Managing Advisor Assignments

Request a list of all students assigned to a specific advisor

Advisor lists requested through this process are intended for administrative use. Students seeking to identify and connect with their advisor should use the “Find an Advisor” link above.

Lists of all students assigned to a specific advisor will include both active and discontinued students. (Data Center will only show active students.) After we have received your request, the Office of the Registrar will email you an Excel-format file with the following student information:

  • name
  • EMPL ID
  • academic program
  • academic career
  • academic plan
  • status (active or discontinued)

Request list of assigned students

Make a batch change request

Step 1 (optional): Request a list of all students assigned to a specific advisor

Lists of all students assigned to a specific advisor will include both active and discontinued students. (Data Center will only show active students.) After we have received your request, the Office of the Registrar will email you an Excel-format file with the following student information:

  • name
  • EMPL ID
  • academic program
  • academic career
  • academic plan
  • status (active or discontinued)

Request list of assigned students

Step 2: Make a batch change request

Before requesting a batch change, learn what type of action you can request: switch, alpha switch, academic plan switch, add, and remove.

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Switch

All students advised by one advisor will be reassigned to another.

Example of a switch — Advisor #1 is leaving the department. All of advisor #1’s students now need to be assigned to Advisor #2.

The advising unit can also request a switch for a temporary assignment if a permanent replacement for Advisor #1 has not yet been hired. When the new advisor is in place, submit another switch request (from the temporary person to the new advisor). Best practice is for the temporary person to be someone who does not currently have advisees (for example, a department administrator). If the temporary person does have existing advisees, switching Advisor #1’s students from the temporary person to a future hire will need to be done manually by your unit.

Alpha switch

All students advised by one advisor will be reassigned to others, based on alphabetical ranges.

Example of an alpha switch — Advisor #1 is leaving the department. All of Advisor #1’s students now need to be assigned to the department’s three other advisors: Advisor #2, Advisor #3, and Advisor #4. Advisor #2 will be assigned Advisor #1’s students whose last names begin with A through J; Advisor #3 will advise students with names K through Q; and Advisor #4 will advise students with names from R through Z.

Academic plan switch

All students advised by one advisor will be reassigned to others, based on their assigned students’ academic plan (major or certificate).

Example of an academic plan switch — Advisor #1 is leaving the department. All of Advisor #1’s students now need to be assigned to the department’s three other advisors: Advisor #2, Advisor #3, and Advisor #4. Advisor #2 will be assigned Advisor #1’s students in the Art major; Advisor #3 will be assigned to Advisor #1’s students in the Art Education major; Advisor #4 will be assigned to Advisor #1’s students in the Graphic Design certificate.

Add

All students advised by one advisor will also have a new second advisor.

Example of an add — Advisor #2 has been hired by the department. Advisor #2 will be added as a second advisor to all of Advisor #1’s students.

Remove

An advisor will be removed from any assignments.

Example of a remove — Advisor #1 is leaving the department. It has been department practice to assign both Advisor #1 and Advisor #2 to the same students. Advisor #1 will be removed so these students will now have just Advisor #2 as their advisor.

Note: Recommended practice is to make sure the affected students have at least one more advisor in the unit. If Advisor #1 was their only advisor, after Advisor #1 is removed the unit will need to manually add a replacement advisor in SIS.

If you have any questions about whether or not your advisor change request can be done in batch by the Office of the Registrar, please email katie.paar@wisc.edu to discuss options.

Request advisor assignment batch change

FAQs

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Can I provide the Office of the Registrar a spreadsheet of changes to be made?

No. The batch change process starts with an existing advisor relationship and allows us to take limited actions from there. For example, we pull up a list of the students assigned by an Advisor #1 and replace the whole list of their students with Advisor #2. We are unable to upload spreadsheets during this process or pick and choose who should be reassigned based on criteria such as academic level, applied to graduate, or GPA. The switch, add, and remove scenarios described above represent the limited options available for batch reassignment.

What if I need to make changes to advisor assignments when the role is not “Academic”? For example, Career Advisor, Faculty Advisor, PEOPLE advisor?

The batch reassignment tool currently works only with the role of “Academic”. Changes to other advisor assignments will need to be managed manually by departments/units.

What if I have a unique request for a batch change that doesn’t meet the stated criteria?

Please contact Katie Paar (katie.paar@wisc.edu) to discuss the request and to see if the Office of the Registrar may be able to help.

Do I need to delete assigned advisors when a student graduates?

Undergraduate: No. At the time of degree completion, all assigned advisors for the undergraduate career are automatically removed.

Law: No. At the time of degree completion, all assigned advisors for the law career are automatically removed.

Graduate: No. Graduate School practice is to leave advisors assigned at time of degree completion.

All others: Possibly. There is no harm caused by leaving an advisor assigned after a student graduates. However, if your department wants the advisor assignments to be removed, you will be responsible for their manual removal.

How does someone in my department/unit get approval to manage advisor assignments in the Student Information System?

Edit access to the SIS Student Advisor page requires both an active security role and attendance at a training. Please follow the “Getting Access and Training” steps outlined at https://registrar.wisc.edu/sis/ to begin the access request. The related SIS role for edit access to advisor assignments is SR_UADV.

How do advisor assignments get configured in Starfish?

Advisor assignments are automatically imported from the Student Information System (SIS) into Starfish on a nightly basis, so no advisor-advisee relationships are ever edited directly within Starfish. Anyone with at least one assigned advisee in SIS will automatically be given a Starfish staff account that comes with two roles: Assigned Advisor (for meeting with assigned advisees) and General Advisor (for meeting with any student at the institution).

Wait…what is Starfish?

Starfish is the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s main tool for scheduling appointments between students and staff. It was launched in January 2019 to replace Scheduling Assistant, which was decommissioned in June 2019. More information can be found by visiting the Starfish Staff Resources page.