Oracle had exciting news at their PeopleSoft Higher Education User conference in March. They announced that they will deliver an update to PeopleSoft so that the preferred name of students appears on class and grade rosters. This means that when the University goes live with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.0 in February 2015, faculty will have class rosters and grade rosters that accurately reflect how their students want to be addressed.
The University of Minnesota played a big part in this effort. The Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP) Student Records team built a national coalition around this issue thanks to the help of Product Advisory Group members Max Herman (ASR-IT) and Carla Boyd (Duluth). This included writing the "white paper" that Oracle is using for their development!
What's in a name?
The University of Minnesota's enterprise system (PeopleSoft) uses the legal name of students, faculty, and staff throughout the system. Sometimes this is a requirement for law or regulation, but in many cases it is not. The University has long-been a part of the national conversation around the desire to use a preferred name (as identified by the individual) for instances not covered by law or regulation, as doing so promotes an inclusive and welcoming environment for a diverse population.
Making it happen
ESUP was an opportunity for the University to take the lead in this national conversation. As a result, a coalition of higher-ed institutions formed to urge Oracle to address this issue and develop a solution that could be provided to all institutions.
Oracle's announcement at their conference is exciting news, but since the delivery timeframe of this fix is unknown, the ESUP team is moving forward with developing modifications to the system to ensure that when we go live next spring, faculty will see the names their students prefer on their class and grade rosters. This is a huge win for our entire institution!