForm. Once a form is created, units will work with OIT to build the workflow and publish the form. Pilot participants include TC Admissions, TC ASR & One Stop Student Services, UMD Office of the Registrar, and UMR Student Services. The pilot program will continue into the fall semester when OIT leadership will make a final decision on whether to make TransForm available enterprise-wide. For questions regarding ASR’s involvement in this pilot program, please contact the Project & Work Facilitation Team at pwf-team@umn.edu.

Annual financial aid and finance audit

On Monday, May 15, the auditors from Deloitte will commence their annual financial aid and finance audit (also known as the Single Audit and OHE [Office for Higher Education] audit). The auditors will be on-site on the Minneapolis campus for about a week and then return again to campus shortly after fall semester begins. Regina Moran in the Office of Student Finance Fiscal unit is the acting liaison for all auditor questions.

System Registrar Council (SRC) news

April 24-25 SRC in-person meeting summary
The agenda was full at the SRC’s recent in-person meeting hosted on the Twin Cities campus. The group had robust discussions on both policy and procedural matters and benefitted from the expertise of guests from ASR Training and Support, ASR-IT (SR BAs and Student Data & Analytics), Student Degree Progress, and team members from the Transforms pilot.

Transcript vendor RFP
The University of Minnesota currently uses Parchment as its transcript vendor, but this contract will expire in February 2018. We plan to issue an RFP (request for proposal) by the beginning of June as required by Board of Regents policy. Members of ASR and the SRC will be involved with vendor demos once proposals have been received and reviewed. More updates will follow.

System Student Finance Council (SSFC) news

Collection agency contract up for review
The Twin Cities campus issued an RFP for new collection agency contracts for student accounts in January. The RFP team has been reviewing the responses, calling references and scoring all of the results. The contract is expected to be awarded before the end of May.

Nelnet QuikPay pilot
The System Student Financials Council (SSFC) has been informed that Nelnet will be doing a QuikPay release (2017.1), over the next few months. SF-IT will use the results from the pilot to determine the best time for installation of this release. A review of changes from the update will be provided in the future to the SSFC.

System Financial Aid Council (SFAC) news

Department of Education eases verification requirements
As a result of the Direct Retrieval Tool (DRT) being unavailable, the Department of Education has authorized some regulatory relief to make the verification process easier for students. The relief will allow schools to accept a copy of signed tax returns to replace DRT. Students may continue to submit tax transcripts if they are not able to locate a copy of a signed tax return. Additionally, instead of requiring a ‘Statement of Nonfiling,’ schools can accept a signed statement that a tax return was not filed and not required to be filed, a listing of income and a supporting W2 form. Our forms, communications, and business processes have been updated to take advantage of this relief.

Summer awarding
Summer financial aid awarding for all campuses is completed. Award notices were added to the batch schedule on May 11, so students are receiving notices about summer aid.

Restoration of year-round Pell

In early May congressional leaders released a tentative agreement on government spending for federal fiscal year (FY) 2017, which funds award year (AY) 2017-18 and includes the restoration of the year-round Pell Grant and a cut to the Pell Grant program surplus. The agreement includes the restoration of access to an additional Pell Grant award in an award year and maintains the 2017-18 maximum Pell Grant of $5,920.

This agreement must now pass through the House and Senate before heading to President Donald Trump for final passage. In the bill’s accompanying explanatory statement, the Department of Education (ED) is instructed to “implement this provision to maximize flexibility for institutions of higher education and avoid unnecessary administrative burdens while ensuring the best interests of students.” Further, ED is instructed to issue guidance on year-round Pell not later than July 1, 2017. The coming guidance from ED will be critical, as there remain some unanswered questions about the potential interpretation and implementation.

Crookston updates

Crookston welcomes new chancellor
Dr. Holz-Clause was named as the new University of Minnesota Crookston chancellor effective June 30, 2017. Dr. Holz-Clause's appointment was brought forward for final approval at the May 12, 2017 Board of Regents meeting.

Dr. Holz-Clause comes to UMC from California State Polytechnic (Cal Poly) University Pomona, where she has served since 2014 as dean of the Huntley College of Agriculture and a tenured professor in the Department of Agricultural Business Management and Agriculture Science. Before Cal Poly Pomona, Holz-Clause was the vice president for economic development at the University of Connecticut. This position at UMC marks a return to the Midwest for Holz-Clause, who has spent much of her life in Iowa--mostly at Iowa State University in Ames. After earning her BS in agriculture business, a master's in public administration and a PhD in agriculture education and extension, Holz-Clause spent 25 years working at her alma mater.

Class of 2017 commencement
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler addressed the Class of 2017 during commencement exercises on May 6th. This year's commencement marks the close of a year-long recognition of the 50th anniversary of the campus as an institution of higher education.

Study Minnesota Delegation

University of Minnesota Crookston Director of Admissions Michelle Christopherson was part of the 12 member Study Minnesota Delegation who had a very successful trip to multiple embassies in Washington D.C. during cherry blossom season. The delegation met with high-level diplomats and strengthened relationships with Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Indonesia and also with Education USA, US Department of State, Partners of the Americas, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Senator Al Franken. The visits, along with a recent trip to Ukraine, are all a part of international student recruitment efforts.

Duluth updates

UMD Commencement
On Saturday, May 6, 2017 a total of 1,861 undergraduates, 189 graduate students, and 8 doctoral students participated in commencement at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC). UMD’s Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Fernando Delgado was the ceremony speaker. For the first time students received Military Honor Cords following this protocol: “If you are graduating and are an honorably discharged US veteran, are currently serving in the US military (active duty, National Guard, or Reserves), or will be commissioned upon graduation, you are authorized to wear a Military Honor Cord.”

On-time grades
UMD faculty did a great job of grading. Even with an increase in the total number of grades due over spring 2016, UMD faculty increased their percentage of final grades in by the due date by 1.6% for undergraduate grades and 2.9% for graduate grades. Over 96% of the 43,546 grades were received on time.

Staffing updates

Congratulations to Donna Triebwasser who retired on May 5th from the Office of the Registrar.

Kelly Johnson has left Student Financial Services office as of Friday, May 5th. A search for her replacement will commence shortly.

Morris updates

Morris Commencement
Approximately 370 students received their degrees at UMM's 54th Commencement on May 13. Special guests and speakers included University of Minnesota Regent Peggy Lucas, Ravi Norman '98, Amy Doll-Wohlers '90, Zoey Cook '17, Katherine Ledermann '17, and the Northern Wind Singers.

May/summer terms underway
May session classes began on the May 15. Summer session I begins on May 22. Summer session II begins on June 26.

Minnesota Climate Adaptation Award!
Morris earned a 2017 Minnesota Climate Adaptation Award from the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP). The awards are presented in recognition of exceptional achievements in leadership, education, research, policies, and practices that result in development or implementation of climate change adaptation strategies.

Rochester updates

Rochester Commencement
Approximately 108 students received their degrees at UMR's 2017 Commencement ceremony on May 13. Regent Steve Sviggum conferred BSHS and BSHP degrees. Audrey Betcher, director of the Rochester Public Library, served as grand marshal. Speakers included Rachel Olson from the Center for Learning Innovation, Andreah Schouweiler '17, and Elizabeth Richards '17.

Twin Cities updates

New associate director for compliance, scholarships, and athletic aid
On April 10, Michelle Curtis joined the Office of Student Finance as the new associate director for compliance, scholarships, and athletic aid. Michelle comes from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and has extensive experience in a similar role.

One Stop financial wellness counseling expanded
One Stop Student Services is now expanding 1:1 financial wellness counseling by offering appointments at all three Twin Cities locations. Financial wellness appointments have been available at the East Bank and St. Paul locations, and now are offered on the West Bank.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Eleanor's update

Spring has arrived and with it comes all the activity and preparation for graduating students.
As we keep our heads down and work with the many daily details to support students’ progress towards degrees we sometimes forget the bigger picture. But let’s not. Instead, let’s remember this is the time of year we can actually see the results of all those efforts: students leaving the University with degrees!

Student Records folks are making class search easier for students to find the right classes at the right time, and the Student Financial Aid group is providing Prior, Prior Year (PPY) guidance in this transition year. Student Finance folks are making sure students can continue to do business with the University electronically, and One Stop Student Services staff are continuing to promote financial wellness. Read on to learn more about all of these and other efforts contributing to student success at the University.

Sue's update

March is full of twists and turns when it comes to the weather. We started off with spring, moved into tornados, and finished with snow. This reminds me of responding to various legislative requests this year. The bill for students attending closed, for-profit higher education institutions financial aid eligibility and credit transfer authorization is on hold. The new bill brought forward recommends we accept all students that are in the top 10% of their class. Governor Dayton was not in favor of the request to support student success for the institution. There is a lot of interesting discussion occurring. Also in February, Regents Omari put forth a resolution (2:39:00) which I recommend you view.

At the Association of American Universities (AAU) registrar’s conference, many schools are targeting the Campus Solutions upgrade for later this fall. Cornell just went live over President’s Day weekend with no major issues. Other notable items from the conference include course and term compliance monitoring, student success initiatives, and filling in the financial gap for students.

Thank you for your help as we head into spring.

Internal audit update

Review the report on the internal audit findings on the 2015 PeopleSoft upgrade conducted this past fall: Campus Solutions Upgrade Audit Report. As a reminder, two surveys were developed to seek input from advisors and faculty go-tos (faculty support) on various aspects of the upgraded student system. Feedback was organized into three categories: general survey feedback on areas of concern, system issues, and common enhancement requests.

Student email lifecycle

While reviewing student degree progress data, it became known that a large number of students did not have active email addresses, even though they were listed in APLUS. Subsequent investigation revealed two issues with email lifecycle: 1) APLUS displays an email address as a formula of Internet ID + @umn.edu rather than pulling email addresses directly and 2) many email accounts had been suspended as part of a clean-up effort during the December Google Application upgrade.

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) was using the agreed-upon six terms (excluding summer) since last active term, but the start date of that term was used, effectively making it one term shorter than the intended six terms. OIT/IDM will continue using the start date of the last active term, but will now count seven terms prior to deactivation, resulting in the agreed upon six terms.

Additionally, it was discovered that students with a “leave of absence” status were being deactivated. Since this is not desired, Academic Support Resources (ASR) is continuing to work with OIT to change this.

Finally, for those of you who use APLUS, please note that the email address listed in APLUS cannot be assumed as active because of the aforementioned way that data is populated.

Learning Management System (LMS) vendor demos

The University is quickly approaching a decision on the future of its centrally supported Learning Management System (LMS). The decision is officially between two options: 1) the "Software as a Service" hosted version of Moodle (represented in the evaluation period by MoodleRooms), or 2) the Canvas LMS. This month the University community was invited to learn more about the Learning Management System (LMS) evaluation currently underway. Join in person or online as representatives from each vendor will demonstrate the features and functions of each system and answer questions. To learn more about why the University is evaluating Learning Management Systems, read the Latest LMS News: Five Things the University Community Needs to Know.

Senior administrators introduced

Dr. Scott Lanyon was introduced at the February Board of Regents meeting as the new Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education. He was appointed in 2016. The graduate school spans the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses.

Lynda Welage has been named dean of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, effective July 31, pending approval by the Board of Regents at its March meeting. As dean, Welage will be chief executive officer and chief academic officer of the College of Pharmacy, which spans the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. Welage brings extensive experience as a collaborative academic leader and an accomplished translational researcher, educator, and pharmacy practitioner.

Access Request Form (ARF) updates

The Provisioning Access Request’s (PAR) new website for Enterprise Access Requests was launched at the end of January. The new design keeps the ARF and the instructions for filling it out on one page, provides the option to expand all categories or collapse them, and replaces PDF attachments with ServiceNow workflows. There are still a few PDF forms, but the plan is that all the PDF forms will be converted to a workflow by April.

Schedule Builder enhanced with class search

Since the decision to use PeopleSoft-delivered class search, ASR has received a great deal of feedback from staff. In response to this feedback, a group of individuals from ASR, OIT, and CLA explored different options: 1) modify the delivered class search in PeopleSoft, 2) enhance the supplemental class search tool, and 3) look at functionality in Schedule Builder. The decision was to integrate a class search within Schedule Builder, keeping in mind there is still the need to minimize modifications to PeopleSoft, yet continue to meet the needs of students, faculty, staff, and external audiences. 

March 20 marked the soft launch to surface class search filters in Schedule Builder for all campuses. Two rounds of formal usability were completed prior to the launch and an informal feedback form has been embedded into the pages of Schedule Builder for users to provide feedback as they interact with the new filters.

Report changes related to preferred name and gender

System Registrar Council (SRC) group continues work on preferred name. The current focus on preferred name and gender stems from Title IX requirements. The group is reviewing a list of reports to analyze for name and gender usage. In some cases due to legal reasons or requirements from external agencies, such as the NCAA, there is no choice allowed.

Undergraduate education policy updates

The Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences and Leave of Absence policies were recently revised and are now available for the 30-day comment period. The Senate Committee on Educational Policy has been reviewing the Grading & Transcripts policy and is considering minor changes and a change to the deadline for lapsing incompletes. The potential policy revisions include input from several groups including the Registrar’s Advisory Committee and the System Registrar Council. Updates will be provided as policies undergo changes. Other policies that may be reviewed in the near future include the policies for Credit and Grade Point Requirements for an Undergraduate Degree (S/N language for Twin Cities) and Using Email as the Official Communication Method (due for comprehensive review).

Student records training requirements change

The ASR training team is working with the system campuses to streamline training requirements. Previously, staff on the system campuses needed in-person training to gain security access for CCS, Registration, Program/Plan, PCAS, Astra Academics, Astra Events, and other topics. Because the campuses each have extensive expertise as well as variations in business processes, each campus may now conduct its own training on these topics to meet the security requirements. The ASR training team will continue to provide support including offering in-person training if desired, providing online training courses, access to documentation, and maintaining training records in ULearn. The benefits of this include fewer delays in training for new staff, lower travel costs, and training targeted to each campus’ business processes.

PeopleSoft PeopleTools 8.55 upgrade system outage

The PeopleTools upgrade (which must be completed prior to the Campus Solutions 9.2 upgrade) will be taking place the first weekend in April. MyU (including access to employee W-2s), PeopleSoft applications, and other online services such as APAS and Grad Planner will be unavailable due to system updates on Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2. Service is expected to be restored on Sunday afternoon, April 2.

Campus Solutions PeopleSoft 9.2 upgrade

Here are a few quick updates on the 9.2 project as planning continues. The project kickoff is scheduled for April 6 (calendars have been held for those invited). The timeline for phase one (technical upgrade) of the project has been finalized. Training on several of the enterprise component tools (Activity Guides, WorkCenters, Forms and approval builder, CAF, Notification Framework) for the student Business Analysts is scheduled for mid-April. Project manager Carrie Otto returned from leave this week and has begun work to finalize phase two of the project.

IRS filing (1098T)

The Student Financials IT group has completed work on the 1098T filing for 2016 forms with the IRS this week well ahead of the 3/31/2017 federal deadline.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool offline

The Internal Revenue Service’s Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is down, a federal tax service tool that assists with the federal student aid application process, due to technical issues. Concerns about a potential security breach prompted the federal government to shut down a key link in the current website that prospective college students use to apply for financial aid.

The link that appears on the US Education Department’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and allows students to automatically download information from their (or their parents’) tax returns stopped working on March 3.

Even though the data retrieval tool is down, the FAFSA can still be completed. Students and their families will need to hand-enter their 2015 tax information into the FAFSA, which may take more time and increases the risk of data entry errors. Finally, as a result of tax data not being imported from the IRS, the Department of Education will likely select more records for verification, increasing workload demands in financial aid offices to manually review these records.

1098-T notice to parents and guests with access

In February 2017, approximately 31,000 parents and/or guests who have been granted access to student finance views were sent a courtesy notice with information on how to access their student’s 1098-T form. In the past we had relied on students to forward their own notice to parents, but this often resulted in confusion when a parent logged in via the student link and did not find a form. (Some parents were former students who would find their own form, and some have no other association with the University and did not find anything.)

Unintended consequences of new 1098-T guidance

Due to IRS changes surrounding 1098-T reporting, the University’s process for generating a 1098-T has changed this year. Specifically, the 1098-Ts were produced for some students who were previously exempted from receiving a 1098-T because their Box 5 (scholarships and grants) was greater than Box 2 (qualified tuition and fees billed). The IRS changes necessitated that the University provide forms to students whose Box 5 was equal to or greater than Box 2. This increased the number of forms produced by over 20,000 across the system. The biggest unintended consequence of this change was providing forms to students who are in programs such as College in the Schools (CIS) and Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO). Even though these students are in high school, the 1098-T form is still required. This change generated questions to One Stop from parents, but staff were able to satisfactorily explain the issue.

Annual e-Business Agreement

On March 13, the prior year’s e-Business Agreement was “turned off” and the new year’s version of the agreement was turned on. This marks the third year students will be completing the e-Business Agreement. By signing, students are agreeing to do business electronically with the University. The items the student is agreeing to have not changed and the text of the agreement can be found on each campus’ One Stop websites, under Terms and Conditions in the footer.

This means that after March 13, 2017 any current student on any campus signing into MyU, will be presented with the new, pop-up eAgreement. Students will need to read and click ‘Confirm’ at the bottom of the eAgreement, before they will be able to access MyU. If students do not sign the eAgreement, they will have to close their current window and will not be allowed to MyU (and everything within it) until they confirm the agreement.

Tuition benefits for graduate students added late

This item only directly impacts graduate students at the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses who have a tuition benefit (TB). The Office of Student Finance (OSF) has seen a recent increase in departments adding graduate tuition benefits late. When tuition benefits for graduate students are added after the first bill due date, issues arise.

When a TB is added late, a credit balance is generated if the student has already paid his/her bill for the term. This is problematic for international students who pay their bill by international wire, because a credit balance check or direct deposit is not generated for them. Rather, funds are refunded via our Flywire vendor, and depending on where the international student is from, this refund may be further delayed due to banking issues in the home country.

The OSF has reached out to Flywire and is also working with Human Resources to underscore the importance of timely tuition benefit awards for graduate students.

Crookston (March 2017 updates)

Chancellor finalists
The search committee for the Crookston chancellor brought four final candidates to campus March 7, 8, 9, and 10. Each applicant visited for a full day of interviewing. The search committee met on March 14 to write their report. https://www.crk.umn.edu/chancellor-search

Progress Towards Degree (PTD)
Three academic programs—accounting, sport and recreation management, and natural resources‚—will take part in the 2017-2018 Progress Towards Degree (PTD) pilot. At the conclusion, an evaluation will take place to determine if the PTD will be expanded to include other programs. 

Crookston strategic planning website update
UMC's website for strategic planning is being updated to reflect current efforts in this area. The site is intended to help inform the campus and community about strategic planning efforts currently underway.

Duluth (March 2017 updates)

UMD hosts March BOR
The March Board of Regents meeting is being held March 23-24, 2017. There are a number of events scheduled, but the board meeting will be Friday morning from 8:45 a.m. to noon in the Ballroom, Kirby Student Center, at the Duluth campus.

Cross registration program benefits students

In February, UMD Chancellor Black, University of Wisconsin-Superior (UWS) Chancellor Wachter, and College of St. Scholastica (CSS) President Geary signed a recommitment to the Cross Registration Agreement, which allows students enrolled at one school to take up to two classes at the other two institutions. This program helps students graduate faster and fulfill graduate program prerequisites.

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) preparation underway

In 2017-2018, UMD will have multiple events that support the reaccreditation with Higher Learning Commission. Significant reflection work is underway by all units. 

Strategic Planning
Along with the system-wide system strategic planning effort that is underway with all campuses, UMD is conducting a SWOT analysis and will be refreshing our Strategic Plan, mission, values, and vision in 2017-2018.

UMD is moving our “petition to change expected graduation term” form into the new TRANSform workflow that will be in place by summer 2017.

Morris (March 2017 updates)

UMM welcomes Chancellor Michelle Behr

Morris’s new Chancellor, Michelle Behr was introduced at the February Board of Regents meeting in the Twin Cities, and the Morris Campus community welcomed Chancellor Behr with a reception on Feb 7. This month, Chancellor Behr has also begun traveling the Morris region meeting with constituents. Take a peek and meet Chancellor Behr: video introduction with Chancellor Behr.

One Stop Student Services (OSSS) position announcement

The University of Minnesota, Morris has an opening for a One Stop Student Services - American Indian Programs Counselor. For a full list of qualifications, job duties, and instructions on how to apply visit: humanresources.umn.edu/jobs and enter Job ID 316036 in the keywords field. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please share information about this position with people you know that would be interested and qualified.

Rochester (March 2017 updates)

Rochester’s first Morse-Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Award recipient
The University of Minnesota has announced Dr. Robb Dunbar is being honored as a 2016-17 recipient of the prestigious Morse-Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Award. The Morse Award has been bestowed annually since 1965 upon exceptional teachers who are nominated by their colleges as a way to recognize excellence in undergraduate education. Recipients of the award become members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and receive the title “Distinguished University Teaching Professor.” Dr. Dunbar is the first University of Minnesota Rochester faculty member to receive the award.

Position announcement
The University of Minnesota, Rochester has an opening for a One Stop Admissions Counselor. For a full list of qualifications, job duties, and instructions on how to apply visit: humanresources.umn.edu/jobs and enter Job ID 316091 in the keywords field. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please share information about this position with people you know that would be interested and qualified.

Twin Cities (March 2017 updates)

Graduation rates trending up
The 4, 5, and 6-year graduation rates for the Twin Cities campus all went up with the 2016 data snap. The 4-year graduation rate exceeded the Regents’ goal of 65% (officially 65.2%), while we missed the 6-year rate goal of 80% (officially 78.9%). Based on the degrees already awarded and the applications for degree through summer 2017, this year’s graduation rates have the potential to be 1.5% to 4.2% higher.

Financial aid ISIR code 399
With the implementation of Prior, Prior Year (PPY) this year, students and families were required to use the 2015 tax information for two aid years, 2016-17 and 2017-18, when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Sometimes this has resulted in instances of conflicting information between the two aid years, and the financial aid office must resolve these data conflicts. When this occurs, Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) code 399 flags these records.

During this transition year to PPY, the conflicting FAFSA information may actually impact financial aid that has already been disbursed for a previous term. In some instances, this can even result in the office having to take back aid from students from the previous year.

For students in these situations, the Twin Cities campus has instituted a special protocol to help mitigate some of the negative consequences of having financial aid ‘pulled back’ after a term has already ended. Specifically for students in this situation, we will waive some late fees, consider alternative payment plans if necessary, and be more lenient on hold release appeals to allow registration and avert future enrollment cancellation.

Unlike standard verification, resolving 399 codes can be more complex and take more time for the financial aid office staff to resolve as there is often more information that needs to be collected, reviewed, and verified.

Live Like a Student (LLAS) receives grant for international student video series
Live Like a Student (LLAS), the financial wellness campaign comprised of members from One Stop Student Services, Continuity and Compliance, and the Office of Student Finance, recently applied for and was granted a $23,000 budget to create financial wellness outreach specifically for international students. The funding is provided from the International Student Academic Enhancement Services Fee. Professionally created videos geared toward the international student community will be created and distributed to help specific populations understand financial wellness. Additionally, One Stop staff will present at Global Gopher Week to engage in a face-to-face setting with international students. If you have questions about LLAS or this announcement, please reach out to Betsy Everts at everts@umn.edu.

University to host Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit
One Stop Student Services at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is thrilled to host the 4th Annual Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit (The Summit) from July 30-August 1, 2017! The Summit unites educators with a passion for student financial wellness and connects those who value the significance in students' understanding of how to manage their personal finances. Previous host institutions have been The Ohio State University and Indiana University. Program proposals and early bird registration deadlines are on March 31, 2017. The conference will take place at The Commons Hotel on the Minneapolis campus.

Please let either Nate Peterson (pete2787@umn.edu) or Betsy Everts (everts@umn.edu) know if you have any questions about this conference, Live Like a Student, or the financial wellness outreach campaign on the Twin Cities campus.

Welcome new staff
Remy Abdullahi joined ASR - IT Custom Application Development team on March 13. He reports to Kristy Davis with Ian Whitney serving as his team lead. His office is in 160 Williamson.

David Engen joined Continuity and Compliance on March 8 in the position of Multimedia and Instructional Designer (Acad Technician 3). David is located in 160 Williamson and reports to Stacey Tidball.

Christina Leighton joined Continuity and Compliance on March 14 in an 18-month position of Editor/Writer and reports to Carin Anderson. She is located in 160 Williamson.

Alison Link joined ASR-IT Student Data and Analytics team on March 20 in the temporary position of Developer 2. She reports to Kristy Davis, with Jeff Idle serving as the team lead, and is located in 160 Williamson.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Office of the Registrar news

Registration opening soon
  • Crookston: 3/2/17 for summer and fall
  • Duluth: 3/6/17 for summer; 4/3/17 for fall
  • Morris: 3/22/17 for summer; 4/10/17 for fall
  • Rochester and Twin Cities: 4/11/17 for summer; 4/13/17 for fall
Policy review underway

The System Registrar Council (SRC) group is actively involved in the current review of the Grading and Transcripts Policy. The policy applies to CR, MO, TC, and RO campuses. The group's input to this large and significant policy is being worked through and recommended changes will then be forwarded to several approving committees.

Decomission of ULearn and Destiny One non-credit registration system adoption

Decommission of ULearn
The University has made a concerted effort under President Kaler to eliminate waste and make the most out of existing technology. During a November Operational Excellence meeting, a decision was made to leverage existing systems for the University’s learning management needs. The systems available include Destiny One for training registration and tracking; Moodle for course delivery; and Qualtrics for surveys and evaluations and the data warehouse for learning transcripts. The Destiny One team is actively engaged as a member of the transition team, completing fit gaps and helping to identify cohorts of ULearn users to begin to usher in planned phases over the next 18 months.

Destiny One non-credit registration system adoption
The Destiny One non-credit registration system implementation was the culmination of years of interest and effort to find an effective tool to manage registration for courses, conferences, and other learning experiences that do not bear formal academic credit. Below are some points of interest since its launch:
  • Total units: 23 program offices, 135 costing units 
  • Total courses and sections: 732 courses, 1570 sections
  • Total conferences: 554
  • Total system users: 289
  • Revenue to date: $14,355,446
  • Total registrations: 72,988
    • 67% of registrations are learners in MN
  • Average 2.3% credit card processing fees

Sue’s update (January 2017)

I am hoping all of you enjoyed our University days off and now it’s already spring term. A few items I have heard recently: Brian Burnett is working on beginning a national search for the CIO position that Bernie Gulachek is currently serving as interim. He has indicated that a national search will also occur for the University Services position for which Mike Berthelsen is serving interim.

For those of you have haven’t heard, Carolie Carlson passed away December 27. She was responsible for training in HR and Finance, and led the training for the ESUP project. Carolie was a great colleague to work with on many initiatives at the University. The System-wide Strategic Planning committee met January 10. If we hear additional information, we’ll pass it on to you. Thank you for continuing to help our students succeed.

Eleanor’s update (Jaunary 2017)

The start of a new year and a new term is keeping us all busy. On the whole, things are going well with a few bumps in the road. Friday the13th did pay us a visit with an “oops” to the 13-credit exemption communications, but staff worked quickly to smooth out the issues.

As you can tell from this newsletter there is a lot happening for us on a systemwide level; I hope you will find the news interesting and helpful.

Twin Cities (January 2017 updates)

New department directory
Now there is a new Department Directory available online that makes it easier to connect. Improvements include more complete contact information for units and staff such as unit postal addresses, staff email addresses, and links to faculty bios.

Gopher Day of Coderetreat - January 12, 2017
Our first Gopher Day of Coderetreat successfully brought developers together for a day of dedicated, deliberate practice. Altogether, 40 programmers (from first-year students to 20-year professionals) spent the day pairing, discussing, and learning. Feedback from the event has been universally positive and Ian Whitney is assembling a group of people interested in organizing next year’s event.

Gopher Day of Data - January 13, 2017
The first Gopher Day of Data event brought approximately 80 students, staff, and faculty together to work on 11 data and analytics projects. Verbal feedback from participants was positive; more feedback is being collected to determine whether to repeat this event annually.

Office of the Registrar updates
The registrar's staff have been busy with term transition activities wrapping up fall term and looking ahead to spring. Here are some numbers for you:
  • Fall term activities
    • Over 275k fall grades for have been posted, however follow-up continues for incomplete and non-reported (NR) grades.
    • Of the 18k NR grades posted, more than 14k have already been resolved to another grade.
    • Fall graduation numbers to date are 3,253 posted degrees for all careers.
  • Spring term activities
    • Approximately 240k enrollments for spring for over 55,000 student
    • Approximately 2,860 spring 2017 graduation requests are being processed
Comings and goings

Congratulations to Dianne Danov. After many years of service Dianne, Associate Director for Compliance, Athletic Aid and Scholarships, will be retiring in early-February. An open house reception is scheduled for January 31. Contact Tina Falkner for details.

FLSA changes temporarily blocked

In late November, a federal judge in Texas blocked 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 was to take effect on December 1, 2016. The new rule, which updates the Fair Labor Standards Act, would make more full-time, salaried employees eligible for overtime pay. Now, with the new rule on hold, colleges must decide whether to continue with their plans to comply or to postpone them. The University will continue to monitor this issue.

Internal audit : student system post-upgrade

The University of Minnesota Office of Internal Audit is finalizing their audit on post-ESUP student system. ASR will be working on responding to the findings once both ASR and Internal Audit agree on the report. Sue presented initial findings to the Finance and Planning Committee on January 17.

Closure of schools and credit transfer

With the recent closings of the Minnesota School of Business, Globe University, and other proprietary schools unable to administer federal financial aid, some students have sought to transfer to the University of Minnesota. Provost Karen Hanson is developing a potential communication. NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) has also released a statement to assist schools in responding to these questions.

ULTA canvas/Moodle pilot

Conversations are underway across our campuses about learning management systems (LMSs), learning analytics, and general processes and support for academic technology at the University both now and in the future. The University’s onsite implementation of Moodle is beginning to face problems, despite the support of OIT. This leads to the belief that our onsite Moodle system will soon become unsustainable. As a result, the University Learning Technology Advisors (ULTA) group is exploring two LMSs options that would be hosted by vendors off-site: Moodle or Canvas. More information can be found at Future of the LMS and Unizin.

Spring 2017 student aid disbursed

Disbursement date



*Twin Cities








*Rochester disbursements are included with TC figures **These figures do not include any parent PLUS loan disbursements.