Registrars: 2020 superheroes

November 13, 2020
  • Competencies
  • Records and Academic Services
  • SEM Conference
illustration of black woman in professional clothes and superhero cape

by Kimberly McNair, EdD, Director of College Access and Enrollment,  Montgomery College

At the 2020 SEM Conference held in October,  Helen Garrett,  University Registrar,  University of Washington;  Andrea Coker-Anderson,  Registrar, U niversity of Washington Tacoma; and  Pamela Lundquist,  Registrar,  University of Washington Bothell, described their experiences and efforts "BC-19" (before COVID-19) and since going remote to continue serving the college community.

In their presentation, "Registrars: Higher Education's New 2020 Super Heroes" they categorized their experiences according “registrar roles” and aligned the roles with AACRAOs core competencies and professional proficiencies for records & academic services. Although the session was framed through the lens of the registrar, these roles can serve as reminders for all enrollment professionals, particularly those interested in growing in their current position or moving to a new one. 

Six major session takeaways are listed below:

1. Be intentionally visible. Serve on committees and take time to connect with people and become know. Build awareness of your unit, your skills, and your contributions

2. Understand the importance of technical & data skills. In the technical realm, appreciate the importance of 3rd party applications and systems, and remember “the power of getting online instead of getting inline” to improve service for your stakeholders. Regarding data: although it can be intimidating, you don’t need to be an expert. Understand how to use data and information to guide decision making and to tell the story of the work you and your unit are doing

3. Remain conscious of compliance. Don’t forget to integrate compliance into your unit operations, as appropriate

4. Proactively identify problems. Try to find better and more efficient ways to move students to completion; proactively think about not just problems that need to be solved, but also potential solutions

5. Lead, manage and develop staff. Although this may be more difficult while we remote, engaged with staff and help curate their careers; be create with supports to help make sure they’re thriving, and when they aren’t

6. Be visionary. Stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of higher education and other industries; peer into the future to see what you can start researching and preparing for to better serve stakeholders