Announcements


Emergency access to HathiTrust materials to be discontinued July 6

University of Utah Communications

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital library HathiTrust created an Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) to provide books electronically while print books were unavailable. ETAS covered approximately 40% of the print titles held at University of Utah libraries and made them accessible to faculty, staff and students in a digital format.

With the library set to resume full access to the its print collections on July 6, 2021, the  ETAS agreement will end and patrons will return to accessing the print collection in the usual ways—by browsing the stacks or submitting a pull service or delivery request.

Copyrighted items will still be available for full-text search in the HathiTrust Digital Library. Patrons may continue to access the full text HathiTrust materials in the public domain or available through Creative Commons licensing. These titles are marked “full view” in the HathiTrust online catalog. Because the University of Utah is a HathiTrust member, patrons may log in to HathiTrust using a UNID/password and download full PDFs of those items.

Have any questions? Send an email to mlib-delivery@lists.utah.edu 

Is there an item that you’d like to see on the library’s shelves? Simply Suggest a Purchase

 

Public safety building sidewalk closure

Wes Mangum
Facilities Management

Beginning on June 27, a closure will occur on the sidewalk adjacent to 500 S. and the Guardsman Way parking lot (the future home of the Public Safety Building). This sidewalk closure will allow for trenching work to occur in the area and is expected to last until July 9. Please see the map below:

Registration open for newly added ITIL 4 Foundations classes

University Information Technology

New dates have been announced for ITIL 4 Foundations classes, hosted by the University of Utah:

  • Thursday-Friday, July 15-16
  • Thursday-Friday, Aug. 12-13
  • Thursday-Friday, Sept. 16-17
  • Thursday-Friday, Oct. 21-22
  • Thursday-Friday, Nov. 11-12
  • Thursday-Friday, Dec. 16-17

The classes will give attendees a practical understanding of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) at the foundation level, in preparation for the ITIL Foundation in Service Management exam. The two-day course will cover service management, ITIL Guiding Principles, the Four Dimensions of Service Management, the Service Value System and Service Management best practices through lectures, discussions and case study exercises.

ITSM Process Manager Craig Bennion, who teaches the courses, said the classes will remain virtual for now. He will reevaluate in September whether to return to in-person instruction.

The cost is $480 per university employee and covers all training materials and the exam. University Information Technology and University of Utah Health Information Technology Services units must pay for ITIL training for their staff members, so before registering, please check with your manager to ensure that staff development funds are available. The cost for non-university employees is $1,595. Class sizes are limited to 15 or fewer students.

Visit itil.it.utah.edu for more information. Email Bennion at craig.bennion@utah.edu to register or ask questions.

 

EDI Executive Committee recommendations

University of Utah Communications

In June 2020, the EDI Executive Committee was created to inform, guide and coordinate addressing racist policies and long-standing practices that perpetuate racism and inequity on our campus. That committee has now completed its role and presented its recommendations to the President’s Cabinet.

The committee’s recommendations can be viewed here.

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2021 Beckman Scholars

Cassie Slattery
Director of special projects, College of Science

PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Crawley/College of Science

Rachel Jones (left) and Sahar Kanishka (right).

The University of Utah has awarded two School of Biological Sciences students the prestigious Beckman Scholars Award for 2021-22. Rachel Jones and Sahar Kanishka will work with faculty mentors, Julie Hollien and Jamie Gagnon, respectively, from June 2021 to August 2022 in their labs.

Jones’ project, “Role of p62 in alternative degradation of Huntingtin protein,” aims to better understand how the protein p62 is involved in the degradation of the toxic mutant form of the protein that underlies Huntington’s disease. Kanishka’s project, “Lineage tracing in zebrafish with CRISPR prime editing,” aims to develop lineage tracing with prime editing to understand the mechanisms of heart regeneration in zebrafish.

The Beckman is an unprecedented opportunity, perhaps found nowhere else, in which an undergraduate researcher can hone their craft at the bench and under extraordinary mentorship. Funded by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, the program is a 15-month, mentored research experience for exceptional undergraduate students in chemical and biological sciences. Each scholar receives a $21,000 research stipend to facilitate nine academic calendar months and two three-month summers of research experience. Recipients from around the nation participate in the celebrated Beckman Symposium each summer with one another. Their research begins in June 2021 and will conclude in August 2022.

Last year SBS’s Sonia Sehgal was awarded the prize. She is now completing her mentorship with Martin Horvath in his lab.

100 South reconstruction project

Commuter Services

900 East to University Street

Due to the failing pavement conditions on 100 South, 900 East to University Street will be reconstructed beginning June 14, 2021, through October 2021. Motorists can expect minor delays as this work will require single-lane closures. Additionally, pedestrians and cyclists traveling through the area should be aware that some sections of the sidewalk and driveway will be under construction. This project also includes replacing the storm drain and curb and gutter along the corridor, replacing the water main between 1000 East and 1100 East and slip lining the existing sewer line.

Intersection of University Street and 100 South

For safety improvements, the intersection of University Street and 100 South will be under construction beginning June 21, 2021. Motorists can expect minor delays as lane closures will be in effect. Safety improvements include wider corners to better align the traffic lanes from east to west, bulb-outs to shorten the crossing lengths, new traffic signals. The realignment of the intersection will remove the dedicated right-turn lanes currently on the north and east legs.

Visit www.SLC.gov/MyStreet to learn more about this construction project.

Venue rentals at your fingertips

Libby Mitchell
managing editor, @theU

There are hundreds of venues on the University of Utah campus. Classrooms, ballrooms, theaters and recreation spaces are all available for those who need them to host any type of event. And now it’s even easier to locate the perfect space.

The new campus venues website allows users to locate venues depending on location, event type, number of guests and square footage. They then can browse the listings that meet their needs and get the contact information to book the perfect space.

“The university has a lot of spaces that are really beautiful and rentable both by campus departments and off-campus folks that may wish to rent a facility,” said Brett Eden, director of Auxiliary Business Development. “This website features all of these locations in one place so people can relatively easily get the details of the space and the contact info to start planning an event of any size on campus.”

Currently, the site is searchable for venues including the University Guest House, the Student Life Center, Marriott Library, the Union and many others. You can book everything from a conference room to a rock wall or even a swimming pool. More venues will be added in the coming weeks as well. “We’ve set up an easy way for people to add venues to the site so they are easily searchable,” said Meghan Webb, assistant director of Conference & Event Management. “All they have to do is email a request to venues@utah.edu and we can get their space added to the venues.utah.edu website.”

 

 

 

U biologists contribute to mammal study

Paul Gabrielsen
science writer, University of Utah Communications

U researchers in the School of Biological Sciences provided significant data for a new study on how mammals fare among human activity. The study, published in Global Change Biology, found that even mammal species that thrived at lower levels of human disturbance struggled in highly urbanized environments.

“We can attribute this to multiple things,” says doctoral student Austin Green, whose dataset of mammal activity in the canyons of the Wasatch Front was one of the largest datasets in the study, “including trouble traversing large swaths of land occupied and developed by humans, such as roads, neighborhoods and fences, insufficient supplemental resources from scraps and garbage and direct persecution by humans.”

Green’s network of around 300 automatic trail cameras watches out for the moose, coyotes, deer and other wildlife that mosey through the canyons. Cameras also track wildlife as they enter the urban and suburban Salt Lake Valley, down to the Jordan River.

“This research provides evidence that urban environments, although important for many species, contribute to a phenomenon where the functions these animals provide to their ecosystems are all similar and shared across species,” Green says, “and the services provided by other species, specifically those provided by large keystone species like apex predators, may be lost. With this knowledge available beforehand, urban planners can better shape these new developments to address the needs of these critical species.”

Read more about the study in a release from UC Santa Cruz here.

Anti-Blackness and racial intergroup dialogue

Anti-Racism Committee

As part of the University of Utah’s One U Thriving initiative, the Anti-Racism Committee invites applications for those interested in participating in intergroup dialogue (IGD). IGD provides a unique learning opportunity to engage on a range of identity topics including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, class, sexuality and faith.

Selected individuals will participate virtually in a facilitated learning experience led by Dr. Shametrice Davis for two hours a week spanned over a four-month period. During the meetings, participants will explore their experiences with privilege, discrimination and oppression with a particular social identity.

The program will place an emphasis on anti-Black racism and how it is connected to larger understandings of racism and the role each of us plays in a system like higher education. Dialoguing across these differences allows participants to explore ways in which to build coalitions and alliance, increase empathy for others’ experiences and explore commonalities in goals for equity.

Ultimately, the goal of IGD is to be changed by what is learned from others’ experiences. Readings and other resources will be provided prior to each session, and any necessary points of reflection will be curated through canvas to all participants after each session.

Dates for the session have already been selected and it is strongly encouraged to attend each. We are especially interested in applicants who would like to be future facilitators. Space is limited, but we will consider adding additional offerings if there is demand.

Apply here by June 28, 2021.   

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Presidential interns for 2021-22 announced

Brooke Adams

The Office of the President has selected 10 students to participate in the Presidential Internship in Higher Education program for 2021-2022 academic year.

The students, hometowns and their majors are:

  • Sabah Sial (co-leader), Sandy, Utah, Honors finance
  • Preston Hadley (co-leader), Ogden, Utah, quantitative analysis of markets and organizations
  • Brianna Skaggs, Colorado Springs, Colo., double majors in modern dance and Family, Community and Human Development, with a certificate in social justice advocacy
  • Nichols Taylor, Orem, Utah, double majors in computer engineering and applied math
  • Jaina Lee, Salt Lake City, Utah, double majors in anthropology and health, society and policy
  • Joe Nelson, Reno, Nev., finance with a minor in political science
  • Sanila Math, South Jordan, Utah, anthropology with minors in integrative human biology and ethnic studies
  • Jens Nilson, Providence, Utah, Honors in health, society and policy with minors in Korean studies and chemistry
  • Nahum Tadesse, Syracuse, Utah, double majors in political science and international studies
  • Luis Ramirez, West Valley City, Utah, Honors in Accounting and Information Systems with a Lassonde + X certificate

The program provides undergraduate students from diverse fields and backgrounds with the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with the president and other senior administrators, giving them an insider’s look into the nuances and complexities of higher education. Presidential interns participate in regular seminars, work on strategic projects and act as student representatives at various university functions and events. Senior leaders at the U benefit from student insight, perspective and collaboration in helping shape the university’s exceptional educational experience.

Since its inception in 1992, more than 150 students have participated in the program. For many, the experience was a catalyst to a career in higher education. Others have gone on to leadership and career opportunities in public administration, nonprofit organizations, business, civic and public service.

 

Box user interface change on June 7

University Information Technology

On June 7, 2021, UIT will enable a new user interface (UI) for all University of Utah Box accounts.

A new organization feature called Box Collections will be added. Though no existing features will be removed with the new Box UI, the location of a few key actions will change.

Box Collections

With Box Collections, users can create and name private collections of content, and manage and organize files and folders in a customized and meaningful way. Please visit this vendor website for more information.

Navigation changes

When a user selects a folder row in Box, the Share button previously located on the right side of the app in the folder detail pane will now appear as a primary action in the top action bar.

The ability to add an item to Favorites will move from the top-left breadcrumb to the top-right of the action bar, where users may add an item to Favorites or My Collections.

All action buttons in the action bar will be optimized for display based on top actions selected in Box. Previous actions will still accessible in the top action bar. To see the full list of actions, users will simply select the ellipsis (…) button.

More information

Box users may request to have their accounts moved to the new UI before the university-wide rollout by opening a ticket with the UIT Help Desk at 801-581-4000, option 1, or helpdesk@utah.edu.

Grant supports study of social needs and health care during COVID-19

Doug Dollemore
science writer, Science Communications, University of Utah Health

All too often, it seems, health care is focused on pills, procedures and prognoses. Unfortunately, this approach frequently overlooks what is going on in patients’ lives outside of clinics and hospitals that could adversely affect their health or deter them from seeking health care services. As a result, many of these patients are falling through the cracks of the U.S. health care system, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an effort to better understand and find possible solutions for this dilemma, the National Institutes of Health has awarded a $2.7 million, four-year grant to Andrea Wallace, chair of health systems and community-based care in the University of Utah College of Nursing. The research will explore different strategies for getting patients help for social needs such as housing, childcare, food, and transportation—and whether doing so improves health outcomes during the pandemic and in other situations.

“Health systems and clinicians have long known social circumstances are important, but there’s little evidence about the best strategies for addressing these circumstances,” Wallace says. “We hope that the results of our study will give much-needed information about how to best engage patients and consider preferences when addressing their social needs.”

The study, called “Intensifying Community Referrals for Health: The SINCERE Intervention to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities,” will build on previous research conducted by Wallace and her colleagues. In that work, the researchers asked patients who received emergency room care or COVID-19 testing about their social needs. They found that, despite communicating needs, many were either not aware of or receiving vital community services that could enhance their health.

The newly funded research seeks to determine if screening, community-based referrals, and follow-up can lead to a sustainable strategy for preventing COVID-19 transmission and reduce the social, behavioral, and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the research will seek to determine whether engaging patients in a health behavior change approach helps improve service follow-up. More broadly, the results could help determine if screening for social needs can lead to actions that improve overall health outcomes, especially for vulnerable and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

“Our research actively moves the focus from simply acknowledging the importance of social determinants to understanding how we can address these determinants in a way that works for patients,” Wallace says. “It moves the conversation from just doing something toward doing something better.”

In addition to Wallace, co-investigators include Jia-Wen Guo, Bob Wong, Brenda L. Luther, Angela Fagerlin and Erin Rothwell.

Apply now to make murals at the UMFA

Mindy Wilson
Utah Museum of Fine Arts

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts in partnership with Roots Art Kollective is seeking qualified artists to design and install murals in the UMFA’s G. W. Anderson Family Great Hall. Up to three artists or artist collectives will be selected, and each commissioned artist or team of artists will be awarded a stipend of up to $4,000 to each. If selected, your art will remain on view in the museum for two to three years.

Applications are now open and are due July 1. Learn more and apply here.

Updated COVID-19 safety signs

Print and Mail Services

As of Monday, May 24, the University of Utah no longer requires wearing masks at university facilities. With this change, University Marketing & Communications created new COVID-19 safety signs to update your workspace.

The new signs:

  • Explain that the U is a mask-friendly campus
  • State the CDC’s guideline that asks people to wear masks if they are not vaccinated
  • Includes a website with information on where to get vaccinated

How to order

To order the updated campus-themed COVID-19 signs, visit UPrint.utah.edu or call University Print & Mail Services at 801-581-6171.

Nominate someone for a District Staff Excellence Award

University Communications

There’s still time. The nominations for the 2021 District Staff Excellence Awards are now open so take a few moments to nominate a peer who deserves to be recognized.

The Staff Excellence Award program highlights staff who exemplify the university’s four major strategic goals:

  • Promote student success to transform lives
  • Develop and transfer new knowledge
  • Engage communities to improve health and quality of life
  • Ensure the long-term viability of the university

The program was established to recognize superior service and ongoing contributions by the University of Utah’s full-time staff employees, 0.75 FTE and above. Twenty-four cash awards will be given and eight winners will be chosen from that pool to receive a $3,750 honorarium.

The University of Utah is a world-class research and teaching institution built on a legacy of innovation, collaboration, community engagement and service. The U fosters student success by preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives of impact as leaders and citizens and our staff are imperative to accomplishing these goals.

Nominations close on June 30, 2021.  To nominate someone, click here.

U Receives U.S. State Department IDEAS Grant for study abroad

Libby Mitchell

The University of Utah is one of only 26 U.S. colleges and universities, out of 132 applicants, selected to receive a 2021 IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students) grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad. The award helps institutions create, expand, and/or diversify American student mobility overseas in support of U.S. foreign policy goals.

Through the IDEAS Grant award, the U’s Office for Global Engagement (OGE) will work directly with the TRIO Programs Office to facilitate a training session for TRIO advisors at the University of Utah Asia Campus in South Korea, and will fully support three students served by TRIO to study at the U Asia Campus.

During their experiential training, TRIO advisors will learn how to empower and advise underrepresented students regarding international academic experiences. The TRIO students will participate in the Global LEAP program, which provides a first-year international experience for U students.

Traveling abroad early in a student’s academic career sets them up for integrating global education into their entire university experience. “Given what we know about international experiences leading to higher graduation rates, this presents a powerful mechanism for helping these students reach graduation,” said Dr. Sabine Klahr, Associate Chief Global Officer and Executive Director for Learning Abroad. “By connecting advisors with students who are actively participating in their first international experience, we can help advisors understand what daily life is like for these students. In turn, the advisors can better prepare the students who will follow.”

Advisors and students will interact directly, allowing students to articulate the benefits and challenges of their experience directly to the advisors. Upon their return to campus, TRIO advisors will build a strategic advising program and staff outreach plan to increase the participation of underrepresented students in Global LEAP, at the U Asia Campus, and learning abroad in general.

“Our U Asia Campus is ideal for a first-year international experience—and especially for students who may not have traveled abroad before coming to the U,” said Klahr, noting the safety of the South Korea location, the on-site staff, classes taught in English, and the fact that the same general education courses are available as on the SLC campus. The U Asia Campus is also a very affordable option since students pay resident tuition and lower costs for housing.

“The U.S. Department of State is committed to expanding study abroad opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds studying at colleges and universities across the United States. Americans studying abroad serve as citizen ambassadors by building relationships within their host communities, demonstrating American values, and countering stereotypes. They also gain critical job skills abroad that in turn benefit their home communities. We are committed to continuing our strong support for U.S. colleges and universities as they build their study abroad capacity now, in anticipation of a strong return to U.S. student mobility in the future,” said Heidi Manley, USA Study Abroad Chief, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

This U.S. Government program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and supported in its implementation by World Learning. In addition to the IDEAS grant competition, the program also offers opportunities for faculty, staff, and administrators at U.S. colleges and universities to participate in a series of free virtual and in-person study abroad capacity-building activities.

For more information, including a full list of 2021 IDEAS grant recipients, visit the Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad website at studyabroadcapacitybuilding.org. Funded projects are supporting such activities as developing new international partnerships and programs, training faculty and staff, internationalizing the curriculum, creating resources to engage diverse student groups in study abroad and creating virtual exchanges. Once international travel resumes in full, these IDEAS grant recipients will be better equipped to deliver impactful and inclusive study abroad programs around the globe.

DocuSign is now free for campus staff and faculty

Jesse Drake
University Information Technology

The University of Utah is pleased to announce that DocuSign, a cloud-based service that enables users to send, manage, and record electronic signatures on digital documents, is now available to non-hospital staff and faculty.

“The DocuSign system is a perfect tool to streamline business processes, especially those that require document approvals,” said Mark Curtz, product manager in University Support Services (USS). “Because the system is electronic, it supports and improves remote working situations in which obtaining signatures can often be difficult.”

Due to vendor restrictions on the clinical use of DocuSign, University of Utah Health employees are not currently included in the agreement. Student eligibility is under consideration as part of a campus-wide license (details to be announced).

To create a new account:

  • Log in to the U’s DocuSign portal with your uNID@utah.edu email address and select “Continue.”
  • Select the blue “Use Company Login” button below the “Forgot password” link.
  • If prompted, log in with your uNID and CIS password. You may also be prompted to authenticate with Duo two-factor authentication (2FA).
  • The system will check your status to ensure you’re eligible under the university’s license agreement. If you’re eligible, a U DocuSign account will be created for you that allows you to send documents for electronic signatures.
  • After you have logged out, log back in with your uNID@utah.edu email address. Select “Continue” if prompted, and then select the “Use Company Login” button. You may have to authenticate with Duo 2FA using your uNID and CIS password.

University organizations with established DocuSign accounts should continue working with UIT to transition to the U’s central account. Users with existing U DocuSign accounts should continue to log in with their current usernames and passwords.

With DocuSign, users can upload documents to be signed digitally, search for individuals to sign by name or email address, and designate who can view copies of signed documents. In addition to signatures, Curtz explained, users can enter fields in a document such as the signee’s full name, signing date, and other inputs like titles, approvals, and checkboxes.

“DocuSign itself is very similar to an email system,” Curtz said, noting that accounts include an inbox with signed documents, in addition to a “drafts,” “deleted,” and “sent” folder. Once signed, documents may be printed, copied, forwarded, or downloaded. For documents that are pending, users can send reminders or adjust recipients.

“Since DocuSign stores an encrypted certificate of completion that records a document’s signing history, it’s a secure and sanctioned method for sending university documents,” Curtz said.

Teressa Pickett, contracts manager in Facilities Management, called DocuSign “a lifesaver.”

“Before we started using it, we were doing things the ‘old fashioned’ way—printing copies, obtaining wet signatures, and scanning in all of our documents. It took so much time, and frankly, was a waste of paper,” Pickett said. “With DocuSign, we can easily send documents to vendors for signatures, as well as any managers that need to sign. The best part is that it’s a fraction of the time and waste as before. It’s also really simple to make corrections and send them back for signature, rather than fixing and re-printing the documents.”

“DocuSign has been such a great tool for our department. Even when we get back together in person, I’m going to insist we do business the same way as we are doing it working from home.”

Josh Newbury, interim clinical director of the University Counseling Center, agreed that DocuSign has “sped up our transition to a paperless center” and called his experience with DocuSign “overwhelmingly positive.”

“It’s a convenient way to securely share important documents with our clients that would normally have been signed in-person,” Newbury said. “Documents that normally would have been signed, scanned, and uploaded are now easily and safely completed online.”

DocuSign training resources:

Project to consolidate VPN services is underway

Jesse Drake
University Information Technology

The average number of daily virtual private network (VPN) users at the University of Utah and University of Utah Health jumped from 1,000 to 2,800 in 2020 after the pandemic prompted a surge in remote work and online learning.

VPN applications create a secure, encrypted connection between a device and the U’s network when the user is off campus. By using a VPN client, members of the U community may access resources that aren’t available through the public internet, such as Windows file shares, private IP-addressed systems (10.x.x.x, 172.16.x.x) and Marriott Library article databases, e-journals and e-books.

UIT responded to the jump in VPN use by boosting the bandwidth and number of internet protocol (IP) addresses of the university’s two VPN solutions—Cisco AnyConnect and Palo Alto GlobalProtect.

This measure met the increased demand but created an inconsistent user experience, and presented a challenge around troubleshooting dual “tunneling” modes for campus and hospital users. Tunneling refers to the VPN path—when you connect to the internet with a VPN, the encrypted connection between your device and the internet surrounds your data like a tunnel.

In order to create a central, more user-friendly, and easy-to-manage VPN service, the university and U of U Health decided to partner on a project to consolidate VPN services for university use. The Cisco AnyConnect VPN client will be replaced with the Palo Alto GlobalProtect VPN client, which will impact everyone who uses a university Cisco VPN service.

“Consolidating our VPN services will allow us to streamline our security efforts and take advantage of the more robust features of the Palo Alto VPN,” said Chief Information Security Officer Corey Roach. “Security controls work best when they are unobtrusive as possible. This is an opportunity to improve security and user experience.”

User migrations from the Cisco to Palo Alto service will take place as follows:

  • Phase 1: UIT will migrate individual Cisco user accounts without elevated privilege needs
  • Phase 2: UIT will migrate users with elevated privilege needs based on implemented RADIUS server realms (e.g., uNID@department.utah.edu)

A phased approach allows UIT’s Information Security Office and Network Services time to design the IT architecture in consultation with INVITE Networks, a Salt Lake City-based telecommunications and cloud solutions vendor, and affords users the opportunity to train for a new VPN workflow. A project timeline, system requirements, training information, and additional project details will be provided to the U community as they become available.

The executive sponsors of the project are CISO Corey Roach and Chief Technology Officer Jim Livingston. An advisory committee has been meeting each week since mid-February 2021 to discuss various aspects of the network design and communication needs.

For a refresher about university VPN use, please visit this IT Knowledge Base article.

Please remember that:

  • The VPN is a limited, licensed resource that isn’t necessary to access most of the university’s online resources (e.g., UMail, UBox, CIS, Kronos, and Pulse). University-utilizing VPNs are restricted to services that aren’t available off-campus through a secure connection from your individual internet service provider.
  • Employees and students must have Duo 2FA enabled on the device they would like to use for VPN.
  • First-time VPN users are asked to use the Palo Alto client (vpn.utah.edu).
  • Streaming services (e.g., Netflix, Hulu and Twitch) accessed via VPN are blocked.

 

One U PeopleSoft Finance Transformation Project launches

Jesse Drake
University Information Technology

The University of Utah is in the early stages of a multiyear project with two complementary and overlapping objectives: To redesign the general ledger chart of accounts (COA) and reduce finance customizations in the U’s instance of PeopleSoft.

“We want to design for the end goal, not where we were two years ago, not where we are today, but where we expect to be in the future,” Theresa Ashman, associate vice president of Financial & Business Services, said during a kickoff meeting on April 30, 2021.

The initiative, called the One U PeopleSoft Finance Transformation Project, supports the university’s One U Strategy 2025 roadmap, specifically the theme “consolidate, develop, and refresh technologies, and centralize data and analytics to better serve our constituents.”

The project website will be updated as the project unfolds and milestones are achieved.

“This is truly the definition of a One U project,” said Cathy Anderson, the university’s chief financial officer. “We’ve brought together a cross-section of very talented and capable people from across the university to make this happen.”

Chart of accounts redesign

Piotr Pawlikowski, senior IT project manager in UIT’s Project Management Office, said the current chart of accounts is the result of a “lift and shift”—moving an application or operation from one environment to another without redesigning the workflow—from the legacy system to PeopleSoft during the 2000 implementation. During this implementation, little was changed from the legacy system, and as a result, shadow systems were created over time.

Karen Macon, the controller for the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, indicated that designing a new, central COA that’s flexible and scalable will help the university process transactions more efficiently, improve management reporting, and provide a host of analytics for departments, colleges, schools, divisions, and business units, while still allowing for external financial reporting.

The COA subproject will also position the university to implement new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. At its core, ERP ties together data from various business processes and integrates them into a single software system. In higher education, standard ERP applications include student and academic, financial aid, human resources, financial management, admission, and institutional advancement information

PeopleSoft optimization

According to Ken Pink, deputy chief information officer, customizations made to PeopleSoft since the workforce management platform was implemented in the 1990s have been costly, labor-intensive, and time-consuming in terms of upgrades, patches, and general maintenance.

“Other changes, like reorganizing or adopting new ChartField accounts, are made more complex by the presence of customizations,” Pink said. Oracle, he added, estimates that the university can eliminate approximately 90% of PeopleSoft customizations through delivered functionality and “leveraging the investment we’ve already made.”

Oracle iteratively releases functionality and system updates for PeopleSoft. Although the university has stayed up to date on the technical side, Gary Carter, director of ERP and product manager for Finance & Auxiliary in UIT’s University Support Services, said not all new functionality has been adopted. During this subproject’s discovery phase, functionality improvements to existing applications will be identified and recommended, as needed.

The primary focus will be on PeopleSoft Finance functionality, with in-scope touchpoints that include payroll, payroll budgeting, and PeopleSoft HR (e.g., uBenefits and D-Jobs). Applications considered out of scope include Human Capital Management (HCM) and Student applications, and third-party systems such as Jaggaer, Concur, and Lawson.

Timelines

Tentative timelines for each subproject, which Carter calls “an aggressive schedule,” are as follows:

  • Chart of accounts redesign: February FY2021 to June FY2022
  • PeopleSoft optimization: February FY2021 to December FY2023

“We’re cognizant of fact that finance-related work across campus doesn’t stop. That’s why the general ledger portion was planned to coincide with the financial year-end calendar to create as smooth a transition as possible,” Pawlikowski said.

Governance

Although the work of the One U PeopleSoft Finance Transformation will be operationalized as two projects, they will be governed and managed as a single activity.

Key groups in the unified governance structure are executive sponsors, an advisory committee, project leads, technical leads, two project teams, a project manager, and a communication lead.

Executive sponsors are responsible for the overall guidance of the project. Decisions will be escalated to this group when mutually agreeable decisions can’t be made at lower levels, the magnitude of a decision requires executive support, or a third-party system requires integration to or from PeopleSoft. Based on guidance from Dan Reed, the U’s senior vice president for Academic Affairs, that “the only way to get out of a hole is to stop digging,” customizations will be considered only when aligned with project objectives.

The advisory committee will meet monthly, receive regular project updates, and preview decisions to be escalated to project leads.

Project leads will act as liaisons among executive sponsors, the advisory committee, and project teams. Leads are responsible for the day-to-day guidance of teams and ensuring changes make sense in the context of the university’s IT architecture.

The project teams are:

  • A chart of accounts team that will analyze and make recommendations for the redesign and future state of the COA, considering the needs of all operations across the university.
  • A PeopleSoft Finance team that will analyze customizations and functionality, recommend changes, and evaluate opportunities to utilize native PeopleSoft functionality, and assess touchpoints with HR/Payroll and Student applications.

The project manager will handle all details of the project plan, prepare scorecards, and provide status updates — essentially “making sure we stay on track,” Ashman said.

The communication lead, UIT’s Cassandra Van Buren, associate director for Strategic Communication, is tasked with developing a communication plan with two main facets:

Internal communications that align with change management goals and focus on collaboration and transparency.

External communications include a project website and mass communication through such channels as @theU, U Health’s Pulse intranet, Researcher’s CornerUIT’s Node 4 newsletter, and UIT public announcements.

“If we maintain good cross-communication, we’ll be successful at this,” said Steve Hess, the university’s chief information officer.

Charlton Park, chief financial officer and chief analytics officer for the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, said that he appreciates the dedication of everyone involved in the project.

“It’s going to take a great deal of commitment to get this done and make it a success. I know we’ll get there, and I thank you in advance for your efforts,” Park said.

UMail account migration to Exchange Online starts on June 1

University Information Technology

Starting Tuesday, June 1, 2021, University Information Technology (UIT) will begin to gradually migrate all University of Utah and University of Utah Health faculty and staff UMail accounts from Microsoft Exchange Server (hosted on campus) to Microsoft Exchange Online (hosted online by Microsoft infrastructure). The upgrade is part of the effort to modernize the U’s communication technology and better meet the needs of those working, learning, and teaching remotely.

Faculty and staff will receive a targeted email 24 to 48 hours prior to initiation of their account migration. The total time for your migration depends on the size of the mailbox(es) to be moved and amount of data to be transferred to Microsoft servers. Extremely large mailboxes can take a number of days to transfer.

If you’re unable to access your UMail account through your desktop/mobile client or web browser after the migration, please refer to this IT Knowledge Base article for instructions. Please note that UMail is always accessible via Outlook Web Access (OWA) using a web browser.

After your account moves to Exchange Online, you may receive a notification that says “The Microsoft Exchange Administrator has made a change that requires you to quit and restart Outlook.” Please follow the directions.

The migration includes an updated interface for OWA, which will redirect from https://www.umail.utah.edu/ to https://outlook.office.com/. The interfaces of the Outlook desktop and mobile clients will remain the same for most users, although some macOS users may automatically update to the latest version of Outlook for Mac.

Other changes include:

  • Mailbox storage increased to 100GB
  • Retention of deleted items and off-site backups decreased from 90 days to 30 days

Impact

Until the entire university migrates to Exchange Online, you may experience some temporary UMail issues, including:

For information about other known issues, please refer to the Exchange Online help article.

This migration was previously announced via @theUPulse (login required), UIT’s Node 4 newsletter and websiteTwitterwebinars for IT staff, and presentations for several university committees and management groups (including the Council of Academic Deans, U of U Health Ops and Management councils, and ITS managers). The upgrade has been approved by the university’s Strategic Information Technology Committee.

Support

For additional details or support, your local IT support staff may be able to assist, or you may contact your respective help desk:

  • Main Campus UIT Help Desk: Call 801-581-4000, option 1, or submit a ticket to helpdesk@utah.edu
  • University of Utah Health ITS Service Desk: Call 801-587-6000 or submit a ticket to ServiceDesk@hsc.utah.edu

Academics for Black Survival and Wellness

Academics for Black Survival and Wellness

After announcing its first call to action in June 2020, Academics for Black Survival and Wellness (A4BL) is back.

A4BL is a personal and professional development initiative for non-Black academics to honor the toll of racial trauma on Black people, resist anti-Blackness and white supremacy and facilitate accountability and collective action. A4BL is also a space for healing and wellness for Black people.

Learn more and get involved with A4BL here.

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Road construction on upper campus

Wes Mangum
Facilities/Planning, Design and Construction

Beginning on Monday, May 17th, crews will be repairing storm water systems on Mario Cappechi Drive, just south of the intersection of Mario Cappechi Drive and Wasatch Drive.

the intersection of Mario Cappechi Drive and Wasatch Drive will be closed for roadwork. This intersection will be closed for the duration of the roadwork, expected to last for three weeks.

Mario Cappechi will remain open, with southbound traffic being consolidated into one lane near the site. Both lanes of northbound traffic will remain open.

Wasatch Drive will be closed to through traffic, and as part of this project, intersection safety improvements will take place at the same time. Commuters wishing to access Wasatch Drive or Student Life Way will need to travel northbound on Mario Cappechi to North Campus Drive, before turning left onto Wasatch Drive.

To access Student Life Way, commuters will be able to follow a detour route through the parking lot and roadway north and east of the Eccles Broadcast Center, adjacent to Wasatch Drive. Traffic control cones, signs, and traffic flaggers will be in place to assist commuters through the necessary detours.

The intersection of Wasatch Drive and Student Life Way will be closed. East/west bound pedestrians will need to detour onto the pathway on the north side of Student Life way, where a mixed-use bike/pedestrian route will be in place. Signs will be posted to assist pedestrians as they travel along this detour. With the closure of the crosswalk on Student Life Way at Wasatch Drive, pedestrians wishing to access buildings/routes on the south side of Student Life Way must travel to the designated crosswalk just east of Lassonde Studios.

This roadwork has been planned so as to best minimize the impact on students, faculty, staff and visitors. As always, we appreciate your patience. Please contact Wes Mangum with Facilities (wes.mangum@utah.edu) with questions or concerns.

For the duration of this construction project, the Wasatch Express Route will detour directly to the Ambulatory Garage (Lot 45) through North Campus Drive.

Passengers may visit uofubus.com to track all Campus Shuttles live. Call (801) 581-4189 for more information about the Wasatch Express detour.

New Leadership Academy applications open

Morgan Aguilar
communications specialist, University of Utah Communications

Applications are now open for the New Leadership Academy Fellows Program (NLA) 2021-2022 cohort.

The leadership development program provides Fellows with online and in-person curriculum, coaching and mentorship experiences rooted in leadership and diversity scholarship to prepare them for the dynamic leadership challenges faced by higher education today. The program includes a week-long retreat, regular coaching sessions, interactive case studies and other tailored programs and activities.

Candidates for the program must demonstrate leadership in higher education and hold an administrative leadership or senior faculty position at their respective institution. Applicants from policy-related and philanthropic organizations are also encouraged to apply.

The early-bird deadline to apply is Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

The regular deadline is Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

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Updates from Human Resources

Human Resources

Open enrollment is here

Open enrollment packets are in the mail and materials are available online now. Click here to access.

All enrollments are done through UBenefits. If you want to keep your current health plan election and you don’t want to enroll in a flexible spending account, you don’t need to take any action.

WellU deadline is approaching

The deadline for completion of WellU requirements is June 30, 2021. As a reminder, WellU requirements are the following:

An annual physical or wellness exam is NOT required this year but will count as one WellU Wellness Activity.

Retirement workshops

Sign up for a retirement workshop hosted by TIAA or view a prior presentation here. May workshops include:

“Halfway There: A retirement checkpoint”
May 11 | 10 a.m.

“Paycheck for life”
May 11 | 1 p.m.

“Responsible Investing: Portfolios with Purpose”
May 12 | 10 a.m.

“Money at Work 2: Sharpening Investment Skills”
May 12 | 1 p.m.

Fidelity is hosting U “Ask Fidelity” webinars. Sign up here.

EAP workshops

Blomquist Hale, the University’s Employee Assistance Program provider, is hosting a few workshops this month. May workshops include:

“Mindfulness and Stress Reduction”
May 12 | Noon

“Empathy From a Leadership Role”
May 18 | Noon

“Anxiety and COVID Readjustment”
May 20 | Noon

Sign up here.

Staff Excellence Award nominations now open

Jeff C. Herring
Chief Human Resources Officer

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2021 District Staff Excellence Awards. The awards program highlights staff who exemplify the university’s four major strategic goals:

  • Promote student success to transform lives
  • Develop and transfer new knowledge
  • Engage communities to improve health and quality of life
  • Ensure the long-term viability of the university

The program was established to recognize superior service and ongoing contributions by the University of Utah’s full-time staff employees, 0.75 FTE and above. Twenty-four cash awards will be given and eight winners will be chosen from that pool to receive a $3,750 honorarium and a personalized plaque presented by myself and Interim President Michael Good.

The University of Utah is a world-class research and teaching institution built on a legacy of innovation, collaboration, community engagement and service. The U fosters student success by preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives of impact as leaders and citizens and our staff are imperative to accomplishing these goals.

Nominations close on June 30, 2021.  To nominate someone, click here.

UKids Summer Camp offerings

Shawn Wood

Though summer camps may look a bit different this year, memories will continue to be made so make them educational and entertaining. The Center for Child Care and Family Resources has opening for its summer learning experiences for school age children. Children are supervised and have a variety of learning experiences with flexible and extended hours included to choose from during workdays.

Summer term for kids ages 5-9 runs May 17-Aug. 13, 2021, at two convenient UKids locations: Presidents Circle and Guardsman Way.

FIND SUMMER CAMP OPENINGS AND APPLICATION HERE

Each Summer Camp week is themed with tons of learning experiences that dive deep into learning about each subject and across each learning domain. Some of the activities include: outdoor games, field trips, treasure hunts, story telling, carnival games, art projects, interactive games, music, educations fun, STEM, water days with swimming lessons, puppet shows and fun, fun, FUN!

NOTE: some activities like field trips and water days with swimming lessons may not be available due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time.

UKids Summer Camp themed weeks:

  • May 17 | Surprise week, red, white, blue and you (Guardsman Way location only)
  • May 24 | It’s in a book, stories and fables (Guardsman Way location only)
  • May 31 | Mystery week (Guardsman Way location only)
  • June 7 | Back to School? Nah, back to summer! Getting to know us.
  • June 14 | Out of this world Space Camp
  • June 21 | Creepy crawly
  • June 28 | Camp Campus
  • July 6 | Let’s go LEGO-builders institute
  • July 12 | Around the big BIG world
  • July 19 | Get your grow on…garden week
  • July 26 | National Parks environmental adventure
  • August 2 | Wild-wild-wild water week
  • August 9 | We play favorites…our favorite things from this year all in one week
  • August 13 | Bonus week: Dinosaurs (Guardsman Way location only)

Funding assistance is available for student parents in need. Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS) grants are available to support student-parents as they complete their education and can be used for child care or the summer camp offerings.

FIND AVAILABLE CHILD CARE OPENINGS AND APPLICATION HERE

For pricingContact Enrollment Specialist, Emily, at 801-587-7932 with questions and pricing information.

Mindfulness Center summer 2021 programming

Shawn Wood

Unless otherwise noted, Mindfulness Center programming is open to all students, faculty and staff of the University of Utah community. These offerings are free, available by Zoom (excluding holidays and breaks) and require registration to attend. Informational flyers are provided via embedded links in each of the programs’ titles.

  • Drop-In Mindfulness are 30-minute facilitated meditations are held on Tuesdays @ 12:30 p.m. Drop-ins are ongoing and registration is not required, see our flyer.
  • Feel Better Now is a four-week skill building workshop series, which is offered on Tuesdays 1-2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1-2 PM. The workshop helps participants to build practical skills to cope with anxiety, depression and stress.  New series starts May 18.
  • Radical Self-Compassion for BIPOC Students is a 2-day workshop, which is for U BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) graduate and undergraduate students.  Workshops will focus on using mindful self-compassion as a source of healing and resistance.  The workshop meets on Thursdays from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. and starts May 26.
  • Mindful Work/Life Balance is a four-week workshop series, which is for U faculty, staff and graduate students.  The workshop introduces participants to mindful strategies for managing work/life stress.  The series runs on Fridays from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and starts June 4.
  • Mental Coaching is a four-week skill-building workshop series, which is for neurodiverse students wanting to improve planning, follow through and time management. The series runs on Tuesdays from 3:30-5 p.m. and starts on June 8.
  • Coping COVID Chaos is a three-week workshop, which aims to help participants learn skills to manage distress, increase compassion, strengthen relationships and connect with others who are dealing with the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop meets Thursdays from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and starts on July 1.

Please see the Mindfulness Center webpage for more information, resources for enhancing resilience, mindfulness practices, and more. We also offer programs, including providing mindfulness workshops in your office that may be relevant to your colleagues, staff and/or team members. Please request a presentation.

Fall 2021 Semester announcement

Rebecca Walsh
communications manager, Office of Academic Affairs

As COVID-19 vaccinations increase and infections in the community decrease, the University of Utah will provide an in-person experience for every student who wants one in the fall.

The University Registrar’s office is working with colleges and departments on the logistics of fall scheduling. Classes will begin on Aug. 23. As always, the university will continue to offer online course options to accommodate student needs, preferences and schedules.

University administrators share the optimism of state leaders that COVID-19 vaccinations will be largely completed by the fall. The university will continue to follow public health guidance from the Salt Lake County and State Health departments. Students and faculty who for health reasons need to continue with online and distance-learning options will be able to do so.

“Our university has been transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and students and faculty have shown incredible patience and adaptability,” University Registrar Tim Ebner said. “We’re very hopeful that fall semester can be much closer to what higher education was before the coronavirus.”

In addition to prioritizing in-person classes—including labs, practicums and studios—the university will support traditional student club and on-campus activities in the fall as long as they are in accordance with the public health and safety guidelines.

“The details and logistics of how we shape the fall student experience will be a collaborative effort, working with faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders.” said Dan Reed, senior vice president for Academic Affairs.