A Day In the Life of

Every now and then I have planned to post  a day in the life of a Registrar. In keeping with my goal of making this profession more transparent, I hope to give you a window into my typical day. Please remember, this is my day, not another Registrar’s day – and you should also remember that I had to make my job up when I started as Registrar years ago (as explained in previous posts), so my day might not match those of you who have actually been trained to do your jobs 🙂

A typical day means that I will spend about 4-5 hours in meetings, and this day is no different. I set my laptop up at the breakfast table and read any emails I received from about 11:00 pm the night before until about 7 am. I check my meeting schedule and update my tasks and action items folder. I arrive at work shortly after 8 am and grab a coffee (thanks to Maco in my office for making such good coffee from Papua New Guinea!).

First meeting starts at 8:30 with the Manager of Student Accounts, the Associate Registrar, and the Registrar of ACTS/School of Graduate Studies. It’s a weekly strategy meeting, where we go over the plans for the week and review our tasks. Our four big issues this week are editing the online version of the Academic Calendar (catalog for my American friends), planning web programming developments, closing accounts after final tuition payments from students, and developing some new transfer credit agreements. We review progress on these things and note any hiccups or roadblocks that need a little extra work to clear. In that meeting, someone mentioned that another department has asked the IT department to set up an invoice for them. Hopefully the IT department said no (it’s one of my office’s responsibilities), but I’ve got it on my list of things to check. Why another department would want to do this is beyond me… (a little head-scratching).

After that meeting was over, I headed back to my office to prep for my second meeting of the day. I met with the Transfer Credit Coordinator, to brief her on some innovations we are making to transfer credit. We had fewer students transfer to TWU this fall, so we researched why and are developing a response. The response includes how transfer credits will be assessed, new block transfer agreements with 5 feeder schools, and a revised method of communicating to students how their transfer credits were granted and how they can be used towards a degree at TWU. As usual, just as many new ideas were generated as were shared, so I have some more work to do.

The third meeting of the day was with the head of the Advising office, to bring me up to speed on some of his new ideas. It was also a chance for me to propose how he could help with the advising of transfer credit students. As usual, he was all for it. I like that about working at TWU – that’s a common response here.

When I was back in the office, I noticed an email from my boss requesting a meeting to talk about budget and staffing. Gulp. When I initiate these things, it’s usually a good thing. When he initiates them… well… we’ll see.

Lunch was a meeting with a delegation from another college that we are in the beginning stages of creating a block transfer agreement with. There were many issues to discuss, not the least of which is the fact that TWU is a liberal arts university and has  a large core of liberal arts courses that are almost exclusively 100-200 level courses. This makes it difficult for college students to transfer into their third year – many of the core courses still have to be completed. So we worked that through and made plans for further development and wished them well. This is one of the exciting parts of my job – a chance to create something new and helpful for students.

After the lunch meeting, I caught up on my emails again before moving to an afternoon of work. I spent the rest of the day responding to the meetings – tracking data, researching information, putting in writing much of what was decided and tracking next-steps. My final task for the day was to work on Academic Calendar edits, which were divided (admittedly unequally) between the Associate Registrar and I.

I packed up my computer at 4:30 and headed home. Of course, one of the drawbacks of having a laptop or smart phone is that your work is never very far from you, and in between household chores (renovating our kitchen), and helping kids with homework, I checked and responded to emails until about 11:00 pm. I’m teaching an online course right now too, and so I marked a couple of assignments and responded to some of the online forum questions posed by students.

I may or may not have checked Facebook, but then at 11:00 pm I closed the laptop and said, “No more! I’m done!”

A day in the life sure seems mundane when it’s written out like this! Are you SURE you want to be a Registrar after reading this?

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