Celebrating the year with SRSM

Posted on behalf of Robbie Morrison, Associate Registrar & Director, Scheduling, Records & Systems Management

At the end of February, the SRSM team held a virtual retreat. As the timing of the retreat aligned very closely to the anniversary of moving to a virtual work environment, we chose to focus our time reconnecting across our team, have some fun, expand our understanding of our current priorities, and most importantly, celebrate our work and achievements from this challenging past year.

A couple of key highlights were utilizing Kumospace as a platform to eat lunch and connect across the team. It’s a creative platform that allows you to move around and engage in conversations in different group, much like how you might move around a room at a party. You can also fill up your virtual drink!

We put together an accomplishments board as a team to feature the amazing work of our team and celebrate our accomplishments. If you have a moment, it’s worth a read to see some of the many accomplishments the SRSM team has made during the year of COVID-19.

We took a group photo at the end of our retreat and I (Robbie) wanted to take one more opportunity to thank (in order of appearance below) Oana, Jessika, Jane, May, Odessa, Victoria, Rachel, Ryan, Brigitte, Ellen, Adrian, Kristina, Jason, Sahir, Ting, Alvin, Raymond K, Christine, Vicki, Brenda, Catherine, Samantha, Tiffany, and Raymond Y for their dedication and incredible contributions to the student experience of UBC over this past year.

A Few New Faces

We were excited to welcome a few new faces to the team in February:  Robbie Morrison, Samantha Buchanan and Catherine Kwan.

Robbie Morrison – Associate Registrar & Director, Scheduling, Records & Systems Management comes from the Centre for Student Involvement & Careers here at UBC. Robbie spent a number of years building and expanding on the way first year students are welcomed and supported through their year of transition into UBC.

Samantha Buchanan – Team Lead, Scheduling Services joined UBC, from E-Comm 9-1-1, scheduling 24/7 staffing for two emergency communication centres. Sam was also a fully trained call-taker and RCMP dispatcher, actually dispatching calls for the UBC RCMP members.

Catherine Kwan – Scheduling Coordinator, Scheduling Services joined UBC from BC Children’s Hospital, where she worked in various departments scheduling and slating for surgeons and monitoring from the Control desk. She also loves animals and has previously volunteered with the BC SPCA.

Catherine, Sam and Robbie met up in their first weeks of the role and found they have a number of similarities and differences:

  • Sam and Robbie both started on the same day with Enrolment Services
  • Catherine and Sam enjoy snowshoeing and puzzles
  • Sam and Robbie live in South Delta
  • All three enjoy ice skating
  • All agree they have never worked in an organization with so many hilarious acronyms as Enrolment Services

Robbie and Samantha both have young kids and both families have heard us referring to “T-reps” in our new roles. In both households, this has sparked questions about why we are working with dinosaurs in our new roles. In Sam’s case, the T-Rep reference sparked her two-year-old to request the Paw Patrol episode featuring a T-Rex for a week straight. Other acronyms on our chuckle list:

  • SPOC – Live long and prosper
  • NAPS – Who doesn’t need a nap at work
  • BCCAT – Felines that happen to live in British Columbia

Even in the midst of learning many new acronyms, Catherine, Robbie and Sam agree they have thoroughly enjoyed their first few months in the role and are excited to be a part of SRSM and ES.

A glimpse into the evolution of UBC degree parchments

Posted on behalf of the Student Records Management team in SRSM

Did you know the graduation office keeps the degree parchments of all graduates who do not claim them?

We have thousands of unclaimed degree parchments including some going back over 80 years. The earliest degree parchment we have is actually not a degree, but a certificate, that dates back to 1939, which was printed on paper.

For many years, including the samples here from 1951 and 1968, certificates were printed on a plant-based vellum.  It is hard to tell from the scans, but the vellum degree parchments are slightly translucent.  In addition to the different materials used, degree parchments up until the early 1990s were smaller than they are today.

1939 Certificate

  • Number of graduates: 456 in 7 degrees
  • Material: Paper
  • Dimensions: 11″ x 8.5″

1951 Certificate

  • Number of graduates: 1663 in 18 degrees
  • Material: Vellum
  • Dimensions: 9.5″ x 7.5″

1968 Certificate

  • Number of graduates: 3637 in 33 degrees
  • Material: Vellum
  • Dimensions: 9.5″ x 7.5″

1978 Certificate

  • Number of graduates: 4672 in 42 degrees
  • Material: Paper
  • Dimensions: 9.5″ x 7.5″

1992 Degree

  • Number of graduates: 7037 in 48 degrees
  • Material: Paper
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.5″

  • Number of graduates: 6761 in 51 degrees
  • Material: Paper
  • Dimensions: 11″  x 8.5″

Today’s degree parchment is very similar to the 1995 sample, except the type of paper used has changed over the years.  Today we are using Accent Opaque Vellum Cover 80lb.  Here, vellum  describes the texture of the paper, which loosely mimics that of traditional vellum.

In 2020 there were 14323 graduates 124 degrees across UBC Vancouver and Okanagan.

The Vancouver Scheduling Project

Posted on behalf of the Vancouver Scheduling Project team in SRSM

In 2018, UBC launched the Vancouver Scheduling Project to improve and transform its scheduling pattern and academic course scheduling model. The evolution of our 20+ year old academic course scheduling model and pattern provides opportunities to better align with the University’s strategic plan. Our project team is working collaboratively with the scheduling community to develop innovative, flexible and future proof solutions to support transformative teaching and learning.

After lots of research, consultation with the scheduling community, and the completion and evaluation of multiple course scheduling simulations, a Hybrid Model and multi-block pattern have been approved as new evolving solutions for moving forward, starting with the 2022W schedule.

The members of the project team are working hard to prepare for a December 1, 2021 “go live” date and have a number of initiatives on their plate as we work through the implementation phase of the project including:

  • Develop business operations for the new model
  • Develop policy and procedures for the new model
  • Develop systems and process training for uses and scheduling stakeholders
  • Software (Scientia) production environment set up and a database split of UBCV & UBCO.

If you are looking for more information about the project and the approved scheduling solutions please don’t hesitate to visit the Vancouver Scheduling Project website.

Meet the Vancouver Scheduling Project Team

Robbie Morrison, Project Lead:  Robbie is new to Enrolment Services and the project team but he brings many skills from his previous roles at UBC and he has already become a key champion of the project.

Oana Toma, Business Lead:  Oana’s expertise in academic course scheduling helps her lead the execution of the project plan and manage the project team and budget.

Victoria Liu & Jane Young, Scheduling Analysts:  Victoria and Jane are working in collaboration with IT on system configuration and user testing. They will also be creating training and user guides for stakeholders leading up to implementation.

Rachel Tang, Associate Business Solutions Analyst:  Rachel is updating and developing new business processes and procedures to ensure that the future state of academic course scheduling is efficient and sustainable.

Odessa Corletto, Change Management and Communications Analyst:  Odessa is working to ensure that all stakeholders have the information they need about the project and understand how the new model and pattern will impact their work.

Kara Jenkins, IT Systems Solution Analyst: Kara works on the technical side of the project; providing guidance and support on system use. She also configures and tests the quality and functionality of new scheduling tools and reports