What is the Registrar For? One Man’s Vision (part 1 of 3)

In the modern era, where kids think if it’s not on the interwebz it doesn’t exist, is the Registrar in danger of disappearing? 

I don’t think so. Not if you’re a true professional keeping up with the times, leading your institution into the future.

Ok, so why bother having a Registrar? Why bother becoming a Registrar?

Here in British Columbia where I work, the University Act requires universities to have a Registrar. So presumably the government and the court believes it is important to have a Registrar. My own personal vision for the Registrar profession is three-fold. One side is focused on leadership, one side is focused on service, and one side is focused on administration.


What’s the difference between a good leader and a good administrator? Vision!

A good leader keeps his/her eyes peeled for what’s going on in the world, paying attention to trends, events, watching out for needs, problems, and possibilities. Leaders look for influence and how to leverage it in their favour, and they look within and outside of their normal sphere of work.

How do I do this?

I make sure I’m involved in the world of academia. I pay attention to academic matters such as research trends, faculty concerns, hare-brained ideas like MOOCs, and all the kinds of education that are out there. I attend faculty conferences, teach classes, and participate in student life wherever possible.

I make sure I’m involved in my profession. I pay my membership dues to registrarial organizations like WARUCC, ARUCC, BCRA and others. But I also pay my dues in other ways. I attend conferences, I volunteer for committees, I participate in professional organizations, I make my voice heard. I research ,write, collaborate and act as a leader to create a better present and future. I make friends with colleagues, government officials and others because I like them and I want them to like me and because we are this together. I do this on behalf of my institution but, just as importantly, I do this for myself and my profession. I believe that if I’m working on professionally developing myself, only then will I have the influence I hope for.

Thirdly, I make sure I’m involved in my own organization. I listen (a lot). I listen to official communication, but just as importantly, I try to listen for the unspoken. I make sure other leaders in my organization know that I’m listening – that I’m aware and on top of what’s going on. I want them to know that I care and that I am leading with the right things in mind. I collaborate, invite, participate – much like I do in the outside professional organizations, only I make sure to do this inside my organization too.

But mostly I listen.

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 to see why it’s important to focus on service and administration.


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