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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tuition Billing & Due Dates Changing

Beginning Fall 2014, tuition billing and due dates will occur two weeks earlier than in years past. The first fall tuition bill will be sent on August 30 and will be due September 13. Visit the One Stop website for more information about Fall 2014 billing and due dates.

New members elected to the Graduate Education Council

Based on the results of the Spring 2014 ballot, nine faculty members have been elected to serve as new representatives on the Graduate Education Council; these faculty will join the ongoing GEC members in fall 2014.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Student work stream hosts Town Hall

The Student work stream held a town hall meeting on Thursday, May 15. More than 250 staff from all University of Minnesota system campuses gathered at locations across the state to hear about changes that will affect students, faculty and staff as a result of the upgrade to the student system. Highlights of the presentation include:

  • An overview of how ESUP came about, its goals, and how those goals fit into President Kaler’s Operational Excellence initiatives
  • A preview of the new myU Portal and an explanation of how it will work for students, staff and faculty (a sneak peek is available)
  • Synopsis of how Financial Aid (disbursing aid) will be affected by the upgrade
  • Synopsis of how Student Financials (collecting tuition/fees) will be affected by the upgrade
  • Synopsis of how Admissions will be affected by the upgrade
  • Synopsis of how SEVIS will be affected by the upgrade
  • Information on the Academic Advisement (degree audit for graduate programs) implementation
  • Details on specific changes to Student Records processes: Course Guide, waitlists, and grading

“I thought it was an informative overview of what ESUP entails,” said Jenny Malek, scholarship coordinator for the Office of Admissions. “Sometimes it’s easy to forget all of the ways the project will affect the University when you’re always focused on your part. I’m looking forward to learning more over the next year.” 

Because changes affect colleges differently, the Student team would like to meet with colleges individually to go into more detail on how the upgrade will affect Student Records processes and how to best prepare. A representative from the Student team will be reaching out to each college to make arrangements for these meetings. Email esup@umn.edu if you have questions before then. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Term dates and financial aid

The Department of Education has shown a renewed interest in making sure institutions are adhering to a standard semester schedule for financial aid. The Department defines a standard semester as a block of 15 to 17 weeks. All courses must be scheduled to begin and end within the boundaries imposed by the term, with the exception that a course may begin no earlier two weeks or end no later than two weeks after the standard semester for undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses. In the near future, Academic Support Resources (ASR) will be reviewing course start and stop dates to be sure they are compliant with the standard semester rule.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sneak Peek: The New myU Portal

The purpose of the new myU portal is to help staff, faculty and students be successful in getting their business done at the U. Take a peek at the homepage for the new myU and learn how the University community will use some of its features.

Questions about ESUP or the new myU? Email us at esup@umn.edu.

Course Guide retirement

As part of the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP), it was decided that Course Guide will be retired. The new alternative will allow faculty to include a URL in the Class Notes section of Faculty Center. This URL can link to a course website or other public location where students can access information about the course; this link can be updated at any time during the term by the faculty member, or through the department scheduler in the Collaborative Class Scheduling page. You can view a Sneak Peek of the new Faculty Center on the ESUP news blog. Once a link has been created, students will see it in the Class Search results under Class Notes.

Before ESUP goes live, Course Guide will remain available to students. It is important to note, however, that the information included in Course Guide now will not automatically be transferred to Class Notes.

If you have questions regarding the retirement of Course Guide or the new Faculty Center, please contact Director of Academic Records Ingrid Nuttall.

FERPA Q&A: Sharing student information with an instructor

Question: I am an adviser and an instructor is asking me questions about one of my students. What information can I release to an instructor?

Answer: An instructor's "need to know" the information they are requesting must be assessed when determining what student information can be shared. For example, if an instructor is teaching an upper-level course and is asking about a student's ability to successfully complete his/her course, or the student's performance in a prerequisite to the course s/he is teaching, the instructor has a legitimate need to know. Conversely, if the instructor is asking about performance in a course unrelated to the course s/he is teaching, that information should not be released as the instructor does not have a true need to know. Likewise, except in specific, identified situations, instructors are not entitled to a full list of grades or a transcript of a student without that student's written consent. When in doubt about what information can be shared, don't be afraid to ask why the instructor needs the private student data.

Twin Cities probation/suspension schedule modified

The Twin Cities probation/suspension schedule has been modified to give staff more time to enter P3 holds on student records.

P3 suspension holds are now due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 30. The spring Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) run will take place that evening, so please be sure to update all student records by 4:30 p.m.

Probation/suspension reports will be available beginning Saturday, May 24. Additional dates are posted on the One Stop website.

Monday, May 12, 2014

One Stop closed at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 3

One Stop Student Services locations on the Twin Cities campus will close at 11:30 a.m.Tuesday, June 3 for a staff event. Walk-in, phone, and email service will not be available during this time. The Helping U desk in STSS will remain open.

One Stop Student Services locations:

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

One Stop Student Services will re-open at 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 4.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

ASR spring staff event

We're gearing up for a great ASR Staff Event! As a reminder, the event is on Wednesday, May 21 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. in Science Teaching & Student Services (STSS). Check-in any time between 8-8:30 a.m. outside of STSS 230. The morning will kick off with an update from Sue Van Voorhis, ASR Director & University Registrar, followed by a keynote address from Dr. Danita Brown Young, Vice Provost for Student Affairs & Dean of Students.

Staff will then head off to a breakout session followed by two mini-breakout sessions. Lunch from The Lunch Cube will be served at noon in STSS 412.

A few reminders:

- The River Walk tour is rain or shine - pack an umbrella if needed!
- Both River Walk sessions are first come, first served and capped at 50 people. If you plan to attend either River Walk session, please mention it to staff at check-in.
- If you plan on attending the "Apply Your Strengths" breakout session, you must have completed the StrengthsQuest assessment before the session begins. If you need to do so, please contact Christa Nicols at nicol072@umn.edu.

The full agenda, including session details and speaker bios, can be found on the ASR Intranet. Copies of the agenda, including session locations, will be available at check-in.

New Astra Schedule tutorial available

Once you or others in your department or organization have submitted a room request, you may want check on the status of your request. To learn how to do so directly in Astra Schedule, a new tutorial is now available on the Astra Schedule homepage and on the Office of Classroom Management (OCM) website. Please feel free share these links with anyone else who may be interested.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Student grading process to improve

When ESUP goes live in spring 2015, the University will begin utilizing a new process to assign grades. The new process is simple, intuitive and should make the grading process easier for all involved, but it is a significant change. 

Currently, faculty need to utilize four separate systems--UM Reports, the Final Grade System, the Supplemental Grade System, and the Midterm Alert System--in order to assign grades and notify students. When ESUP goes live, all of these tasks will be completed in one location: the Faculty Center. In addition to the consolidation of these functions, faculty using Moodle will be able to import their final grades from Moodle into the Faculty Center!

There are two steps for submitting final grades. First, the grades will be entered, uploaded from a file, or imported from Moodle into the Faculty Center by those with grade-entry access (e.g., faculty, teaching assistants, other designees). After a review for accuracy and completeness, the second step is to submit the grades. Once the grades are submitted, they will be posted to student transcripts and available for students to view in the new myU the next day.

Currently, if faculty do not enter a student grade, it displays as blank on transcripts. This will be changing. Any final grade not entered within the timeframe established by policy (Duluth policy) will be administratively posted as “NR” (Not Reported) to the student’s transcript. An NR grade will act the same as a blank grade does now (i.e., generally no impact on GPA calculations, but does impact other calculations such as satisfactory academic progress for financial aid). As the Faculty Center is also where grade changes will be made, changing an NR to a permanent grade will be straightforward.

ESUP staff are hard at work creating materials that will guide faculty and students through these changes. If you are interested in learning more about what’s changing with ESUP, see the “What’s Changing” page.

ESUP - Student Systems Town Hall

Attend a town hall meeting to learn how the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP) will change the way students, faculty, and staff interact with the University. The changes discussed will be implemented in February, 2015 - less than a year away!

This meeting will focus on the student system--a key component of this multi-year effort to upgrade the University's systems and reexamine business processes. It covers admissions, financial aid, student finance, student records, and more. You will hear leaders of our student system talk about the changes and improvements that will happen as result of ESUP. We will also hear from a representative of the new myU portal effort on their progress. There will be time to ask questions or voice concerns about the student systems upgrade effort.

ESUP - Student Systems Town Hall
Thursday, May 15
2-3:30 p.m.


4 Hill Hall (Crookston)
520 DAdB (Duluth)
7 HFA (Morris)
397 USq
114 STSS (Twin Cities, East bank)
B35 Ruttan (Twin Cities, St. Paul)
Online option for those on other campuses (R.S.V.P to be sent details).

Please R.S.V.P. so the team can ensure adequate accommodations.

GRE Search Service

The Graduate School will host a lunch and workshop to discuss the GRE Search Service, a recruitment tool that can be used to reach prospects who have demonstrated graduate-level readiness through their GRE® test performance, on May 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Campus Club. RSVP required.

GSSP staffing change

Stacia Madsen has accepted the position of lead business analyst for the Academic Advisement module, effective immediately.

Stacia's skills and knowledge of graduate education will make for an easy transition to her new role. She is still located in 160 Williamson Hall.

Staff, students, faculty and others can continue to contact GSSP through established communication channels.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Commenting On & Grading Student Writing: A Workshop for Teaching Assistants

The Center for Writing will provide a pre-fall workshop for graduate student teaching assistants:

Commenting On & Grading Student Writing: A Workshop for Teaching Assistants
Monday, August 25
12:30-4 p.m.
STSS 312
Beverages and snacks provided

Important information related to registration:

  • Registration is required: http://z.umn.edu/2014taworkshop

  • Registrants are expected to attend the full session

  • TAs must register themselves, and

  • A letter of participation will be provided for those who complete the workshop.

Brief description: In this interactive workshop, teaching assistants new to grading and commenting will have opportunities to become familiar with strategies and resources supporting effective and efficient practices.

Participants will...

  • become familiar with the attributes of MINIMAL marking

  • practice commenting on a diverse sampling of student writing

  • recognize the functions of comments in provoking revision

  • discuss methods for identifying and using fair grading criteria and for working with criteria supplied by others

  • practice assigning grades to an array of of student writing from social sciences

  • sciences, humanities, in accordance with the discipline in which they will be teaching

  • learn strategies recommended by experienced TAs

Co-facilitated by Center for Writing staff and experienced TAs from disciplines including Mechanical Engineering, American Studies, and Writing Studies.

Please forward this message to any interested graduate student TAs.

Looking forward to a lively workshop!