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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.