Who would ever want to be a Registrar? Why did I become a Registrar?
I’ve said before, some little boys grow up wanting to be a policeman, fireman, or NHL hockey player. Me? I always knew I wanted to be a Registrar.
What? You don’t believe me? Wink wink!
Ok, the truth is I kinda fell into the job after I finished up my M.A. in Leadership & Management. And a huge factor in making my decision was meeting a wonderful Registrar.
I was reminded of this when I received the latest Briercrest College & Seminary Alumni magazine, the Passport and saw the story on the passing of Cor Hartenberg. Cor was a gentle giant of a man. Standing well over six feet tall, with a powerful voice (and Dutch accent, just to make it stand out), Cor loved a good joke and he loved to laugh.
Cor was a significant reason why I attended Briercrest to get my M.A. After I submitted my application, I received a phone call from the Registrar (the Registrar!) which turned out to be Cor. He interviewed me over the phone to assess my readiness for graduate work. I don’t remember much content, but I do remember his encouragement. I made the decision to go shortly after that call.
And when I wanted to change programs, after taking a class with the amazing Dr. Paul Magnus, Cor walked me through it. He explained how certain classes would or wouldn’t fit and how I could make an informed decision. In my last semester of study, Cor made sure I had completed everything I needed to graduate, and he gave me such assurance that I finished up thinking “That was easy!”
It wasn’t really, but Cor made it seem so.
And when Briercrest came calling to see if I would be the undergraduate Registrar, Cor had me fooled into thinking this job would be easy, too 🙂 He embodied some important aspects of what I think make a good Registrar.
- He cared about students. Phone calls, emails, meetings, all showed he cared.
- He removed the barriers to education, or helped me remove mine. For example, I needed to get a couple of transcripts submitted when I applied, but it had been several years since I was last in school and I didn’t have clue how to do that. He walked me through it and made it seem easy.
- He helped guide a newly minted, bold, brash Registrar (me) around numerous political potholes with little thanks.
I had the distinct privilege of having Cor report to me after some restructuring, which could have been really awkward if it was someone of lesser character than he. We met and agreed that it would be awkward only if we let it be so. After that, things went swimmingly.
I was saddened to hear that Cor contracted cancer shortly after I left Briercrest, and passed away in May 2009. But we had many good years working together, for which I am thankful. He was the kind of Registrar that I am proud to say I knew and worked with.
What about you? If you’re a Registrar, how did you get into this profession?