Six Questions I Ask Before I Sign Something as Registrar

Sign here please.

“Boss! I need your powerful signature.”

In universities, there are a lot of expectations of a Registrar. Earlier today, I was discussing with a colleague the assumption that the Registrar should sign a certificate of participation. He wasn’t so sure the Registrar needed to sign, but others were putting pressure on him. Some people like it when there are clear rules to follow and someone (else) to take responsibility. But in our day-to-day jobs, not everything is that clear and I am not a power-hungry person. How do I decide when the Registrar needs to sign something? I ask these 6 questions:

  1. Is my signature or involvement required by legislation?
  2. Do I have any meaningful involvement in managing the records (collection, storage, releasing, verifying, etc.)?
  3. Can I actually verify the document I’m being asked to sign?
  4. Does my signature or verification provide real value for the student or the institution?
  5. Does my involvement or signature require or create unnecessary administrivia or red tape?
  6. Am I putting anyone (including myself) at risk by signing or not signing?

Usually once I’ve made it through these 6 questions, I know the answer. Would you add or subtract any questions from my list?

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