A Double-Dog Dare

People often wonder how I can be a registrar for so many years and not get bored. I get asked that question all the time (right after the “And what is a registrar?” question). I hope that accountants and librarians get asked that question too, because I can’t think of a more boring job than these… (sorry if you are an accountant or a librarian, yawn).

The trick is to keep learning and find new challenges. One challenge that I’ve recently taken on is learning from feedback. Sometimes I think I know how people feel about how the Registrar’s Office is serving them, but every now and then I get a surprise. This year, I have set a goal to gain as much feedback as possible to learn how we are being perceived and to improve our services. We have created a survey that gives each student that we serve an opportunity to tell us how we did as we served them. I am gathering this information, graphing it, and determining how we should respond.

Some responses are not very helpful because people seem to think the survey gives them a place to vent about how smelly their dorm mates are or how much it costs to go to university. Others, though, are more valuable perhaps because they are timely or they give us ideas (yes, why not put that on our website?). Still others help us understand people’s emotions as they have to deal with sometime difficult and challenging issues. Knowing this can help us be more understanding and caring as we serve them.

Do you know how you are doing according to those you serve? How do you know this? Is it because you’ve been a registrar for 20 years? Don’t assume that something hasn’t changed in those years. There are cheap methods of finding out, but they are risky and you do have to put yourself out there.

I know. I know. I used the “R-word” and registrars are typically risk-averse people – just like accountants and librarians. Maybe it’s time to challenge that old stereotype. Go for it. I dare you.


<evil grin>



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