The new Graduate & Professional Student advising website offers resources for faculty and students to maximize the advising relationship and deal constructively with conflicts that may arise. The new site is a collaboration of the Academic Civility Work Group, the Student Conflict Resolution Center and the Graduate School, and features a wide array of tools and tips developed by the Work Group.
Upgrading to a new version of software is like moving into a new house. Some things in the new house will be different and not everything you used before will be useful. You need to decide what to bring with you so that you can do what you need to do (cook a meal, wash your clothes, pay your bills, etc.) without bringing what is unnecessary. For example, if your new place has central air, you can probably leave those heavy, energy-hogging, inefficient window units behind. The gorgeous mailbox with your family name on it may not be of much use if the postal service uses the built-in mail slot.
University business analysts, subject matter experts, and members of functional steering committees have spent the past nine months in IDP evaluating what PeopleSoft has delivered and what our business requirements are so that we pack our moving boxes as light as possible for the move to 9.0.
"There is a shift in how analysts are resolving issues," said William Dana, project director of the Student Systems project. "We don't just look at what we're doing, but how we are doing it."
Guiding their decisions, the team followed three principles:
- Utilize delivered 'Self-Service' functionality for students, faculty, and staff.
- Wherever possible, use delivered PeopleSoft functionality without customization or implement the industry-standard, best-practice approach.
- Improve or retain UM business process best-practice solutions not delivered in PeopleSoft.
So what does nine months of IDP look like? The 694 IDP sessions equaling roughly
- 16,621.5 hours resulted in:
- 93 change requests
- The replacement of more than 26 homegrown self-service applications
- The replacement of 100 UM Reports
- Discussion of all business processes
- A 55% demodification rate
"It was a lot of work, going through IDP and examining our processes," said Kris Wright, director of the Office of Student Finance and chair of the Financial Aid and Student Financials Functional Steering Committees. "It allowed us to fix things we knew were not working well, but didn't have the time to address otherwise. We found we could use delivered functionality to get the same result as some of our modifications did. Going 'vanilla' will be far less costly for the institution, which means less cost to the students for the same level of service. Further, going 'vanilla' will more easily allow us to accept, test, and use the new software PeopleSoft will be sending us in the future."
"We're making a large institutional investment, and we will be able to take more advantage of that based on the work we have done up until this point. It will be a more efficient system," Dana said.
And thanks to a cohesive, highly effective team, in addition to the experienced guidance from implementation partner CedarCrestone, the University will benefit from a much more mature system. It's also been an opportunity for staff to not only contribute to the project, but to meet people outside of their unit and home campus.
Associate Vice Provost and University Registrar Sue Van Voorhis, who serves as the business process owner for the Student upgrade and the Portal said, "We've been able to break down barriers. This is a very united group. Everyone is so committed to making this a success and going with our principles."
Feedback continues to be of the utmost importance in ensuring success of the upgrade to build for the future. Dana and Van Voorhis emphasized that faculty, staff, and students should continue providing feedback as the project progresses.
"The involvement of stakeholders has been overwhelmingly positive," Dana said. "Even in this early phase of the project, lots of people provided invaluable input." He added, "We've really fully untied the knot. That's a credit to the team and their dedication and passion they have brought to this effort."
Up next: ensuring that the system does what it needs to do and the users can accomplish their business. That means technical development of the approved changes, writing test scripts and completing testing, preparing and delivering training, and performing security analysis. Change management and communications efforts are also being planned to make sure that the move to the new "house" of PeopleSoft 9.0 will be as smooth as possible.
For more information and ways to get involved with the project, please visit upgrade.umn.edu.
In an effort to acknowledge excellent advising among U of M graduate and professional faculty, the Graduate & Professional Student Association (GAPSA), in partnership with the Student Conflict Resolution Center, the Provost's Office, and the Graduate School, acknowledged five advisers for their outstanding service to the University. Award recipients were recognized at GAPSA's Annual President's Reception on November 4. Congratulations to all the winners!
2013 Outstanding Advising Award Winners:
Jake Bailey, Ph.D. | Earth Sciences
Kathleen Call, Ph.D. | Health Policy and Management
Brad Greiman, Ph.D. | Agricultural Education
Pamala Jacobson, Pharm.D. | Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
Donald Truhlar, Ph.D. | Chemistry
A new Interdisciplinary Faculty Advisory Committee has been formed to advise the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education on issues, trends, best practices, challenges, and opportunities in intercollegiate, interdisciplinary graduate education. The goal is to enhance the University's ability to foster interdisciplinary inquiry and prepare future generations of interdisciplinary scholar/researchers.
Committee co-chairs are Professors Mary Jo Kreitzer (Director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing and Professor in the School of Nursing) and Susan Galatowitsch (Professor and Head of the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology). Committee members are listed on the Graduate School website. More information about the new committee and its initiatives will be provided as the committee's work progresses.
Queued registration for spring 2014 began on Tuesday, November 12. Open registration begins December 6. As a reminder, colleges and programs are now able to place/remove the following holds:
- OJ - general hold
- OM - too many incompletes
- OG - doctoral program not filed
- OF - master's program not filed
- OL - GPA requirement not met
If you are interested in being able to place/remove holds, please email Amber Cellotti directly. However, in order to be able to place holds and give access, you must have completed Student Data Inquiry and Student Data Update training in PeopleSoft. If you're not sure you have completed these, you can check your training history on the HR website.
Monday, December 2: Deadline to apply for December 2013 graduation. Students must download their graduation materials and submit the Graduate Application for Degree no later than this date.
Monday, December 16: Deadline to apply for spring 2014 advanced master's status. Students seeking an advanced status must have an approved Graduate Degree Plan (GDP) on record and have completed all GDP coursework and thesis credits (if plan A) prior to the deadline.
Federal regulations require the financial aid office to monitor satisfactory academic progress toward completion of degree for financial aid recipients. This review includes a qualitative component (GPA) and a pace or progression component (credit completion ratio) to ensure students complete their degree within the maximum timeframe.
Beginning fall 2013, the credit completion ratio component of the policy changed from 75% to 67%. This will ensure the University is in alignment with guidelines prescribed by the Department of Education.
Several project teams have spent the past eight months in Interactive Design & Prototyping (IDP) sessions looking at the 8.9 functionality versus the 9.0 and reviewing all modifications that have been made up to this point. Currently, 60% of modifications have been removed. The teams have also written over 500 functional designs and are currently working on business process documentation to facilitate training opportunities.
The change management and communication team will work to ensure stakeholders know what the changes are and how they are impacted by them. Next steps include preparing test scripts, performing security analysis, starting system training, and completing plans for training, change management, and communication.
Staff should continue attending Town Halls and RAC meetings and reading the weekly update emails. Additionally, tech staff should connect with IDEAA. IDEAA is a community of practice around Integrating Data, Enterprise Architecture, and Applications. It is how the University developer community can discuss ESUP and data integration. The main goal is to get information about changes to data integration to those that create applications and reports.
If you know of somebody in your unit who fits that description, please make sure they are aware of the opportunity to participate in this community of practice. More information is available at http://z.umn.edu/ideaa.
Please contact the following people regarding liberal education (LE) questions and/or concerns:
Partial credit waiver for LE requirements
For future requests, advisors can send an email directly to APASLE@umn.edu with the details for the particular request for each individual student.
Please note that these waivers have already been done for the appropriate international students for fall semester 2013. Also note that if you sent an email requesting a partial credit waiver to Laurel Carroll between September 30 and October 9, those requests have been transferred to Margo Mueller, and she will be reviewing them, so you don't need to resubmit them. If you have questions about a particular request, please contact Margo at 6-7867, email@example.com.
Petition to waive/substitute an LE requirement
Academic policy petitions requesting to waive an LE requirement should be directed to 220 Morrill Hall, attention: Leslie Schiff, firstname.lastname@example.org, 5-8653.
Request to place returning students under "old" LE requirements, to evaluate U of M quarter courses for LE and WI, and other requests related to degree requirements
Please direct these to Suzanne Bardouche, email@example.com, 6-9159.