December 2011 Archives

University Travel Policy

The following announcement comes from the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance:

As many of you know, there has been a change to the University Travel Policy, which now requires pre-travel registration of all staff/faculty international travel for University purposes. The policy is available at: http://www.policy.umn.edu/Policies/Finance/Travel/TRAVEL.html. Staff and faculty are required to register international travel as of January 1, 2012.

Please note that there is no travel approval process associated with this policy. Any travel approval requirement is still managed within the departments, units or colleges.

The updated policy will make it easier and more efficient to provide travelers with helpful information prior to departure, and to provide travelers with prompt assistance overseas should circumstances demand it.

English Proficiency Policy for Teaching Assistants

If your department employs graduate or undergraduate teaching assistants whose home language growing up was not English, now is the time to check UM Reports to make sure that your current or future TAs have attained the proper English Language Proficiency (ELP) rating to hold a TA position.

Please inform non-native English speaking students who are instructors or TAs (even if they are only grading) with an ELP rating lower than "1" that the policy requires them to either: 
  • enroll in an International TA Program course (GRAD 5105, GRAD 5102, or Foundations); or, 
  • take the SETTA (Spoken English Test for TAs) if they wish to try to increase their ELP rating.  

Please ensure that the students do indeed take the SETTA or enroll in coursework consistent with UM policy before assigning TA duties.

There is currently space available for students to take the SETTA before spring semester. They are eligible for the SETTA if, in the last 12 months, they have not taken SETTA or a course in the International TA Program (i.e., GRAD 5105, GRAD 5102, or Foundations). For more information and the schedule for the SETTA Test, see http://www.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/graduate/itap/settaeligibility/index.html.

Departments may request exemptions to the English requirements by emailing the student's name, ID number, and the reason for the exemption to me at lindg027@umn.edu. I'd be happy to speak with you to provide more information, or you may visit the other websites listed below.

Sincerely, Jeff Lindgren
Assistant Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
612.625.3070

International Teaching Assistant Program & Courses 
English Proficiency Policy 
Consultations For All Instructional Staff and TAs 

Center for Teaching and Learning 
University Office Plaza, Suite 400 
2221 University Avenue SE Minneapolis, MN 55414
612.625.3041

Spring Appointments - Payroll Office Reminder

The deadline for spring appointments to be received in the CLA payroll office is tomorrow, Thursday, December 29, 2011. This is the date that your appointment will be guaranteed to be entered in time. Every effort will be made to enter appointments received after this deadline but there can be no guarantees.

Keep in mind that your service team will need additional time to get appointment documents prepared and over to the Payroll office so please coordinate this work with your service team. If you have your spring appointments ready, please do not wait to send them over. We have begun entering spring documents. Please submit offers and payroll information to your team as soon as offers have been confirmed and avoid waiting until the last minute if at all possible.

Scholarship Administrators - FY13 Early Notification

Enter freshmen Scholarship Automation batches by Monday, March 12th in order to have scholarships included on the Estimated Financial Aid Award Notice (Paper) for Fall/Spring 2012-2013.

Office of Student Finance will begin freshmen financial aid packaging for 2012-2013 on Wednesday, March 14th at 6:00 am. The last Scholarship Automation posting job will run on Tuesday at 1:00 pm, but everything should be entered by Monday.

Entry for 2012-2013 scholarship batches can start as early as Tuesday, January 17th, 2012.

For questions, contact SAOSF@umn.edu.

Faculty and Human Resources - Simplification to AHA Form

The CLA Academic Hiring Authorization (AHA) form has been slightly revised and simplified. Since each department now carries the responsibility to stay within their instructional funding allocation, departments will no longer need to identify funding sources on the AHA for non-faculty appointments. Please use the new AHA for all hiring and discard any older versions of the form you may have. The new form can be found on both the CLA HR and Faculty intranet at:

Submitting Human Resources Requests for Assistance

Please submit human resources requests for assistance to the CLA-HR email account (clahr@umn.edu), rather than directly to one of the HR team members. Between December 23 and January 2, several staff will be out of the office for periods of time, but the email account will be checked daily, and forwarded to the person available to expedite a response.

Thank you, Wendy Lane

Seasonal Celebration Guidelines

Message from the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action regarding seasonal celebration guidelines:

Dear all,

We understand that the holiday season is an exciting time to celebrate and foster community. With that in mind, we send the following recommendations to encourage office holiday related activities that are respectful of religious diversity:

  • Instead of "holiday" parties use a winter celebration or a year-end celebration theme.
  • Do not use invitations that reflect any particular religion - keep it neutral and related to winter (I.e. Snow, snowflakes, winter activities like skating).
  • Decorations, music, and food should be general, and not specific to any religion. Remember to also be mindful and respectful of any dietary restrictions and provide options.
  • Individuals may display expressions of their religious faith in their own personal space, but not in public areas and within reason.
  • Re-evaluate long standing practices, such as "Secret Santa," partnerships with outside organizations/charities, and ask how inclusive these really are.
  • Encourage individuals to express their concerns/objections and provide information for anonymous reporting options.
  • Be mindful that there are holidays and special dates throughout the year. Be respectful of these dates and plan meetings and events around them.
  • Be consistent. Try to be flexible with the needs and scheduling of individuals for holidays throughout the year.
  • If you do not know if you need to approach someone in your department about the expression of their faith or you are concerned that there are inappropriate religious celebrations in your work or learning environment please contact EOAA at 612-624-9547.

Thank you very much and enjoy the beginning of winter!
Kimberly Hewitt, Director
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
As required by policy, employees receiving supplemental compensation must qualify their eligibility annually.

Authorization for supplemental compensation must be reviewed and renewed annually (departments determine the 12 month period to use). All billings and documentation reviewed to determine eligibility must be retained by the department for audit and compliance purposes.

For those who qualify, the policy authorizes taxable supplemental compensation of:

  • $65 per month (or $30.00 per pay period) for cell phones
OR
  • $130 per month (or $60.00 per pay period) for cell phones with data plans

Departments are responsible for ensuring that compensation amounts are correct (per pay period) and beginning/end dates are established in the payroll system. Please refer to the policy for eligibility requirements: http://www.policy.umn.edu/Policies/Finance/Procurement/CELLULARDEVICE.html

The annual renewal must be authorized by a Dean or VP or their designee. Please send documentation of eligibility to Stacy Bonn in Fiscal Administration. She will review the documents and obtain the necessary signature.

Faculty and Human Resources

Requests related to the various aspects of HR/Faculty work such as pool approvals, requests to search, and job offers, are to be fully submitted to our office by Monday, December 19th, if approval from the college is needed before the end of business on Friday, December 23.

Reminder: Medical Premium Relief Program

Please remind your employees of the December 15 application deadline to participate in the Medical Premium Relief Program. The University established a one-year Medical Premium Relief grant program to provide assistance to lower paid employees during this year of high increases in the employee contributions for the UPlan Medical Program. Qualification for the grant program is based on your tier of UPlan medical coverage and total household income from the 2010 federal tax form. Information can be found at: http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/benefits/medical/MedicalPremiumRelief/index.html.
No one volunteered to orient/train/mentor the new administrator for GWSS. She starts Monday. Please contact me immediately if you can provide this support to Angela. Thank you, Margaret.

Official University Holidays

Many of us are making plans for time away around the holidays. Please keep in mind the days the University will be closed. The 2011-12 official University holidays can be found at: http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/benefits/leaves/holiday/tcroc/. The University is open all other days and offices need to be appropriately staffed to conduct business during normal hours of operation.

The University's Enterprise-wide Survey Software Evaluation Committee will have four software vendors on campus for demonstrations January 9-20 to select replacement software for UM Survey.

Demonstrations will be open to interested members of the University community. Anyone who uses UM Survey, or external survey software such as SurveyMonkey, are strongly encouraged to attend. The selected software may also be used by professional offices on campus such as CLA-OIT Survey Services, and feedback from faculty and staff is highly appreciated.

For more information contact committee member, and CLA-OIT Survey Services Coordinator, Thomas Lindsay at lindsayt@umn.edu or visit the project website.

Course Management System Transition Plan

By the end of next summer, WebVista will be decommissioned and Moodle will be the University of Minnesota's sole Course Management System (CMS). In preparation for this transition, the University is engaging in a major upgrade from Moodle 1.9 to 2.0.

We have put together a CLA CMS transition plan that will provide an opportunity to explore and develop courses in Moodle 2.0 and complete the transition of every CLA course in time for fall 2012.

See the CLA Course Management System Transition Plan (PDF) for complete details.

Support

The CLA TEL team is your first point of contact for CMS transition and upgrade support. Contact us at 4help@umn.edu.

For the latest information and additional resources for the CMS transition and upgrade, including free Moodle 2.0 Technology Training, visit the U of M Moodle website.

As announced earlier, Angela Brandt will be joining CLA as the new Administrator for Gender, Women, Sexuality Studies (GWSS).  Her start date is Monday, December 19.  With incredible assistance from Bea Dehler of Communication Studies, the department advisor, the fiscal team, and the GWSS chair and staff member, Angela will be well taken care of on many fronts.  The department chair, Professor Regina Kunzel, believes the type of assistance she is looking for Angela is geared towards the curriculum systems, the HR/faculty matters, grant and fellowships, and the work Administrators do with the various CLA collegiate administrative offices.  If you are able to train/mentor Angela, please contact me by end of business day on Monday, December 12.   To learn more about GWSS visit: http://gwss.umn.edu/.  They are located on the East Bank in Ford Hall.  Thank you, Margaret

CLA HR Call out for Temporary Administrative Assistance

Cathy Dzuik, Administrator of the Institute of Linguistics (IoL), will be out on a leave starting December 27, 2011.  We anticipate the leave lasting at least 6 weeks, and as long as 12 weeks.  I've met with the Director, Professor Jeanette Gundel, and Cathy, and we identified the areas assistance is needed during this time frame.  There is a part time staff member (Sarah) who is already starting to work with Cathy on a few tasks, and those are identified in the list.  To learn more about IoL please visit:  
http://linguistics.umn.edu/.   They are located on the East Bank in Elliott Hall.  Below is the list.  If you are able to provide assistance, please contact me by end of business day Friday, December 9th, at 626-9352 or mmy@umn.edu.  Thank you, Margaret

Seasonal Celebration Guidelines

Message from the Director of the Office Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action regarding seasonal celebration guidelines:

Dear all,

We understand that the holiday season is an exciting time to celebrate and foster community.  With that in mind, we send the following recommendations to encourage office holiday related activities that are respectful of religious diversity:

      • Instead of "holiday" parties use a winter celebration or a year-end celebration theme.
      • Do not use invitations that reflect any particular religion - keep it neutral and related to winter (I.e. Snow, snowflakes, winter activities like skating).
      • Decorations, music, and food should be general, and not specific to any religion.  Remember to also be mindful and respectful of any dietary restrictions and provide options.
      • Individuals may display expressions of their religious faith in their own personal space, but not in public areas and within reason. 
      • Re-evaluate long standing practices, such as "Secret Santa," partnerships with outside organizations/charities, and ask how inclusive these really are.
      • Encourage individuals to express their concerns/objections and provide information for anonymous reporting options. 
      • Be mindful that there are holidays and special dates throughout the year.  Be respectful of these dates and plan meetings and events around them.
      • Be consistent.  Try to be flexible with the needs and scheduling of individuals for holidays throughout the year.
      •  If you do not know if you need to approach someone in your department about the expression of their faith or you are concerned that there are in- appropriate religious          celebrations in your work or learning environment please contact EOAA at 612-624-9547.  
Thank you very much and enjoy the beginning of winter!

Kimberly Hewitt, Director
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

Spring Appointments - Payroll Office Reminder

The deadline for spring appointments to be received in the CLA payroll office is Thursday, December 29, 2011.  This is the date that your appointment will be guaranteed to be entered in time. Every effort will be made to enter appointments received after this deadline but there can be no guarantees.

Keep in mind that your service team will need additional time to get appointment documents prepared and over to the Payroll office so please coordinate this work with your service team. If you have your spring appointments ready, please do not wait to send them over. We have begun entering spring documents. Please submit offers and payroll information to your team as soon as offers have been confirmed and avoid waiting until the last minute if at all possible.

Google Migration Update

CLA's deadline has come and gone. Some employees did not migrate before the "switch was flipped" on their account. Anyone needing assistance with reinstating access to their email account should contact the CLA Service Desk at 612-624-4357.

** KUDOS KUDOS KUDOS ** to the following departments who have migrated all employees:

  • Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature
  • German & European Studies

Update Your Bookmarks!

The CLA Technology Grant Program website can be found at http://techgrant.cla.umn.edu. Please update any old bookmarks you used for making reimbursement requests or submitting a grant proposal that pointed to http://infotechfees.cla.umn.edu.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2011 is the previous archive.

January 2012 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Weekly Archives

Pages

Powered by Movable Type 4.31-en

Archives