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Friday, December 28, 2012

Maintenance outage January 5 & 6, WorkflowGen processes affected

An annual data center maintenance outage will take place from 6 a.m. on Saturday, January 5 until noon on Sunday, January 6. During this time, all One Stop self-service applications (i.e. registration, grades, class schedule) will be unavailable. WorkflowGen processes, including Adviser Assignment and Assign/Update Examination Committee, will also be unavailable. Students were notified in a previous issue of the Graduate and Professional Student Update and a notice will be placed on the Graduate School's website; however, please help spread the word to graduate and professional students that services will be unavailable. A complete list of affected services is available online.

New time extension forms and change to petition form

Beginning spring 2013 (January 22), all requests for time extensions for master's and doctoral students must be approved by a designated representative in the home college of the student requesting the extension. Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) will no longer be responsible for approving time extensions but continue to complete data entry of form information. The Graduate Student Petition Form should no longer be used for time extensions but may still be used to update the Graduate Degree Plan.

To facilitate the approval of time extensions, two new time extension forms have been created and will be available on the Graduate School's website by January 22. The redesigned petition form will also be available on January 22.

Notification about this change will be sent to all graduate and professional students in the January 28 Graduate and Professional Student Update; however, please feel free to share this message with students in your own publications. If you have questions about reviewing time extension forms, please contact GSSP directly. As you continue to refine your college's process, GSSP staff are available to answer questions and assist you in creating a practice that makes sense for your programs.

Grad School interviewed by Inside Higher Ed

The Graduate School was recently featured in Inside Higher Ed, an online source for news regarding higher education, in a story on graduate program review. The article announced the University's pilot program the Graduate Review and Improvement Process (GRIP), which is an effort to establish qualitative, meaningful ways to measure graduate program success.

If the pilot program is successful, GRIP could be established on a voluntary basis across the University next year.

Friday, December 21, 2012

FERPA Q&A: Releasing information over the phone

Question: Can you release information about students over the phone?

Answer: The method of release is irrelevant to FERPA; it's the nature of the data that matters. If a student has not suppressed his or her public information, then it can be released over the phone (or in person, or on paper). If the student has suppressed his or her public information, then the information cannot be released.

Here's an easy trick: if you can find information about a student using the search box on the University home page, then the information can be shared.

What is Interactive Design and Prototyping (IDP), and why do we need to do it?

The core activity of the next phase (starting in February) of the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP) is called Interactive Design and Prototyping (IDP). To learn what IDP is and why we need to do it as part of our upgrade process, see the recent post on the ESUP blog. The ESUP blog will serve as a primary source for information on ESUP, so keep checking back for the most up-to-date information.

New meeting structure for RAC

The structure for the monthly meeting of the Registrar's Advisory Committee (RAC) will change starting in January in order to increase information sharing and participation in the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP). There will be two shorter sessions for topics specific to undergraduate education and post-baccalaureate education with a longer combined session that will cover topics common to both audiences, including ESUP.

The new structure will follow the schedule below:

9:30-10:00 undergraduate education topics
10:00-11:30 topics common to undergraduate and post-baccalaureate education (including ESUP)
11:30-noon post-baccalaureate education topics

In months where the common session does not take 90 minutes, the post-baccalaureate session will start and end earlier. This will be noted in the agenda circulated in advance of the meeting.

If you have any questions about RAC meetings, please contact Kate Sophia.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vendor selected for new classroom scheduling software system

Ad Astra has been selected for the new University-wide classroom scheduling software system. A contract was signed on Friday, September 28 and implementation began in early October. The goal is full implementation for fall 2013 course scheduling, which begins in late February 2013. Event scheduling using the new system will go live in early March. Watch for updates in the near future.

Ad Astra will be used across all University campuses, including Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities.

Take action on all committee assignment requests

Graduate student advisers and Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS) must take action on all committee assignment requests by either approving, denying, or returning the request to the student (note that only advisers have the option to return). Students should not be advised to submit a new request if an earlier request is still in the workflow process. Having multiple active requests in workflow may cause confusion and delays in approval.

Plan Level Coordinators (PLC) and DGSs should remind faculty of this important information.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Attend the December SR Help workshop

The Student Records Training and Support Team's December workshop will focus on grading procedures. The workshop is scheduled from 11 am-12 noon on Tuesday, December 18 in B20 Fraser Hall. No prior registration is needed.

The workshop will cover ways to ensure that your classes are set up for grading, as well as how to troubleshoot problems if they occur.

For questions, contact the Student Records Helpline at 612-625-2803.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Leave of Absence policy best practice sessions

Best practice policy sessions, co-hosted by the Graduate School and Academic Support Resources (ASR), were held on November 27 and 29. The sessions, attended by a number of program and college staff, provided the opportunity to summarize key components of the University's new Leave of Absence (LOA) policy for graduate and professional students; underscore the differences between GRAD 999, LOA, and withdrawing from coursework and/or a program; and discuss a variety of common requests for which a LOA may or may not be appropriate (depending on the student's individual circumstances).

An online 'tutorial' will be created to capture the content of the best practice sessions for programs' and colleges' future reference. More best practice sessions will be scheduled to focus on the University's other new graduate education policies; if you have questions about the LOA policy, contact Karen Starry. If you have questions about the PeopleSoft process for putting a student on an LOA or indicated a return from leave, contact the Student Records Training and Support Team.

Beijing office presentation Tuesday, 12/18

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, the University's Beijing office coordinator, Wanling Qu, will be on campus to discuss the role of the Beijing office. The meeting will take place at 11 a.m. in Walter 402.

Qu will address the general education market in China, the priorities of the Beijing office, and which U.S. universities are included in the Chinese market. She will also discuss how the Beijing office can assist the University with graduate student recruiting efforts, as well as the application process for Chinese students to attend U.S. graduate schools.

To register, click here. If you have any questions, contact Dean Tsantir.

CBS Student Services moves to East Bank

The College of Biological Sciences Office of Student Services will soon be moving to East Bank. Through Wednesday, December 19, all appointments and drop-ins will be in its current location at 229 Snyder Hall on the St. Paul campus. Beginning Thursday, December 20, CBS Student Services will open in its new location, MCB 3-104. At that time, all drop-ins and appointments will be in the new location.

If you have any questions, please contact CBS Student Services at 612-624-9717.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Nominate a grad student for fellowship competition

The deadline for graduate students to register for the 2013-2014 Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Recruiting Fellowship Competition is noon on February 8, 2013.

The DOVE Fellowship Program seeks to assist graduate programs to promote diverse views, experiences, and ideas in pursuit of research, scholarship, and creative excellence. Instructions on how to nominate a student and request travel award funds are available online.

PDFs for grad catalog nearly finished

Creative Services, a division of University Relations, has completed nearly all final corrections to the archival PDFs of the Graduate Education Catalog and is awaiting a final staff review. That review is expected to be complete by Nov. 30. At that time, final corrections will be entered, and the archival PDFs will be posted on the catalog website the following week.

New guide available for graduate education policies

Based on feedback gathered at the Graduate Education Transition information sessions, the Graduate School and Academic Support Resources (ASR) have created a guide for the student-centric graduate education policies. Included in this guide are links to the new U-wide policies, their effective dates, what is governed by each policy, and information regarding what has stayed the same and what has changed from previous Graduate School policy.This guide is currently available on the Graduate School's website. Feedback regarding this guide can be sent to Amber Cellotti.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thank you and good luck to Heather McLaughlin

Heather McLaughlin will be leaving her position as Business Process Analyst for the Graduate Education Transition project. Her last day in Academic Support Resources (ASR) will be Friday, November 30, after which she will transfer to a position in the Office of Information Technology (OIT) as Product Owner of Salesforce.com. Heather would like to extend thanks to everyone she has worked with on this project.

Questions and other communication regarding graduate education, including updates to College Coordinator and Plan Level Coordinator roles, can be directed to Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) staff. Workflow related questions or feedback should continue to be sent to grad-wfg@umn.edu.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Best practice reminders for entering grades

As the grade entry period for fall terms draws near, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, will not work with PeopleSoft self-service pages for grades.
The browser (and version of browser) used by the grade enterer can also have an impact on grades entry. Mac users typically have the best success with Safari (note: Safari on an iPad will not work for grades entry). PC users typically have the best success with Firefox.
Due to the recent PeopleSoft Tools 8.5.2 upgrade, anyone that works with grades, including enterers and approvers, should clear their browser cache prior to the grades entry period in order to ensure they have the most recent version of the grades pages.

Grades can be entered online through the University Self-Service grades pages. Instructors should verify that they have access to all of their assigned grade rosters before the last day of instruction by using the "My Classes" report in UM Reports.

Class rosters and grade entry for courses owned by the School of Public Health are available only through the School of Public Health grading system.

If you know of someone encountering issues with grades entry, please have them call the SR Training Team at (612) 625-2803 or contact them via email.

Fall 2012 probation and suspension dates now available

The Twin Cities fall 2012 probation and suspension dates are now available. Visit One Stop to view the current schedule.

ESUP update

The Enterprise System Upgrade Program (ESUP) had its official kick-off on October 16 and immediately began the "Plan & Discover" phase of the upgrade. This first phase reaffirms and builds upon the preliminary fit/gap analyses and planning and will set the scope and schedule for ESUP going forward. At the end of Plan & Discover, a more definitive timeline should be available.

Ongoing information is available on the ESUP website and Student Project Work Stream website. The Student Project Work stream website currently contains contact information and calendars specific to the work being done in admissions, financial aid, SEVIS, student finance, and student records. Both the ESUP website and the Student Project Work Stream website will expand as the upgrade progresses. A weekly email containing key updates and messages is also available. To be added to the distribution list, send your request to esup@umn.edu.

With business analysts devoting time to tasks associated with the upgrade effort, all requests for production support should be directed to the respective helpline (rather than a specific individual) to ensure that is responded to in a timely manner.
Admissions: admissions-tech@lists.umn.edu
Financial Aid: FA Help Request Form
Student Finance: sfhelp@umn.edu
Student Records: srhelp@umn.edu

Migrating workflow processes to new server

Workflow processes (e.g., Add/Update Adviser and Committee Assignments) will be migrating to a new server which will be centrally supported by OIT. As a result, the email address that sends notifications from WorkflowGen (e.g., notification to act on a committee assignment request) will change, as will the link embedded in the email that brings you to the workflow form. Please be sure to add the new email address to your safe sender list to avoid missing any notifications.

December graduates will receive a hold on their account until loan exit counseling is completed

As previously announced, a new web application has been developed that enables students to complete required loan exit counseling online. Students who fall below half-time enrollment or will be taking a leave of absence must also complete loan exit counseling.

Students expecting to graduate in December will receive an email that notifies them of the loan exit counseling requirement and provides instructions on how to complete the process. Until the student completes loan exit counseling, a hold will be placed on his or her record.

If you receive questions from students about loan exit counseling, please refer them to Student Account Assistance.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One Stop closures on Wednesday, Dec. 12 & Thursday, Dec. 20

The following One Stop Student Services locations will be closed for staff events Wednesday, December 12 from 8 a.m.-12 noon and Thursday, December 20 from 1:30-4 p.m:

160 Williamson Hall (East Bank campus)
130 West Bank Skyway (West Bank campus)
130 Coffey Hall (St. Paul campus)

Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) and Third Party Billing located in 160 Williamson Hall will also be closed during this time.

All One Stop related services will be available at 333 Science Teaching and Student Services Building (East Bank Campus).

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

FERPA Q&A: Student rights

Question: What are the basic rights of a student under FERPA?

Answer: Under FERPA, students have the following rights to:
• Inspect and review their educational record (all parts, except parent financial data and letters of recommendation for which they have waived the right to see);
• Request an amendment to the record that they believe is inaccurate, misleading, or a
violation of his or her privacy rights, and to request a hearing if request to amend is not granted;
• Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information (with several exceptions);
• Know what the University has designated as public/directory information, and the right to request suppression of their public/directory information;
• Know that school officials may access their records and the criteria used in determining the legitimate need to know the information;
• File a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office in the U.S. Department of Education

All enrolled students are informed of these rights yearly via an email sent to their University assigned email address.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Solving upload problems in ApplyYourself

Due to security settings in ApplyYourself, users may see an error message display when viewing students' uploaded transcripts. This problem occurs when the transcript is combined with other PDF pages.

There are two temporary fixes for this issue:

1) While the official document doesn't work with the batched PDF, you can still view it individually. To do so, go to the section in ApplyYourself where it was uploaded and click "view document."

2) If you need the document to be part of the larger PDF, the best fix is to print, scan, and upload the problem document in place of the current one. Once your document is ready, click "upload document" and follow the prompts.

For more detailed information, check out this helpful PDF.

Attend a best practice session for Leave of Absence policy

Join colleagues from graduate and professional programs, the Graduate School, and Academic Support Resources in a policy best practice session. This session will focus on the Leave of Absence policy (effective fall 2011) for graduate and professional students. Learn the difference between a leave of absence and other enrollment options for graduate and professional students, discuss the reinstatement process, and hear how colleagues across colleges are managing the implementation of this new policy.

Tuesday, November 27
10-11:30 a.m.
B20 Fraser Hall (East Bank)

Thursday, November 29
2-3:30 p.m.
1-109 Hanson Hall (West Bank)

Use this form to indicate which session you plan to attend. RSVPs are requested but not required. Please share this invitation with others who may wish to attend. Questions about these sessions can be directed to Karen Starry or Ingrid Nuttall.

Completing student loan web exit interviews

Federal regulations and University policy require all students with students loans to complete exit counseling prior to leaving the U of MN. Students who are below half-time enrollment are identified as having to complete the exit; this includes graduate students registered for GRAD 999 as they are not registered in "active coursework" and also for students on a leave of absence. While there has been no change to the regulation or policy, the new online exit system has streamlined the enforcement of the regulation and policy.

If a student is not graduating, undergraduates should log onto One Stop and change their expected graduation date, as well as contact Student Accounts Assistance. Graduate and professional students should contact their college and Student Accounts Assistance.

Graduate student international travel requirements

All students traveling abroad for University purposes (e.g. work, internship, field study, research, volunteering, conference/workshop attendance, athletic events) must obtain University-approved international health and security insurance for the duration of their time overseas. The policy applies to graduate and professional students, graduate assistants, residents, and fellows.

Additionally, students traveling to countries on the U.S. Department of State's Travel Warning List must receive approval from the University's International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC) prior to departure.

Applicants are advised to apply early, as the committee review often takes six to eight weeks.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Voting on Election Day

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6. Students are expected to attend all classes for which they are registered. Several communications have been sent to students throughout the term regarding the election. The messages reminded them to plan ahead on Election Day, as polls are expected to be busy, as well as provided information about absentee ballots and on-campus polling places for those who live on campus.

Faculty, staff, and students can find information about Election Day at the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State's website.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Feedback welcome on Graduate Education Information Sessions

Academic Support Resources, in collaboration with the Graduate School, have concluded their college-specific Graduate Education Information Sessions. The sessions provided individual colleges with highlights regarding recently completed graduate education work, an overview of remaining project priorities, and a review of the new graduate education policies.

Participants provided crucial feedback, which will be used to guide future best practices sessions. For those unable to attend, your feedback is also welcome. Please submit your suggestions about general graduate education issues, ideas for best practices sessions, and resources you would like to see in a graduate education online toolkit dedicated to graduate program faculty and staff.

New pages for committee workflows

New pages with additional instructions are now available to assist students who are requesting approval of their committee assignments. The pages provide clearer and more efficient front-end instructions for students, as well as complement the quick start guides for each committee workflow. The workflows include the following:

Master's committee instructions
Doctoral preliminary committee instructions
Doctoral final committee instructions
Specialist certificate committee instructions

These pages can be accessed on the Graduate School website.

Faculty role database update

The faculty role database advisory group has approved the requirements for the proposed form that will be used to collect and update faculty responsibilities for graduate education, as well as the proposed web page designed to display faculty responsibilities once assigned. A survey sent out to all Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS), College Coordinators (CC), and Plan Level Coordinators (PLC) has collected information that will be used to develop the design and process.

As soon as resources for development become available, this project will move into the development phase. The Assign/Update Faculty Responsibilities form and the web page are expected to launch by the end of the fall 2012 term.

Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 Veterans Appreciation Day

University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the sixth annual Student Veterans Appreciation Day on November 15, 2012 at McNamara Alumni Center. The event recognizes the contributions of University student veterans, military members, and their families.

This year's event will begin at 11:30 a.m. and feature a short program, including speakers and an introduction of the Tillman Military Scholars. A chili luncheon will be provided for guests at 12:00 p.m., and the event is free and open to the public.

For more information, including program details, visit the One Stop website.

New recruitment tool for graduate programs

Graduate programs can now communicate with and recruit prospective students in a more measured way by using the new Connect system. Connect is an add-on recruitment system that fully integrates with the ApplyYourself admissions system used for applications. Connect features an online request for information page for initial inquiries, the ability to schedule and send customized emails, reporting tools to track recruiting efforts, and more.

For more information, contact Dean Tsantir.

Friday, October 19, 2012

New online loan exit counseling

Federal regulations and University policy require all students with student loans to complete exit counseling prior to leaving the University of Minnesota. In the past, this counseling was done at group information sessions at Grad Fest, one-on-one, or through a paper process. A new web application has now been developed to allow students to complete this requirement online at their convenience.

At the end of August, this new web application had a "soft launch." This soft launch allowed the team working on this new process the opportunity to test it with a small group of students to identify potential issues and fine tune the system before a large number of students would use it in November (prior to December graduation). During this time, students have been identified as needing to complete exit counseling and have received email communications directing them to the new online system.

Students are identified as needing to complete exit counselling for two reasons: an expected graduation date within 30 days, or enrollment dropping below half-time. Once students are identified, a hold is placed on their records and they are sent an email with instructions on completing the online counseling. Once the exit counseling is completed, the hold is removed.

While there has been no change to the regulation or policy, the new system has streamlined the enforcement. This means that students are more easily identified as needing to complete loan exit counseling and have holds on their record when they may not have previously. In order to remove the hold, the student simply has to complete the online exit counseling. Questions about this process can be directed to Student Account Assistance.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

FERPA Q&A: Directory information online

Question: When is a student's directory information published online?

Answer: A student's non-suppressed directory information, which could include name, phone number, address, email address, is published in the online directory when he or she first registers for classes. To prevent directory information from appearing online, a student must suppress the information before registering.

A student can suppress or unsuppress his or her directory information at any time by using the Personal Information quick link one the One Stop website.

Monday, October 15, 2012

One Stop closed until 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24

One Stop Student Services will be closed from 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 for a staff event. Staff will not be available to assist walk-ins, and responses to phone and email inquiries will not be available during this time at all four One Stop Student Services locations:

333 Science Teaching & Student Services (East Bank campus)
160 Williamson Hall (East Bank campus)
130 West Bank Skyway (West Bank campus)
130 Coffey Hall (St. Paul campus)

Full service will resume at all One Stop Student Services centers at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24.

Sign up for the Graduate and Professional Student Update

Staff and faculty can sign up to receive the Graduate and Professional Student Update (GPU) by filling out a form on the GPU website. After you complete the signup form, a confirmation email will be sent to you. Once you receive it, follow the instructions in the email to verify your subscription.

New policy allows grad students up to two-year leave of absence

Graduate students are now permitted to take a leave of absence. A leave of absence allows students to return to the University under the same rules and policies that were in place when they left, and without affecting their time to degree.

Students who receive financial aid from the University should talk with their graduate program and/or department, Graduate Assistant Employment, Student Financial Aid, International Student and Scholar Services, Graduate School Fellowship Office, and/or a One Stop counselor to learn about any effects a leave of absence might have on loan repayment. Students who receive funding from a source outside of the University should talk with that agency to learn about any effects a leave of absence might have.

During the period of an approved leave of absence, students may not use student amenities and services, laboratories, equipment, and other research facilities, nor may they use the services of faculty or administrative staff, except as needed to return to active status. For more information, please refer to the complete policy.

Process for declaring a minor remains unchanged

Though several graduate education policies have recently changed, the process for graduate students to declare a minor has not. Per the usual process, students declare their minor as part of the Graduate Degree Plan. For doctoral students, this must be completed before their prelim oral exam.

Students must list their minor and minor field coursework, as well as obtain the approval signature of their minor field Director of Graduate Studies.

Students who have declared a minor must include a representative from the minor field on their examining committee when submitting the committee assignment workflow.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The start of fall 2012 for One Stop

The first week of term and the week before are the busiest times of the year for One Stop Student Services. The start-of-term statistics from fall 2012 are now available and include the new location in Williamson Hall.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Link added to One Stop Graduate Resources page

As requested at the last College Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting, a quick link to "request a registration exception" has been added to the One Stop Graduate Student Resources page and to the Faculty/Staff page on the Graduate School website.

New scheduling tool

A new scheduling tool called Schedule Builder launched October 1, 2012. All University of Minnesota students will be able to use Schedule Builder to create class schedules based on selected courses. Students using Graduation Planner will be able to send in the courses they've placed in their graduation plans as well. It also allows students to email possible schedules to their inbox and/or print for reference during registration.

Additionally, Schedule Builder will help advisers limit the amount of time spent identifying schedule conflicts, allowing more time for the student and adviser to discuss academic goals, interests, opportunities, and resources for success.

Friday, September 28, 2012

U of M sign in pages updated

On Friday, September 28, 2012, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) will update the University of Minnesota sign in page.

Due to feedback from the University community, the guest account creation and student account initiation links will change to send users to a new page that provides more detail about how to choose the proper account.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New graduate education catalog

The new graduate education catalog is now available online. The PDF version of this catalog, with links to University policies and campus resources, will be available soon.

This is the first graduate education catalog to be generated from the Program and Curriculum Approval System (PCAS), as well as the first to include all graduate programs of the University. Users may now search for the most current program information using the search feature of the online catalog, including a search by keyword.

Current and archived catalogs are available as PDFs on the University catalog website. Catalogs for all campuses can also be found online.

Friday, September 21, 2012

PeopleSoft, related applications unavailable for much of October 13 & 14

Beginning Saturday, October 13, the Office of Information Technology will upgrade the critical software (PeopleTools) that supports PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and Financials. To accommodate this upgrade, all PeopleSoft systems (e.g., Financials, HR, and Student Administration) and related applications (including One Stop self service), will be unavailable from 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 13 until 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 14. Batch jobs will not run during the upgrade. Full functionality will be restored by 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 14.

This upgrade will allow the University to continue to receive technical support from Oracle, and is a critical building block for the Enterprise System Upgrade Project. More information is available on the PeopleTools Upgrade page.

Message from ESUP Program Directors

The following message was sent to the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Project Integration Steering Committee from Program Directors Andy Hill and Rebecca Collings on September 18. As a member of the Integration Steering Committee, Sue Van Voorhis is providing this communication here for the broader 'Student' user community.

From: Andy Hill and Rebecca Collings, ESUP Program Directors
To: Integration Steering Committee

Dear Colleagues,

We wanted to take a moment to recognize the important progress we've made on the Enterprise System Upgrade Project (ESUP) in recent weeks. As you may know, earlier this month a number of key stakeholders met to work through our options regarding the required split of the current shared database for the University's human resources (HR) and student systems.
The benefits of creating two independent databases are several, including improved functionality and the ability to maintain and upgrade the HR and student systems independently.

Separating HR and student data is no small task. We want to congratulate and thank the project team members and stakeholders who made time, on very short notice, to work through the options and recommend a workable plan that provides increased flexibility and reduced risk for the University. The plan was approved by the Integration Steering Committee at its meeting
last Thursday and is a milestone: the first critical decision point for work on the project. We are officially underway!

For an overview of the database planning discussion, please see CedarCrestone's presentation, available online at https://docs.google.com/a/umn.edu/open?id=0BxM5o38oLM0tV0F1RFF6bDg0WFE.
If you have questions or concerns about the split, the decision, or its impact on your work, please share them with your respective project managers, and we will do our best to answer them for you.

ESUP project leadership, change management, and communications teams are meeting regularly to plan the move to assigned project space in Williamson Hall and West Bank Office Building and an official kickoff event for the project. The targeted date for these spaces to be ready for occupancy is Monday, Oct. 1, and the project kickoff event is tentatively slated for the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 16. More details about space and kickoff planning will be available in next few weeks.

Thank you again for your great work!

Andy Hill, Program Director, University of Minnesota
Rebecca Collings, Program Director, CedarCrestone

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What is an implementation partner?

In June 2012, in response to an RFP, three consulting firms presented their proposals to serve as the implementation partner for the enterprise system upgrade. Of the three firms, CedarCrestone (CCI) was selected and a contract was approved by the Board of Regents in July. But what is an "implementation partner" and why is one needed?

Some software installations are so significant and/or complex that they are undertaken relatively infrequently (e.g., the upgrade of the University's enterprise system). Because of this, institutions generally do not have dedicated upgrade experts on staff. So when it comes to undertaking a major upgrade, those with expertise in performing the installation are brought in. This is called an implementation partner. The partner is selected based on their experience in implementing similar installations of the software at similar institutions.

CCI is the University's implementation partner for the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Project. They have extensive experience with higher education implementations of PeopleSoft and with business process redesign, including splitting the Human Resources and Student database into two separate databases--a task to be accomplished during this upgrade.

University project staff will work alongside CCI staff allowing them to build the University's internal knowledge and expertise. Since a dedicated and focused team is required for a long-term project of this scale, University employees will move to the upgrade for the duration of the project, and many will be "backfilled" in their home departments or units so that the day-to-day work of the University continues. Since employees who work on the project will return to their home appointments, units or departments who hire backfill employees must have a clear plan to transition backfill employees at the end of the project.

Though the number will vary over the span of the project, the combined team will include between 200 and 300 people, the majority being University employees. With CCI contributing extensive PeopleSoft implementation experience and University staff contributing internal knowledge and expertise, the strengths of both will be leveraged to ensure the success of the project.

Online catalog change

In July, an announcement was made that several sections of the printable PDF version of the undergraduate catalog will be omitted moving forward. This was done to help streamline content and optimize online resources.

An additional change will also be made to the online undergraduate catalog in late October. Web page links that are included within catalog web applications (e.g., search for a major or minor) will be removed. The look of the applications will also be updated to remain consistent with other self-service (i.e., Pillar) applications, like registration and enrollment summary.

Right now, the catalog also contains static links to information about each college, department, or division. These are individual web pages created by University Relations that are similar to the actual collegiate or departmental websites. The pages will no longer be maintained, and the static links will be changed to point to live college, department, or division sites.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New feedback channel for Portal upgrade

As part of the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Project, the University of Minnesota will implement a new web portal. In order to maintain open communication with all stakeholders throughout the process, a feedback channel has been created to ensure that the needs of all staff, faculty, and students are considered. If you have comments, questions, or concerns about the new web portal, please submit it using the online form available at z.umn.edu/portalfeedback.

FERPA Q&A: International students

Question: Are international students treated any differently than domestic students under FERPA?

Answer: International students who come to study at the University of Minnesota are covered by FERPA just as domestic students. That means, in general, third parties can't receive non-public or suppressed-public information without written permission or a stated need to know in order to perform assigned job duties. It's important to know, however, that in order to study in the U.S., international students must have an approved I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) visa. The F-1 and J-1 immigration regulations contain a consent provision that allows information to be shared with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel. The language in the consent is quite broad and therefore allows the institution to share public or non-public student information with individuals from DHS or ICE in order for these individuals to determine the student's non-immigrant status. If you get requests from DHS about grades for international students, please contact International Student and Scholar Services.

If you have questions about FERPA, contact Tina Falkner or Dan Delaney.

Friday, September 7, 2012

What is a College Coordinator?

College Coordinators are responsible for the coordination of graduate education at the collegiate level. Some of their responsibilities include the following: defining, clarifying, and incorporating new and revised University graduate education policies, and providing sign-off on some student degree progress milestone processes.

The college coordinator role continues to evolve as a result of the revision of graduate education policy, the shift in authority from the Graduate School to the colleges, and the use of digital workflows to enable student processes.

The College Coordinators meet monthly to discuss critical issues, compare best practices, and advise ASR and the Graduate School on student progress issues and needs.

User guide for delegating roles

A user guide for delegating roles in WorkflowGen has been created to assist staff and faculty with this process. You can view the form on the Graduate School website under "Tools" here.

One Stop courier service

Graduate programs now have the option of sending forms to Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) staff in Williamson Hall via the One Stop courier service. Staff can drop off forms addressed to: GSSP, 160 Williamson Hall, East Bank at any One Stop office location (campus mail envelopes will be accepted). One Stop courier service will deliver forms to the Williamson Hall location daily.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Reviewing Degree Completion Steps

Graduate program staff should remind students to review the Degree Completion Steps to ensure they're on track with their graduation plan. This will help avoid late Graduate Degree Plan submission, graduation packet requests, and exam scheduling.

Recap of summer classroom renovations

Several general purpose classrooms and study spaces were renovated or upgraded during the summer. Detailed project information is available on the OCM website, but here are a few highlights:

Technology Updates: OCM updated classroom equipment in more than 50 rooms.
Apple TV expansion: Apple TV will be implemented in Appleby 3 and expand to include Fraser 102, Vincent 16, and STSS 114, 118, and 412.
Student Study Space renovations: Renovations occurred in Skok, Ruttan, and Willey Hall Atrium.
Furniture Updates: Furniture was replaced in Keller, seating and lighting replaced in Vincent, and seating replaced in Kolthoff.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Upgrade to enterprise systems

Between now and December 2014, the University of Minnesota is upgrading its PeopleSoft enterprise systems and examining related business processes to improve user experience and operational efficiency and effectiveness. Included in this upgrade are the enterprise-level financial, human resources, and student service systems. This project is essential to maintain vendor support and regulatory compliance for the system, to perform mission-critical activities and day-to-day business functions more effectively, and position the University to leverage new and emerging technologies.

Current efforts are centered on informing stakeholders about the upgrade and assigning appropriate staff to work on the project. University project staff will be working jointly with an implementation partner (final negotiations are underway with Cedar Crestone). This combination enables the University to leverage the extensive PeopleSoft implementation experience of the partner with internal knowledge and expertise.

Project leadership is committed to ongoing communication throughout the process. This will range from targeted communications to specific stakeholder groups to periodic broadcast messages to the entire University community. In addition to new channels of communication currently in development, updates about the project will be included regularly in existing channels such as the Registrar's Advisory Committee, The Record newsletter, and this blog. Feedback and questions about the project are welcomed and may be sent to esup@umn.edu.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Location and hours of Graduate Student Services and Progress

The Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) office formerly located in 316 Johnston Hall is now located in 160 Williamson (East Bank). Their hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday- Friday; please note that the hours of operation have changed to remain open over the noon hour, and close at 4 p.m. rather than 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New process for submitting CC, DGS, PLC updates

A new online form updating changes to Plan Level Coordinator (PLCs), College Coordinator (CC), and Director of Graduate Study (DGS) positions is currently being created and should be available soon. Along with this form, a list of who is currently serving in these roles will also be provided. The location of these forms will be announced once they are released.

Committee workflow user guide

A committee workflow user guide has been created to assist all students, faculty, and staff in better understanding the committee update and request form and how it should be completed. The user guide shows a student view of the committee workflow, highlighting specific areas that may require more attention or instruction from the college or graduate program. To view a PDF of the user guide, click here.

To submit feedback on the workflow user guide, contact Heather McLaughlin.

Friday, August 17, 2012

FERPA Q&A: Online discussion groups

Question: Can information displayed in online discussion groups be suppressed?

Answer: If students are part of a course that has an online discussion component or uses Google Groups, members can see each other's x.500 information. Some faculty and staff have asked whether displaying this for students who have chosen to suppress this information is a violation of FERPA. It isn't. The 2009 FERPA regulations state that students do not have a right to remain anonymous is the classroom, including online sections of courses or equivalent course components for in-person classes. Students in the class, and the faculty member, must not share information about other students in the class outside the class environment.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Classroom instructions redesigned

The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) has redesigned their classroom instructions. On Monday, August 20, the previous PDF versions will be replaced with printable web pages. Each page showcases the classroom equipment and features available for each building with OCM-managed classrooms. The instructions for each building provide a list of equipment and additional features, a list of rooms that include the equipment/features, and an image of the instructor station in each classroom.

The process for finding instructions for your classroom(s) remains much the same. Simply search by room and the system directs you to a web page for the building you requested. You may also print the individual instructions for each equipment/feature you wish to know more about.

Orientation is available upon request for those who want to learn more about the new instructions. For any questions, contact OCM Classroom Support or 612-625-1086.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Orientation Quick Start Guide for graduate students

One Stop has created an Orientation Quick Start Guide for Graduate Students that can be distributed to students. The Quick Start Guide includes important information and links about financial aid, money management, loan options, and work-study.

The guide is available in a printable and color version on One Stop's website under the Special for Graduate Students page. If you have any questions about this document, please contact Carrie Otto.

Welcome Week

Several Academic Support Resources (ASR) staff are preparing for Welcome Week, a week-long series of activities from August 29 to September 3 designed to welcome approximately 5,000 new freshmen to campus. Students will attend the ASR-produced "Live Like a Student" session, a fun, interactive exploration of living within one's financial means. The session will discuss budgeting, student loans, credit cards, free and low-cost activities, valuable resources for managing student finances, and tools to help find a job on campus.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

West Bank One Stop hours change

Beginning September 4, hours for the West Bank One Stop Student Services location (130 West Bank Skyway) will change. The location will be open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; hours will no longer be extended to 5 p.m. on Monday or Tuesday during fall and spring semesters.

Hours at all other One Stop locations will remain the same.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Heather Peterson at 612-626-9115.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Social security applications

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), along with the Social Security Administration, will schedule special sessions in August to help new international students employed by the University to complete the social security application process. Students will receive more information about session dates and times while attending the mandatory ISSS Document Check.

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012-13 tuition and fee information available

One Stop Student Services now has the tuition and fee information for the 2012-13 academic year available online. Make the most of your money by using the Cost of Attendance (COA) charts to estimate your costs for the upcoming year.

For in-depth tuition and fee information, visit the Tuition Fact Sheet or the Tuition and Fee pages on the One Stop website.

Undergraduate and graduate catalogs

As catalog responsibilities move from University Relations to Academic Support Resources (ASR), several sections of the archival printable PDF of the undergraduate catalog will be omitted moving forward. These changes will streamline content and optimize online resources. All material included in the online undergraduate catalog will not change.

The following sections will remain as part of the archival printable PDF catalog:

1) Directory of Undergraduate Programs/Majors
2) Directory of Undergraduate Minors
3) Overview (purpose and orientation of online catalog)
4) Policies, Processes, and Systems (only a screenshot of each policy will be included)
5) Academics (only links to individual college websites will be included)
PDFs of PCAS Program Descriptions
PDFs of ECAS Course Descriptions

The graduate catalog is also being reformatted. A critical part of the process is ensuring that all graduate programs are entered into PCAS. A launch date by mid-to-late August is expected for a fully functional graduate PCAS. This program information will offer the most current online catalog content that has been entered into PCAS and reviewed by program owners. All future updates to programs in PCAS will be immediately available in the online catalog once approved.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New One Stop in Williamson Hall

Update July 31: A slightly modified version of this notice will be included in the August 6 issue of the Graduate and Professional Student Update.

Beginning August 13, the Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) team will offer its services as part of a new One Stop center located in 160 Williamson Hall (East Bank). The GSSP office in 316 Johnston Hall will officially close beginning August 9 and re-open in its new location on August 13. Third Party Billing currently located in B12 Fraser Hall will also move to the One Stop in Williamson and will close its Fraser location beginning August 9. Third Party Billing will re-open on August 13.

All phone and email information for GSSP and Third Party Billing will remain the same. The services found at all One Stop locations will be available at this new center; however, the One Stop in Williamson is the only location at this time where graduate and professional students can find GSSP and Third Party Billing.

Friday, July 20, 2012

D grades in minor

In June, the Credit and Grade Point Requirements for an Undergraduate (Baccalaureate) Degree policy was amended to reflect current practice on the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses. Specifically, the policy now states that D grades are not allowed in courses included in a minor. After going through the appropriate approval process, the policy change passed through the 30 day review period without any comment from the University community.

If you have questions about this policy, contact Tina Falkner.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

FERPA Q&A: PSEO students

Question: Are PSEO students treated any differently than traditional students under FERPA?

Answer: Students participating in the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) program (in which they are enrolled in both high school and college) are afforded the same FERPA rights as a traditional college student. This means these students "own" the information included in their education records, and parents and guardians do not have a right to either suppressed public information or non-directory information.

Faculty often report that the parent of a PSEO student contacts them and requests information about his or her child's performance, attendance, or homework. Just like other college students, PSEO students need to provide permission to the faculty member to discuss non-directory information with others.

If you have questions about FERPA, contact Tina Falkner or Dan Delaney.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mobile One Stop

One Stop Student Services has developed a mobile version of the One Stop website offering useful content in an easy-to-read format.

Of 600 students surveyed by One Stop, 89 percent owned a smartphone. The same percentage of students said they would visit the One Stop site more often if a mobile version was made available. Additionally, 54 percent of students said their smartphone is their primary way to access the internet on campus.

The mobile site includes timely and helpful "News" and "Contact Us" tabs, as well as a full site version for those preferring to view One Stop content in its entirety.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Course Guide videos

The existing hardware and software that manages Course Guide video processing will soon reach the end of its life cycle. Based on the low number of Course Guide video files, Academic Support Resources (ASR) has decided that the video upload service will be permanently discontinued on Friday, July 20; this means users will no longer be able to upload videos with their Course Guide descriptions.

Videos that have already been posted will continue to work whenever the same instructor teaches the same class, until it is removed by the department or the instructor.

Instructors will still have the option to upload a syllabus, photograph, and biography.
Course Guide questions should be directed to the SR training team.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Promote classroom cleanliness

The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) has created two posters that are available to departments (upon request) to post in departmental classrooms. These posters are intended to assist departments in their efforts to alert classroom users to the impact their actions have on the quality of the learning space.

If you would like to use these posters in your classrooms, please contact Sarah Hollerich.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Non-degree registration

One Stop Student Services supports University staff in their professional development by allowing those with a bachelor's degree to take a graduate level course. This enrollment option is ideal for enhancing job knowledge, exploring a master's or doctorate program prior to admission, or learning more about a field of interest.

If interested in enrolling as a graduate non-degree seeking student, follow these six steps to register. If you have any questions along the way, contact a One Stop counselor.

Non-degree registration for summer 2012 and fall 2012 courses is open. Enrollment as a non-degree student for spring 2013 begins December 7.

GSSP summer hours

Effective immediately, the Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) office in 316 Johnston Hall will be closed daily from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Saving information in the Graduate Degree Plan

With the launch of the new Graduate Degree Plan, many have asked if it is possible to save information entered in the form. You cannot save data typed into the form when using Adobe Reader. Print your completed form if you would like a copy for your records.

To save information entered into the fields, you must use Adobe Acrobat Pro. Reader can be downloaded for free online, while you have to purchase Acrobat Pro.

Grade submission stats

Grade submission statistics for spring 2012 are available. The information below includes the percentage of grades that were submitted by the due date.


Professional Schools statistics are not gathered.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 14 email from the Graduate School regarding adviser and committee workflows

On June 14, the following message was sent by the Graduate School to plan level coordinators, DGSs, and college coordinators regarding the June 26 launch of new online workflows for adviser and committee assignments:

To: Directors of Graduate Studies, Plan Level Coordinators (DGS Assistants), and College Coordinators
From: Renae Faunce, Graduate Student Services and Progress
Re: Online forms for adviser and committee assignments will launch June 26

I am writing to give you advance notice of new processes that will soon be in effect for initiating adviser assignments for graduate students and committee assignments for graduate and professional students (including updates to existing information). On June 26, new online workflows will be available on the Graduate School's website that will streamline the process for assigning and/or updating adviser and committee information. These changes are consistent with the ongoing graduate education transformation and the improvement of student administrative processes.

Adviser assignments
The "Graduate Student Adviser Assignment" form will replace use of the Degree Program Form for updating adviser assignments for graduate students (this process does not apply to professional students). This form may only be used by plan level coordinators (i.e., DGS Assistants) and DGSs to make changes to adviser information. Staff may access the form by going to the forms page on the Graduate School's website and selecting the appropriate link, depending on their status.

Please note that ApplyYourself should continue to be used for initial or temporary adviser assignments as required by the (proposed) Master's Degree Performance Standards and Progress and Doctoral Degree Performance Standards and Progress policies.

Committee membership
Also on June 26, four new online workflows will be available for assigning or updating committee members for graduate and professional students. These workflows are for the following committee types:
Doctoral final examination
Doctoral preliminary oral examination
Master's final examination
Specialist certificate final examination

Students will be able to access these forms by going to the forms page on the Graduate School's website and selecting the appropriate link, depending on their status. Once they log in, students with existing committee assignments will see their current members listed and can use the form to request a change in membership.

All graduate and professional students will receive notification about these changes in the Graduate and Professional Student Update.

Changes to the Degree Program Form and elimination of the Thesis Proposal Form
When these workflows launch, a new Degree Program Form (also known as the Degree Program Transmittal) will also be available with an updated name: the Graduate Degree Plan. This form will no longer include the following: sections for assigning an adviser and committee; the transmittal page (i.e., instructions page); and the instructor name field previously included in the coursework section. Once these workflows are available, the Graduate Degree Plan should be used for any students who need to complete it for the first time or need to revise their plan. (Students with a Degree Program Form already on file do not need to complete a Graduate Degree Plan and can still use the new workflows to update their information.) The Thesis Proposal Form will also be retired as of June 26. This form was used to create doctoral final examination committees and will no longer be needed once these workflows launch.

Next week, I will send you some information I hope is helpful to you as you communicate with your faculty and instructors about these changes. I will not be emailing your faculty directly. Please forward this message to others as well. Finally, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.


Renae Faunce
Coordinator, Graduate Student Services and Progress

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

July RAC canceled

July's Registrar's Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting has been canceled. A majority of attendees preferred to defer any pending items until the August 6 meeting. Please read the PBED Digest (last issue sent June 15) or check The Ledger for updates in the interim.

Change to student APAS

There will be an upcoming change to the degree audits (APAS) of all undergraduate students entering fall 1999 or later on the Twin Cities campus.

Beginning June 15, Academic Support Resources will update the APAS for all colleges to show students a summary of credits considered degree credits and excess elective credits. These summaries show courses that the student has registered for or completed that do not meet the requirements for his or her declared program(s).

Prior to this, a summary of degree and elective credits was only available to students entering fall 2011 and later. With the inclusion of students back to fall 1999, however, the goal is to provide a more detailed and accurate reporting of degree progress information. This will help advance our goal of improving timely graduation.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Revised Degree Completion Checklists

In conjunction with the new adviser and committee online workflows, new versions of all Degree Completion Checklists were released the week of June 26. The checklists have updated language to reflect the graduate education transformation and feature a new layout, design, and name. The checklists will now be called the Degree Completion Steps. A printable and online version will be available on the Graduate School's website.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Adviser and committee workflows

On June 26, new online workflows (i.e., online forms) will be available and will replace the current processes for initiating and updating graduate and professional students' committee information and graduate students' adviser assignments.

The "Graduate Student Adviser Assignment" workflow is a Plan Level Coordinator- (PLC) initiated process. The form will be available on the Graduate School's website in the same location as the Degree Program Form (located under each student status after visiting the forms page). The "Committee Assignment" workflow is a student-initiated process and can be used for assigning a committee for the first time, as well as updating existing committee information; this form will also be located by the Degree Program Form. (Note that separate workflows exist for doctoral final and preliminary oral examination committees; master's final examination committee; and specialist certificate final examination committee.)

When these new workflows launch, a new Degree Program Form (also known as the Degree Program Transmittal) will replace the current form and with an updated name: the Graduate Degree Plan. This form will no longer include the following: sections for assigning an adviser and committee; the transmittal page (i.e., instructions page); and the instructor name field previously included in the coursework section.

Questions about these workflows or changes to the Degree Program Form should be directed to grad-wfg@umn.edu.

Policy committee wraps up

The Graduate School Policy Review Committee is wrapping up its current work. The committee will draft a memo to Provost Karen Hanson outlining the committee's progress and remaining policy issues. The policies still in progress are grading and transcripts and course numbering. The committee is not proposing significant changes to either policy. Some of the changes to both policies include removing references to the Graduate School and graduate faculty and clarifying policy portions that apply only to undergraduates. As with other policies, the committee recommends adding several FAQs for clarity. The revised policies will be made available for review and comment.

For more information about the committee and where each policy stands in the approval process, click here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer schedule for Graduate and Professional Student Update

The summer 2012 schedule for the Graduate and Professional Student Update (GPU) has been released. Publication dates are as follows:

July 9 (content due June 29)
August 6 (content due July 27)
September 10 (content due August 31)

Please send content submissions to gpu@umn.edu.

FERPA Q&A: Verifying degrees

Question: How are degrees verified by the University?

Answer: The University uses the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) for enrollment and degree verification. Employers or other third parties can obtain verifications from the NSC at any time. The NSC only verifies directory information (e.g., degree, major, dates of attendance) and is not able to provide verification for students who have a complete suppression on their record.

If a student's degree is posted and the student needs a degree verified quickly, he or she can obtain a certification letter from any One Stop Student Services location. They can also mail or fax a completed Request for Certification form to One Stop.

Sometimes verification of non-directory/public information is requested, such as asking about a student's character or wanting a full transcript. In this case, the student should complete and sign a waiver, which is normally provided by the third party, and then drop it off at One Stop Student Services. For example, if a student is applying to work for the FBI, the federal government requires that he or she sign waiver granting permission to gather private information.

There may also be times where the student's college must verify information. Colleges should keep a copy of the signed waiver from the student if they are releasing non-directory/public information about a student.

New process supervisor for registration exceptions

Bettie Walker, a One Stop counselor in One Stop Student Services, has been named the new process supervisor for registration exceptions for graduate students. She may be reached by email or by phone at 612-626-5433.

The position was previously held by Dan Dalaney.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Policies on degree progress and completion

Nita Krevans, chair of the Graduate Education Policy Review Committee, recently sent an email to faculty and staff announcing a 30-day comment period for four new University-wide policies on degree progress and completion. The policies, which were developed by the Graduate Education Policy Review Committee, have been approved by the President's Policy Committee (PPC).

Comments on the policies can be submitted using the feedback function provided on each policy's page in the University's Policy Library. The deadline for submitting comments is June 25.

To view the policies, click on the links below:
Master's Degree: Performance Standards and Progress
Master's Degree: Completion
Doctoral Degree: Performance Standards and Progress
Doctoral degree: Completion

Future location of graduate education student services staff

Three members from the Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) will join Academic Support Resources (ASR) in July. The GSSP staff (Amber Cellotti, Renae Faunce, and Stacia Madsen) will be located in 160 Williamson Hall; this move will take place some time before fall 2012.

OCM classroom posters

The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) will launch a fresh set of classroom posters this summer aimed at raising student awareness of the importance of keeping classroom and study places clean. The poster campaign is part of a larger OCM initiative to provide information to students regarding sustainability at the university.

Definition of workflow

Recently, a Preliminary Written Exam survey was sent to the PBED listserv, which includes all plan level coordinators (PLC) and directors of graduate studies (DGS). The survey asked participants who they believe should initiate the Preliminary Written Exam form and what role the adviser and the DGS should have in the process. Feedback from the survey suggests an opportunity to clarify the concept of workflow.

The definition of workflow, within the context of the graduate education transition, is to automate the process of recording student information to the system of record. The specific purpose of the preliminary written exam workflow is to replace the paper form to report a student's exam result. The intention is not to replace program-specific processes for grading.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Moodle is mobile

Moodle's May 13 upgrade added a mobile interface that enables students to access Moodle course content and perform tasks on their mobile devices via a more user-friendly format. Now, students can now do the following:

  • take a quiz and check scores

  • view and reply to discussion forum posts

  • view videos

Classes with top enrollments

Have you ever wondered what the most popular classes on campus are? Twin Cities campus courses with the top 10 enrollments for the fall 2011/spring 2012 semesters included the following:

1. University Writing 1301
2. Introduction to Psychology 1001
3. Chemical Principles I 1021
4. Public Speaking 1101
5. Principles of Microeconomics 1101
6. Intermediate Spanish 1003
7. Calculus I 1271
8. Organic Chemistry I 2301
9. Intermediate Spanish 1004
10. Chemical Principles II 1022

Nearly 4,600 students registered for University Writing, which had the highest enrollment among undergraduate courses. Organic Chemistry I, which rounded out tenth place, had 1,677 enrollments.

Friday, May 18, 2012

PLC and CC updates

As part of the ongoing graduate education transition, Plan Level Coordinator (PLC) and College Coordinator (CC) roles must reflect current information, as it ensures the critical success of workflow processes. Forms without correct information will be routed to the wrong person for approval, delaying a timely decision for the student. Please be sure to update any PLC or CC changes by emailing Heather McLaughlin or Brad Bostrom.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Missing high school preparation requirements no longer a graduation requirement

As of spring 2012, any undergraduate student admitted to the Twin Cities campus who was missing stated high school preparation requirements at the time of admission will not be required to complete the missing requirement in order to graduate. Students should contact their academic adviser if they have questions.

Financial aid update

Awarding of summer financial aid for both graduate and undergraduate students began the first week of May. Summer financial aid disbursements for these students will begin June 5. The first summer disbursements for Medical, Dental, Veterinary Medicine, and Pharmacy students have taken place, with Law school student disbursements scheduled for May 22.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) review will take place May 29. Academic records are reviewed to confirm financial aid recipients are meeting SAP requirements related to GPA, credits completion ratio, and maximum time frame.

FERPA Q&A: What student information is OK to give out during an emergency?

Question: What if a parent (or friend or hospital) calls and says that a student is in the hospital, and they need information (e.g., emergency contact info, instructor contact info)? What can be given out?

Answer: You can release non-suppressed, public information about the student but should not release other information. Specific, non-public information about students (e.g., class schedule, instructors) should not be released. You can refer the caller to One Stop Student Services to work with the instructors. The One Stop website has a page dedicated to help students with questions on this topic.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Adviser and committee workflows and degree program form

As a part of the ongoing Graduate School transformation, Academic Support Resources (ASR) will launch the adviser and committee assignment workflows, along with the revised degree program form. A target launch date is planned for late June. The workflow processes and the new Graduate Degree Plan (formerly known as the Degree Program Form) will be released together; once they are live, the Graduate Degree Plan and online workflows will replace the Degree Program Form.

Imaging of degree packets

As part of the continuing graduate education transition, the scanning of Graduate School documents is being incorporated into the Academic Support Resources (ASR) imaging unit. The degree packets of graduating students will be scanned first, followed by all supporting documents.

Degree packet documents include: UMN transcripts, Master and Doctoral thesis titles and signatures, petitions, thesis and dissertation hold requests, grading system sheets, thesis project proposals, final oral exam report and reviewers report, among others.

Grad School transformation feedback form

As the transition of Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) and Graduate School Data Management (GSDM) to Academic Support Resources (ASR) continues, you may submit any questions you have about the graduate education transformation via this feedback form. This is anonymous unless you prefer a personal response, in which case you may share your contact information. Questions and answers to all questions will be posted on The Ledger.

Graduate Student Services and Progress office hours May 16

The Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) office will be closed on Wednesday, May 16 from 8 a.m.-noon for a staff meeting. Regular office hours are as follows:

Monday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday 8 a.m.-noon
Wednesday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Thursday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Spring cleaning: be sure to destroy records properly

Spring is here, and for many departments, that means it's time to organize and discard unneeded materials. If your cleaning involves the disposal of student records, be sure it is handled appropriately. Student information can be destroyed by either shredding it or placing it in confidential recycling. Never place materials with student information in public trash or recycling bins.

Confidential recycling can be arranged by contacting Dana Donatucci. Other questions regarding student privacy should be directed to Tina Falkner.

Speedy registration statistics

Registration statistics were exceptionally fast, despite a few bumps with system performance. More than 99 percent of registration transactions were completed in less than three seconds. During high volume days, more than 38,000 transactions were completed. The quick performance is due, in part, to the recent Exadata upgrade.

Extended Technology Help hours

The Office of Information Technology's Technology Help service desk has new and extended hours. The new hours are as follows:

Monday - Thursday: 7:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday: noon - 6 p.m.

Transition of Graduate School staff and functions

Transition of Graduate School staff and functions

Vice Provost Dean Henning Schroeder and ASR Director Sue Van Voorhis recently sent an email [PDF] to the Associate Deans of Graduate Education, Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS), SGS Assistants, and College Coordinators regarding the transition of Graduate School staff and functions to ASR.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Changes to TXT-U

TXT-U is the University's emergency notification text messaging system to provide students, faculty, and staff with critical campus safety information. To increase its effectiveness and reach, in mid-to-late May 2012, current students, staff, and faculty with an active Internet ID and University of Minnesota email address will be automatically enrolled in the new TXT-U system. Those with cell phone numbers included in their University personal information will receive emergency text messages.Those wishing to not use this system will be able to opt out (instructions will be available once the new system is in place). More information can be found on the TXT-U web page.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Senator Franken and Governor Dayton visit One Stop during financial literacy week

On April 9, University President Eric Kaler, Governor Mark Dayton, Senator Al Franken, and Office of Higher Education director Larry Pogemiller engaged University students and others in a round table discussion about college affordability and financial literacy. The chat took place in STSS and was followed by a tour of One Stop Student Services. One Stop Director Julie Selander and Vice Provost and Dean Bob McMaster also showed the group an active learning classroom and University Veterans Services. Julie briefly explained ASR's "Live Like a Student Now So You Don't Have To Later" financial literacy campaign.

The Graduate & Professional Student Update launches April 30

On April 30, 2012, a new eNewsletter will launch aimed at enhancing communication to University graduate and professional students on the Twin Cities campus.

The Office for Student Affairs, in collaboration with the Office for Graduate Education, Academic Support Resources, and Orientation & First-Year Programs, is launching the Graduate and Professional Student Update (GPU). GPU will be similar to the Undergrad Update, an eNewsletter for undergraduates, and is intended to enhance communication with graduate and professional students.

Those wishing to provide content for the GPU should submit it to Steve Carnes. The deadline for the April 30 issue is Friday, April 20 at 4:30 pm. The same general guidelines used to determine if content is appropriate for the Undergrad Update will apply to the GPU as well.

All graduate and professional students will be automatically added to the distribution. Staff and faculty will be able to opt in to this list soon.

Committee Assignment Workflow

Based on a careful review of the Appointments to Graduate Examination Committees policy and feedback received at meetings of the Registrar's Advisory Committee, the process map for the assignment of committee [PDF] has been revised and automation work is underway. Once this process automation is complete, both assignment of adviser and assignment of committee will be released for use simultaneously. This automation will affect two forms currently in use: the Degree Program form and the "Thesis Project/Proposal" form.

The "Degree Program" form will be revised to exclude adviser and committee assignment information. This form will be available and should be used exclusively once the automated processes are live. The "Thesis Project/Proposal" form will be retired and will no longer need to be submitted to the Graduate School.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Prepare now for entering grades later

Grades for most full semester and second 7-week session University courses on the Twin Cities campus should be entered online by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16.

Instructors should verify that they have access to all of their assigned grade rosters before the last day of instruction. If an instructor is able to view a class list for a course using the "My Classes" report in UM Reports, he or she will have access to the grade rosters for that course. See Grade Reporting for more information about how and when to enter grades.

OIT Faculty Fellowship Program for 2012-2013

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is inviting faculty and P&A instructors to submit applications for their faculty fellowship program. OIT anticipates funding up to eight participants with an award of $10,000 to conduct research that will lead to presentations and/or publications focused on technology-rich innovation in teaching and learning through course (re)design and scholarly investigation.

Academic Support Resources: limited service on May 16

All ASR units will be attending a staff meeting from 8 a.m. to 12 (noon) on Wednesday, May 16. This includes the Office of the Registrar, Office of Student Finance, One Stop Student Services, and the Office of Classroom Management (OCM). Some staff members will remain in ASR offices; however, some services may be limited.

From 8 a.m. to 12 (noon), messages may be left on the OCM Support Hotline voicemail. These messages will be monitored and responded to as necessary.

The One Stop Student Service center located in Science Teaching & Student Services will have limited service and the St. Paul and West Bank One Stop centers will be closed 8 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

FERPA Q&A: Serving as a reference for a student

Question: A student has asked me to serve as a reference; can I do that?

Answer: Before agreeing to serve as a reference for a student--either in writing or verbally--there are a few things to keep in mind. If the student wants you to include private information in the reference, including grades and GPA, you must first obtain a signed dated release from the student. The student must include the following information in the release:

  • Specifics of the records to be disclosed

  • Type of reference being requested

  • Purpose of the disclosure

  • The name of the party to whom the disclosure is to be made

It is important to know that the recommendation is considered a part of the student's education record and he or she has a right to access it, unless the student has waived the rights to view it. The Office of the General Counsel has created a form for serving as a reference which can be accessed at http://www.ogc.umn.edu/download/studentref.html

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Planned elevator outage in Johnston Hall

There is planned elevator maintenance scheduled from Monday, May 14 to Tuesday, August 14 in Johnston Hall. During this time, the elevator will be unavailable for use. Those with mobility issues needing to conduct business with the Graduate School in-person during this time should contact the appropriate Graduate School office or Roberta Juarez in Disability Services so accommodations can be made.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Moodle Upgrade Scheduled for May 13

An upgrade to Moodle is scheduled for Sunday, May 13 during the regular 6 a.m.-noon maintenance window. Moodle will be unavailable for 2-4 hours during that time. Because this is an "in-place" upgrade, no action is required from instructors and other course site owners.

This upgrade will add new features such as a mobile-friendly theme and ensure that critical fixes and security patches to Moodle will continue to be available to the University.

Calculating PhD time to degree

At the April RAC meeting, Brad Bostrum from the Graduate School presented on how PhD time to degree is calculated. He has provided his presentation:

PhD Time-to-Degree

Friday, April 6, 2012

Transition of Graduate School staff and functions to ASR

Beginning in July 2012, certain functions handled by Graduate School Student Services and Progress (GSSP) and Graduate School Data Management (GSDM) will transition to ASR. At that time, four staff members from these offices--Amber Cellotti (Knapp), Renae Faunce, Stacia Madsen, and Genny Rosing--will formally join ASR's Office of the Registrar as a new group dedicated to supporting graduate and professional programs.

This change will continue to promote the local decision-making authority of colleges and programs while enhancing administrative processes and student services as outlined in the recommendations from the Academic Issues and Student Administrative Processes work groups.

Amber, Renae, Stacia, and Genny can still be reached through their current phone and email contacts. They are working together with ASR staff during the coming months to ensure a smooth transition of functions to ASR; specifics of this transition will be shared in future updates to the Ledger.

Construction season on campus

Spring and summer in Minnesota means construction. A presentation with details on the traffic impacts on and around campus for this spring, summer, and beyond is available online (login required). More information, including weekly construction maps, is available on the University's Central Corridor page.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New general purpose classroom utilization dashboard

The Office of Classroom Management recently unveiled a new classroom utilization dashboard. The newly designed dashboard allows users to see how general purpose classrooms are being used. This tool provides options for sorting by semester, campus location, and room size.

Graduate Admissions 2012 Spring Workshop: E-Review - Part 2!

"E-Review - Part 2!" is a half-day workshop on graduate admissions consisting of several short demonstrations, a Q & A session, and a networking lunch. Ten speakers from different programs will demonstrate technology tools used to create electronic processes related to the applicant file review and the decision stages of graduate admissions. A catered networking lunch with the opportunity for participants to share best practices with each other will follow the presentations.

More information and a link for registration are available on the Graduate School spring workshop page.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Shibboleth implementation for Pillar applications on March 25

On Sunday, March 25, all web applications under the Pillar infrastructure (e.g., Web Registration, Student Account, FA Status, Parent/Guest) will transition to the new Shibboleth login/sign-out protocol from the Central Authentication Hub (CAH). There is no extended downtime that accompanies this work.There are two changes users will notice:

  • A new look and feel to authentication pages. Many users will have already seen this change in other applications, so the look will be familiar.

  • When users "sign-out" of a Pillar application, they will be removed from Pillar, but not the larger the U authentication. For maximum security, the browser should always be closed after signing out.

    When authentication services were provided by the CAH, when a user clicked on the "Sign-out" button, all of the user's security credentials would be cleared and the user would be removed completely from University services. Under the new Shibboleth protocol, this is no longer an option. Security is by "Service provider". Pillar is one of a number of service providers. For example, if a student signs out of Registration and in the same browser window navigates to Gmail, they would not need to login again. Gmail is a different service provider.

Updating Course Guide

The ideal time to update Course Guide information for May/summer session and fall 2012 is by March 29. This allows students to view the information available as they are making registration decisions.

It only takes a few minutes to update the Course Guide. Instructors can log in from the faculty Course Guide web page, enter a course description, upload a recent syllabus, or link to an existing public website. In a recent survey of University of Minnesota undergraduate and graduate students, 89% indicated that they have used the Course Guide to choose their courses and/or plan for registration.

Dual-career registration available to students starting summer 2012

After a successful pilot program within Academic Health Center units, Academic Support Resources will now offer students more registration flexibility while pursuing multiple degrees at different career levels and the option of registering as a non-degree seeking student for undergraduate or graduate courses while pursuing graduate or professional degrees.

Students seeking degrees at different career levels
Starting summer 2012, degree-seeking students pursuing degrees at different career levels will be able to register for classes in both careers for the same term. Career levels included in this dual career registration option are graduate and professional (Veterinary Medicine, Dental School, Medical School, and Pharmacy). Note: The Law School will not participate in this registration option. Students in the Law School must register for only one career level per term if they are dual degree-seeking students.

Key points to this option:

  • While students at the undergraduate level can seek multiple degrees at the same time, they cannot be degree-seeking at the undergraduate and graduate or professional careers simultaneously.

  • Students in masters, PhD, and post-baccalaureate certificate programs are not allowed to take classes as a degree-seeking and non-degree graduate level student during the same term.

  • If a degree program requires continuous enrollment (e.g., Grad 999 for masters and PhD students), students will need to follow that requirement even when they were not planning to otherwise register in that career.

Students seeking degrees and taking classes as a non-degree student
Also starting summer 2012, degree-seeking students in Graduate Education, School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Dentistry, Medical School, and the College of Pharmacy may register as a non-degree student for undergraduate or graduate level classes. Note: You cannot be a degree-seeking student and a non-degree student at the same career level.

More information

Students should contact One Stop Student Services with any questions about dual-career registration. Staff may contact Emily Holt in the Office of the Registrar with questions they may have.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

University catalog will transition to ASR

In the near future, ASR will assume responsibility for the maintenance and production of the University catalog--work previously done by University Relations--for all campuses (undergraduate and graduate). Tasks will include review and editing of course and curriculum information in central systems (i.e., ECAS and PCAS) and the creation of a bi-yearly printable version of the catalog. Questions about this transition can be directed to Tina Falkner or Ingrid Nuttall.