7 ways for registrars to participate in curriculum management

May 31, 2016
  • AACRAO Connect
  • Academic Policy

The role of the registrar varies from institution to institution, particularly with regards to curriculum management. The parameters of the role are dictated, at least in part, by the institution's characteristics, culture, and shared governance model.

According to Rebecca Mathern, University Registrar at Oregon State University, shared governance models include:

Fully collaborative decision making. Most common among small institutions with a cultural value of consensus building. Collegial, cooperative decision-making.

Distributed decision making. Most common at four-year public institutions. Responsibilities are clearly delineated. Registrar’s authority depends on expertise.

Consultative decision making. Possibly more common among community colleges. Authority remains with president, who consults educational advisory board. Registrar may have too much responsibility for curriculum management.

Blended models. A combination of the above systems.

“The shared governance model at each institution will help determine the committee membership and involvement of the registrar in curriculum management,” writes Mathern.

For example, registrars may serve as a voting or nonvoting (ex-officio) committee member, as faculty senate or senate committee staffing support, with structured faculty senate interaction or involvement, or with broad or limited faculty senate committee involvement.

Strategies for building relationships

Registrars have unique views of curriculum management and can contribute to the conversation in many ways—but first, they must build relationships with faculty and other stakeholders.

In the 2016 guide Curriculum Management and the Role of the Registrar, Mathern and Julia Pomerenk, University Registrar, Washington State University, note there are seven relatively easy ways for registrars to contribute to the curricular change process:

  1. Invite themselves to the table.
  2. Act and be seen as resources.
  3. Increase innovation.
  4. Help steer clear of unintended consequences.
  5. Avoid saying ‘no.’
  6. Say ‘yes.’
  7. Help make change happen.

Curriculum Management and the Role of the Registrar explores these and other critical issues, including:

  • How to build relationships with stakeholders.
  • Accreditation and assessment considerations.
  • Curriculum standards and management process.
  • Technology.
  • Competency-based environments.
  • Considerations for graduate and professional programs.

Registrars are crucial to reasoned and nimble curriculum management at the undergraduate and graduate levels. To improve the registrar’s role in curriculum management on your campus, read the introduction and buy the book today.

Additional authors include Jason Brown, Pima Community College; Heather A. Chermak, University of Idaho; Darin R. Hobbs, Western Governors University; Reid Kisling, Western Seminary; David Leasure, Western Governors University; Kurt Linberg, Western Governors University; and Robert Morley, University of Southern California.

Viewed the archived webinar on the topic.