The Modern Registrar: Reflections from the Field

Insights on how the role, focus and responsibility of the modern registrar are evolving.
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AACRAO is pleased to announce the release of its most recent white paper, The Modern Registrar: Reflections from the Field.

Earlier this year, AACRAO received an offer of research sponsorship and partnership from Modern Campus to focus on the role of the modern registrar. In June 2022, AACRAO deployed a 60-Second Survey asking members to provide their opinion on what the role of “a modern registrar” should be on their campus. This survey was open to all members of the AACRAO community, and we received 922 responses. Over 250 respondents volunteered to be part of a roundtable discussion on the role of the modern registrar. Nine volunteers from various institutional types, who currently serve in various administrative leadership roles, participated in a 75-minute roundtable discussion in July, 2022. 

Participants were asked about the definition of student centricity, the costs of—and responsibility for—not being student-centric, the role of the registrar in policy enforcement and the impact of technology on serving the needs of learners. The intention behind the questions we asked was not to gather responses to each question from each participant but rather to spark discussion around the general topics. We also sought to learn how these topics shape the role of the modern registrar from the perspective of registrars and their colleagues. 

This paper shares some of the key findings from the June Survey, then highlights insights and analysis from the roundtable participants on how the role, focus and responsibility of the modern registrar is evolving. Themes in their collective responses included, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Placing the student at the center of decision-making around policy, practice and the use
  • of technology
  • Being aware of the use of profession-specific terminology
  • Understanding the registrar’s role as an educator
  • Using of empathy to understand a student’s perspectives
  • Leveraging data to inform student-centric policy and practice
  • Highlighting understanding that there is no “one-size-fits-all” student experience in higher education




This research has been made possible in part by sponsorship from Modern Campus
Blue background with white text saying Modern Campus: Engagement Evolved

Related Content

Webinar - Role of the Modern Registrar: Helping Institutions Transform How the Modern Registrar is Delivering on the Promise of Student-Centricity - Wednesday October 26, 1:00 pm ET | Register Here

Unless otherwise noted in a specific report, the AACRAO member institution size, type and control categories are based on the following definitions and sources: 
The enrollment value used to delineate the institution's size category is defined as full-time enrollment plus 1/3 of part-time enrollment and is based on the enrollment reported by the institution to the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). 
Institution type and control values are also defined by and verified through NCES criteria.