What In All of God’s Creation Is a Registrar?

When you meet people and go through the typical introduction of “So what do you do?” how do you answer?

When I answer: “I’m the Registrar at Trinity Western University” I have come to expect the blank look that says to me, “this isn’t registering.”

Ok, I admit I’m in a rare job. You don’t find Registrars on every street corner. We don’t drive around in cop cars; we don’t climb poles and fix lights; we don’t serve you food, or replace your roof. I’m ok with that, although my father-in-law would still prefer me to get a real job, “You know, like a mechanic. People always need their cars fixed.” Right.

I used to try to get away with a short version: “I work at Trinity Western University” and hope people would accept that. But they never did. They always probed, “And what do you do there?”

And we’re back to me saying the R-word again. Which means there will be yet one more question:

“You’re a whaaaa???”

Registrar. No, not a Register – that’s either a cash register or a heat register. I’m not one of those. I register students for courses, charge and collect their tuition fees, and produce transcripts and degrees for them. Amongst a few million other things.

A blog is supposed to be about what’s happening right now, or what’s on your mind right now – remember, “blog” is a short version of “web log” which is the internet’s version of a ship captain’s log.  One of my intentions for this web log is to chronicle the happenings in a Registrar’s Office and give you a window into this rare job.

I hope to head off that blank look and the “You’re a whaaa???” question.

The next post (coming very soon) will help to answer that question and de-mystify my job. It will show how a Registrar (me) dealt with a student’s issue, and had to negotiate a deal between a few departments.




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