December 2013 Archives

Duplicate records reminder

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The creation of duplicate student records has become a significant problem and results in an incomplete student transcript. The process of combining multiple records for a single student involves the collaboration of many people in several units and is very time consuming. Before creating a new record, please consider the following:

1. If the student application indicates the applicant attended the University as a student or is (or has been) an employee, then a record already exists. Also be sure to ask the student whether or not they have had a name change. This will eliminate duplicate records under two different names.

2. Consider variations of names when searching (i.e. William, Bill). Also look for a match in birth date, Social Security number, address, phone number, and email address.

3. If you suspect a previous record exists but cannot find one, contact the Imaging/Files unit at asrfiles.umn.edu, and they will check for you. They will also search for students who attended the University prior to the mid-70s.

To perform a search for a duplicate record, please follow the steps below:

1. In the "Names panel" in PeopleSoft, search by entering the last name and first name of the student. You can also search by entering the first 2-3 letters of both the first and last name. If a potential match is found, click on "Primary Name" in the "Names" panel to see if a middle name is entered and a match is made. If the middle name could be a previous last name, proceed with another search using the middle name as the last name.

2. In the "Names" panel in PeopleSoft, you can also do a search for the student's National ID number (Social Security number). This number could be associated with another record. Before you search, though, be sure to remove both the student's first and last name.

3. Sort your search results by clicking on the individual column headings (name, birth date, SSN, etc.). This will help narrow your search.

4. Follow up with all results. Personal data comparisons can be made by following the path in PeopleSoft under Campus Community > Personal Information (do not choose Personal Information Student, because you want to search all records for that person, not just a student one) > Add/Update a Person. The name, ID number, birth date, address, phone number, and email associated with that record will display.

If you are in contact with the student, please ask him or her for information to help you determine if a record already exists. Please be very diligent in checking for already existing records before you create a new one. For questions regarding duplicate records, please contact Pat Rickard.

Question: Can colleges and/or departments within the college communicate to students with a directory or full suppression of their record?

Answer: It depends. College staff, including those in a marketing department, can send college-related communication to students, including those who have suppressions on their records, if the information pertains to their role as a student. University staff who have a "need-to-know" may access student contact information, regardless of suppression level. The information of students with address or full suppressions, however, cannot be given to individuals or organizations outside of the University. Colleges should, of course, be respectful of any student's desire to "opt out" of marketing-type communications.

A change in Portal project leadership

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Portal Project Director Susan Geller is leaving for an opportunity to join Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners in the role of associate director. Susan has made great progress on the Portal Project and the University is grateful for her leadership. William Dana will be the new Portal project director. This will be a dual role for William, who will retain his current role as Student Project director. He brings sound leadership skills (as exhibited in the Student Project), strong relationships with the Finance and HRMS projects, and extensive experience with myU to this new role. Plans are underway to ensure a smooth transition for both the Student and the Portal teams.

System Status retires Friday, Dec. 20

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System Status, the web page used to communicate about IT outages, will be retired on Friday, December 20 and will be redirected to its replacement, IT Service Status. Generated by the University's IT Service Management tool, ServiceNow, IT Service Status can be accessed by the public and does not require authentication.

Unlike System Status, Service Status does not rely on the University network, enabling IT to communicate with the University even if the network is down. Another advantage is the ease with which incident, problem, and change records can be associated and tracked. Take a quick video tour of the new IT Service Status page and learn how to create outages in Service Now.

Satisfactory academic progress credit completion

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Beginning fall 2013, the cumulative credit completion ratio requirement changed from 75% to 67%. Students must now successfully complete at least 67% of the credits they attempt in order to be eligible to receive financial aid. The total credits attempted to date (including any course in which the student was enrolled past the drop/add period) will be compared to the total credits they actually earned.

This change was made to ensure the University is in alignment with federal regulations prescribed by the Department of Education.

Grade distribution report now live

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At the request of the Faculty Consultative Committee (FCC), grade distribution information by subject and course level has been created for public view, excluding Duluth. The Grade Distribution Report lets you see the average number of grades students earned in a subject and course level during a particular term (1xxx to 5xxx level).

The information is public and viewable by anyone. Information on how to access the Grade Distribution Report can be found on the Registration page on the One Stop website.

Online Student Data Update training

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The Academic Support Resources (ASR) Training Team recently launched Student Data Update (SDU) training that may be used in lieu of in-person SDU training. SDU training is necessary to be granted update access in PeopleSoft. Registration for online training begins today, Monday, December 16.

Registration and training is available in ULearn, the University's Learning Management System that allows for administration, tracking, and reporting of training content. The online training video and related activities will take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete. Following confirmation of having completed the video(s), as well as submitting the Access Request Form, access to update data in PeopleSoft will be granted.

Online training provides users a self-paced environment that can be re-launched for future use. In-person training will still be available, but it is no longer required. Registration for both in-person and online training will be in ULearn.

Annual service outage January 4 & 5

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The University's annual data center maintenance outage is scheduled for 6 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, with restoration scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. The maintenance outage requires a complete shutdown of the primary data center and will affect many IT services, including One Stop self-service applications, PeopleSoft, and Moodle. The Grade Distribution Report will be unavailable beginning Friday, Jan. 3 at 3 p.m. BI reports will be unavailable beginning 12:01 a.m. January 4. It is expected that all affected services will be restored by noon Sunday.

The list of affected services, as well as updates during the maintenance period, will be
available on the University's IT Service Status page. (Note: You may need to expand the Planned Maintenance section to view the list). Click here for a complete list of affected services.

Questions and concerns should be directed to Data Center Operations Services service owner Joe Zanmiller at jpz@umn.edu.

On December 12, University Veterans Services, as well as the St. Paul and West Bank One Stop locations, will close at 1:30 p.m. for a staff event. If a student needs to meet with a counselor after 1:30 p.m., please direct him or her to the One Stop in the Science Teaching and Student Services building.

The front desk in Williamson Hall (room 160) will remain open until 4:00 p.m.

Recently, there has been increasing confusion regarding the status designators for the Graduate Degree Plan (GDP) in various UM Reports. Currently, the Graduate Degree Plan milestone is serving a dual purpose -- recording completion of the GDP itself, as well as completion of master's final exam and doctoral prelim oral committees. Below are explanations of each designator.

"Not complete" -- committee is assigned and approved; GDP is not completed
"In Progress" -- GDP is completed; committee is not yet assigned and/or approved
"Complete" -- GDP and committee are completed

If there are any questions, feel free to contact the Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) office at gssp@umn.edu.

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.

Student Work Stream Finishes IDPs

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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:


  1. Utilize delivered 'Self-Service' functionality for students, faculty, and staff.

  2. Wherever possible, use delivered PeopleSoft functionality without customization or implement the industry-standard, best-practice approach.

  3. 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.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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