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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.