October 2012 Archives

OCM helps expand UMN-TV service

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As reported in the Office of Information Technology (OIT) blog, the Office of Classroom Management (OCM) has joined the UMN-TV partnership to assist interested units and departments make the transition from an individual cable TV contract to UMN-TV. More information can be found at OCM's website.

Housing & Residential Life (HRL) has recommendations for what types of TVs work best with UMN-TV and information about UMN-TV's Online Service (IPTV). The channel lineup is subject to change.

If your department currently pays for an individual cable TV contract, contact Jeremy Todd, director of OCM, to learn more about transitioning to UMN-TV service.

Fall 2012 final exam scheduling is underway. OCM only schedules final exams for classes that meet in general purpose classrooms. Final exams for classes that meet in departmental space need to be scheduled within the department.


Notify the scheduling team as soon as possible of course sections that will not require a classroom during finals week by emailing ocmsched@umn.edu with the subject line "Fall 2012 Final Exam" and the course and section number(s) in the body.

DVD/VCR Retirement Plan

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OCM will begin implementing a multi-year phased retirement plan of VCR and DVD players in all general purpose classrooms. The projection system equipment standards have been modified due to a declining demand and availability of these players, and newly constructed classrooms will no longer include these components.

The retirement plan will begin by removing VCR, DVD, or combination DVD/VHS players from select classrooms during their scheduled technology equipment lifecycle renewal update.

If your course requires a classroom equipped with a VCR or DVD player, classroom characteristics must be specified during Electronic Course Scheduling (ECS) period 1. Classroom requirements should be reviewed with your departmental scheduling coordinator.

For questions, contact the Classroom Support Hotline at 612-625-1086.

Scheduling-U

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Scheduling U began Monday, October 15 and will continue through Friday, October 19. Scheduling staff will provide information about new classroom scheduling software, classroom updates, policy updates, the PeopleSoft course/class coding project, and the new scheduling distribution policy outcomes. Please plan to attend.

Scheduling Update: PeopleTools Upgrade

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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 and related applications 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.

What do you need to know for when the upgrade is complete?

  • There will be a new list of certified browsers
  • There will be a small change when navigating with breadcrumbs

You may need to prepare your browser (e.g., clear your cache) before you log in to PeopleSoft for the first time after the upgrade

More information is available on the PeopleTools Upgrade page.

During the past several months, an ASR committee has worked to make course information easier to maintain while also increasing accuracy in reporting and billing. One outcome of this work was reducing the number of course components from 26 to 8. The remaining components are as follows:

  • Lecture
  • Lab
  • Discussion
  • Independent Study
  • Field Work
  • Extra Credit
  • Rotation
  • Lecture Workaround
The manual process of converting courses with components that will no longer be used began on September 25 and will be completed by October 21. You can view the course component translation table to see how components are being converted and how they will be used going forward. No effort on your part is required at this time.

Ad Astra has been selected to replace R25 for the new University-wide classroom scheduling software system. A contract was signed Friday, September 28 and implementation will begin soon. The goal is to be fully implemented for fall 2013 scheduling.


Ad Astra will provide a solid software system to effectively support classroom scheduling with improved efficiency and functionality. It will be used across all University campuses, including Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities.

More information about the implementation will be announced in future issues of Scheduling Update.

Scheduling Update: Scheduling U - October 15-19, 2012

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All schedulers should plan to attend the annual scheduling workshop series, Scheduling U! This year, there will be three sessions. Visit the Scheduling U website to see the complete list, dates, and times.

  • Scheduling Update: East Bank (10/15), West Bank (10/16), St Paul (10/18) Join the scheduling unit to learn about new classroom scheduling software, classroom updates, policy updates, the PeopleSoft course/class coding project, and the new scheduling distribution policy outcomes.
  • Academic Scheduler Orientation/Refresher: East Bank (10/17), West Bank (10/15), St Paul (10/18) 
    Whether new to academic scheduling or simply looking for a refresher, this session will provide important information about scheduling processes, policies, and procedures. Topics covered include ECS tips and tricks, ECAS, and the academic schedule production cycle.
  • Academic Health Center Scheduling: East bank (10/19)
    Discuss issues, problems, and solutions about scheduling with scheduling colleagues from departments across the Academic Health Center (AHC).