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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.

Estimated packaging for 2018

Estimated package planning for 2018 (2017-2018) for new undergraduate students is underway. The 2018 packaging policy and estimated aid package is very similar to 2017 aid year.

Morris and Crookston are planning on packaging awards for new incoming high school students the last week of January, while Duluth and Twin Cities plan to package aid the following week. Rochester will follow after these groups. Estimated award notices should be sent the week following packaging.

This is expected to generate excitement and traffic in our One Stop Student Services centers and the financial aid office in Crookston, as many students took advantage of the early FAFSA filing date. Tuition and fees will not be finally approved by the Board of Regents until the May or June Board meeting.

Student financials: 1098-T and spring tuition calculations

1098-T runs for federal tax year 2016
The 1098-T tax form is a tuition statement provided by higher education institutions to all eligible students who pay enrollment fees (including nonresident tuition) during the calendar year. The 1098-T form may be used by students or parents to claim the American opportunity tax credit (formerly “Hope credit”) or Lifetime Learning Credit on their federal income tax returns.

The 2016 forms have been generated, but not yet released to students. Staff are reviewing the forms to identify and resolve issues prior to the required release date: January 31.

New for 2016 is a change requested by the University Tax Office. The University forms will be issued to students who have more Financial Aid and scholarship funds (identified in Box 5) than eligible charges (identified in Box 2.) In the past, these students were not issued a 1098-T. Most of the final evaluation is to locate these students and add them to the group who typically get forms because they have more eligible charges than financial aid. This is no small undertaking. Here are the numbers involved to give you a better picture of the work involved:
  • 62,000 correct forms
  • 5,100 have been overridden 
  • Total of 67,100 good 1098-Ts
  • Another 39,000 require further evaluation by staff prior to release

Spring tuition calculations
Student finance staff is running spring tuition calculation for all campuses as of their requested start dates in December 2016.

One Stop website Drupal training

On January 18, staff representing each campus participated in a half-day training on the Twin Cities campus to learn how to make updates to the new One Stop website. The site is managed through a content management system called Drupal. Extensive development work was done to allow all five campuses to share one website structure while still allowing for campus-specific branding and information (when needed). Those in attendance now know how to make updates to the site for their campus—including updating forms and dates!

New One Stop/Veterans Services assistant director at Twin Cities

Jabra Kawas was hired as the new assistant director in the One Stop/University Veterans Services for Twin Cities and joined us on January 23. Jabra was the Veterans Services Coordinator at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC). Prior to that he served as an enrollment advisor and financial aid specialist at DCTC. He has served with the City of Minneapolis as a police officer for 14 years and in the US Army Reserve for 8 years. He holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, an MA in Strategic Leadership from Bethel University, and is expected to graduate with his MBA from Bethel this spring.

People Tools 8.55 and Campus Solutions 9.2 updates

People Tools 8.55 update
Testing has begun. Functional verification of the UPG environments was successfully executed and functional testing is in progress. Approximately three weeks of testing will be done in each of the environments: UPG, TST, and QAT.

One April 1 and 2, the University will upgrade to PeopleTools version 8.55. This upgrade ensures that our PeopleSoft systems remain stable and secure, and we retain vendor support. Aside from downtime during the weekend, no significant impact is expected for end users, and no action is required as a result. All events that occur the week of April 3 will have been thoroughly tested in the three test passes.

Campus Solutions PeopleSoft 9.2 upgrade
While the PeopleTools upgrade is occurring, there is still planning going on for the Campus Solutions 9.2 upgrade. Things that are being worked on include “rough-cut” planning of timeline, resources that may be required, identification of “pain points” that may be addressed during the upgrade, fit/gaps of the current delivered PeopleSoft 9.2 Image 3. OIT is also estimating the time that will be required to migrate current modification from current 9.0 to 9.2 (which must be done before testing cycles can begin). Planning is also underway for the Kick off meeting, and enterprise communication in early April.

Crookston (January 2017 updates)

Interim appointments of note
Interim Chancellor named with Chancellor Fred Wood’s departure in December, Barbara Keinath Vice Chancellor Academic and Student Affairs has been named interim Chancellor for Crookston. Soo-Yin Lim-Thompson, Department Head for Liberal Arts and Education has been named interim Academic & Student Affairs Vice Chancellor and Mark Hugen, a Professor in LAE has been named interim Department Head for the Liberal Arts & Education Department.

Chancellor's search update
The search committee is evaluating applications for the chancellor position. Phone interviews will be followed by a selection of candidates for preliminary interviews at the end of January, with the actual preliminary interviews to occur at an offsite location in mid-February.

Duluth (January 2017 updates)

Student Financial Services
Student Financial Services staff have been busy canceling enrollments of students with unpaid fall tuition. The initial list of 79 students has been worked down to the final five. Five students’ spring registration was canceled due to non-payment of their fall 2016 bill, but to date, four of the five students have already paid and been re-enrolled in spring term.

Morris (January 2017 updates)

Morris names new chancellor
During its December 9 meeting, the Board of Regents approved Michelle Behr as Morris’s sixth chancellor. Behr will begin on February 6. She currently serves as provost, senior vice president for Academic Affairs, and dean of the college at Birmingham-Southern College.

Governor Dayton scheduled to visit Morris
Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith will host a Town Hall Water Summit at the University of Minnesota, Morris on January 27. The Summit seeks to bring together local government leaders, farmers, students, environmental groups, and businesses to focus on water challenges and solutions in Greater Minnesota. The Town Hall Water Summit is the second large public forum during Governor Dayton’s Year of Water Action, following the Governor’s Water Summit last year. Minnesotans were also encouraged to stream and engage through social media and satellite locations in Duluth, Crookston, and St. Paul campuses.

Morris named “Best College Value” by Kiplinger’s
The ninth consecutive year for Morris to be included on the public colleges list, the “Best College Value” honor acknowledges academic quality and affordability.

Rochester (January 2017 updates)

Rochester Campus Turns Ten
On December 6, the University of Minnesota Rochester celebrated its tenth year in existence during the 2016 State of the UMR Campus Address provided by Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle.

Health Care Scholars Day
Rochester will host their second Health Care Scholars Day scholarship competition on Saturday, February 4.