RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION
Under the direction of the registrar, the assistant registrar collaborates on a variety of responsibilities in the registrar’s office and is responsible for two key areas: 1) serving as the liaison between Cornell Law School and its two nonresidential programs: the online master of science in legal studies (MSLS) program and the master of laws in law, technology, and entrepreneurship (LLM Tech) program at Cornell Tech, and 2) coordinating and maintaining all course and class records functions for the residential law school degree programs via the university’s PeopleSoft Student System and related registrar systems. The assistant registrar supervises the office’s administrative staff and represents the registrar in their absence.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with 2-4 years of relevant experience in an academic setting or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Successful candidates will be proficient with student records systems and have extensive knowledge of FERPA regulations. Candidates must be capable of meeting deadlines, maintaining confidentiality, and working independently in a high-pressure work environment. The position demands superb interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills. Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, database management, and PeopleSoft or other similar student information systems is required. Candidates must have experience supporting diversity, equity, access, inclusion, and well-being. They must demonstrate an ability to cultivate and develop inclusive and equitable working relationships with students, faculty, staff, and community members. Preferred qualifications include more than four years of experience in an academic setting; familiarity with law students and faculty; experience working with the Cornell University registrar system; and practice working in a high-activity office.
Successful candidates will be:
- Technologically literate. The assistant registrar must have expert data management and student record systems knowledge. They must be capable of working with the new law school registrar, instructional technology (IT) staff, law school faculty and staff, and the university registrar’s office to develop best practices for data management, with the eventual goal of integrating the law school’s system with Cornell University’s version of PeopleSoft.
- Successful problem-solvers capable of collaborating with the law school and across the university.
- Customer-service oriented.
HISTORY OF THE POSITION
This position is currently vacant. In consultation with an AACRAO consultant and the Cornell University registrar, the job description has been restructured to clarify roles and responsibilities. A search for a new Cornell Law School registrar is underway, and the successful candidate will play a role in this assistant registrar search process.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE
This position offers tremendous professional development and growth opportunities, as the assistant registrar will join a community of registrar professionals across the university. Other Cornell professional schools have found solutions to address the scheduling and student record integration challenges for online and Cornell Tech programs. There are formal opportunities for professional development and informal networks of support for collaborative problem-solving.
The assistant registrar will join the new registrar to help rebuild an understaffed office that has been without long-term permanent leadership since 2020. The critical role of the law school registrar’s office was largely taken for granted until the vacancy revealed the school’s dependence on the registrar for student registration services, faculty support for course, room, and exam scheduling, and university compliance reporting needs. All three areas have suffered, causing low morale among the registrar staff and a lack of confidence in the office from students, faculty, and staff.
The new assistant registrar must have a high level of skill in all registrar functions and the ability to improve services, scheduling, and reporting for two Cornell Law School programs: the online master of science in legal studies (MSLS) program and the master of laws in law, technology, and entrepreneurship (LLM Tech) program at Cornell Tech. These programs have posed significant challenges because of the different scheduling and student record systems being used.
In recent years, the lack of consistent and strong leadership in the law school registrar’s office has created a situation where the staff lacks clear roles and responsibilities and remains reactive. Adding the assistant registrar and a new registrar will ease staffing needs but will make clarifying roles and responsibilities for each staff member a top priority. The assistant registrar will need to support the incoming registrar with assessing staff position descriptions and skill levels, training staff, and setting clear expectations for service while finding ways to improve efficiency and accuracy in registrar practices.
Law schools have unique needs—especially around American Bar Association (ABA) reporting, exam scheduling, and administration—so there is a strong preference for an assistant registrar with law school experience. At the same time, compliance reporting and other needs demand someone with PeopleSoft and a strong understanding of general university student records systems. The assistant registrar must have experience and skills that complement and reinforce those of the registrar to ensure that these needs are met.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
After a reasonable interval, the success of the new assistant registrar will be measured by the following criteria. The assistant registrar will have:
- Addressed immediate scheduling and student record problems for Cornell Law Schools’ nonresidential programs and collaboratively created a plan for longer-term solutions.
- Worked with the new registrar and office to restore confidence in the registrar’s office and its services, especially by improving communications and quickening response time to student, faculty, and staff requests.
- Assisted the registrar in improving office staff morale and creating professional development and cross-training opportunities.
- Improved data transfer issues from the law school’s systems to the university’s PeopleSoft system.
OVERVIEW OF THE OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR
The registrar’s office works to provide the best service to students and to provide this service and valuable information in a timely and efficient manner. The office interacts with many aspects of the Cornell Law School community. The registrar provides overall leadership in student enrollment, grades, registration, records, course management, room scheduling, and data reporting in alignment with college and university policies and serves as the primary contact for matters relating to student information and courses.
In addition, the Cornell Law School registrar’s office will be accountable to and partner with the Cornell University registrar on issues related to compliance with university-wide policies and state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to students’ academic records.
CORNELL LAW SCHOOL OVERVIEW
Founded in 1887, Cornell Law School is a top-tier law school, currently ranked 12th by U.S. News & World Report. Cornell Law offers a JD program, a one-year LLM program for international students, a one-year master of laws (LLM) in law, technology, and entrepreneurship degree at the Cornell Tech campus in New York City, an online MSLS program, and a doctoral (JSD) program. Cornell Law School’s nationally ranked faculty includes 41 tenured and tenure-track faculty and 15 clinical professors in the legal research and writing program and in clinics at the local, national, and international levels. The law school supports its students’ success through its unique combination of inspiring theoretical, doctrinal, and experiential teaching with cutting-edge scholarship in a supportive, intellectually rich community.
THE STUDENT BODY
Total JD enrollment: 609
- Entering JD students: 211
- Men: 54 percent
- Women: 46 percent
- Number of states represented: 33
- Number of countries represented: 10
Total General LLM Enrollment: 132
Total JSD Enrollment: 9
Students to faculty ratio: 5 to 1
As a university founded to be a place where “…any person can find instruction in any study,” diversity and inclusion are at the core of Cornell University’s values and mission. Cornell strives to be a welcoming, caring, healthy, and equitable community where students, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn, innovate, and work in an environment of respect and feel empowered to engage in any community conversation. Cornell Law School is among the nation’s most inclusive top law schools and has been since its founding. Its multidisciplinary approach to legal education and the dynamic campus community make for an environment where all students have the tools to excel.
Jens David Ohlin, Dean, Cornell Law School
Jens Ohlin became the Allan R. Tessler dean on July 1, 2021. He previously served as interim dean (January-June 2021), vice dean (2017-2020), associate dean for academic affairs (2015-2017), and director of faculty research (2013-2015).
His scholarly work stands at the intersection of four related fields: criminal law, criminal procedure, public international law, and the laws of war. Trained as a lawyer and a philosopher, his research has tackled questions as diverse as criminal conspiracy and the punishment of collective criminal action, the philosophical foundations of international law, and the role of new technologies in warfare, including cyberwar, remotely piloted drones, and autonomous weapons.
Dean Ohlin’s latest research project involves foreign election interference and the use of disinformation as a mode of statecraft by foreign actors. In a series of books and essays, he has explored how democratic states can marshal international and domestic legal tools to combat this new form of cyber interference.
Dean Ohlin is also a dedicated teacher and the sole author of three casebooks in three different fields: international law, criminal law, and criminal procedure. He is also co-editor, with Claire Finkelstein, of the Oxford Series in Ethics, National Security, and the Rule of Law, a steering-board member of an international working group researching secondary liability for international crimes, and a Council on Foreign Relations member.
Rhonda K. Kitch, University Registrar, Cornell University
Rhonda Kitch is the university registrar. She has served students in higher education for over two decades, ranging from experiences in residence life, financial aid, retention and student success efforts, admission, a career and advising resource center, and registration and records for more than 16 years. Kitch has been an active member of the Upper Midwest ACRAO and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), presenting and serving in various roles in both organizations. She currently serves as president of the AACRAO board of directors.
Cornell takes pride in offering generous benefits to support and enhance health, wealth, and wellness. For information on the benefits offered at Cornell, see here.
Review of applications will begin June 12, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Sharon Meagher at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email email@example.com.
The public salary range is $75,000 – $85,000. Exceptional candidates may qualify for additional compensation, including a signing bonus and relocation assistance.
Visit the Cornell Law School website at https://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/.
Diversity and inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. Cornell is a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities. Cornell also recognizes a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations.
Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. Cornell strongly encourages individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.