The Position

ROLE OF THE REGISTRAR

Reporting to the senior vice president and provost, the registrar is responsible for leading the Office of the Registrar in the planning and management of services related to student records, registration, enrollment, course scheduling, curriculum management, and degree evaluation. The registrar is also responsible for the integrity of student information data, reporting and analyzing data, and coordinating system development with various department leads. This position establishes policies, procedures, and systems that ensure the integrity of academic records, while simultaneously providing the SVP/Provost with operational and strategic thinking on ways to positively influence student success.

Additional duties and responsibilities include:

  • Oversee the maintenance and production of student educational records (transcripts, grades, immunizations, enrollment and degree verifications, transfer credit evaluation, etc.) and the establishment of policies, procedures, and systems that ensure the integrity of paper and electronic records.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders in Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, Information Technology, and Student Affairs in operationalizing new policies, processes, and systems in response to the institution’s changing needs.
  • Work closely with the director of Columbia Central, Columbia’s one-stop enrollment center, to ensure continuity of high-quality student-facing registrar services.
  • Work closely with various departments to oversee and streamline all student registration processes and related communications.
  • Oversee end-of-term processes related to student records such as grading, satisfactory academic progress, mandatory attendance reporting, the posting of degrees, and the processing of diplomas and transcripts.
  • The Office of the Registrar is responsible for institutional compliance and reporting with the National Student Clearinghouse.
  • In conjunction with the chief information officer, maintain a functional, accurate, and flexible Student Information System (SIS), and oversee the maintenance of all electronic student records.
  • Maintain official curricular records and support curricular review and revision initiatives.
  • Oversee the preparation and distribution of the academic calendar and oversee the development and online production of the schedule of classes and college catalog; analyze data to ensure optimum room utilization; and collect data to assist the college with course forecasting and enrollment management.
  • Oversee the development of all degree requirements in the degree audit system and ensure timely and accurate degree auditing of all graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Oversee the college’s compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Supervise the registrar’s staff, and facilitate the establishment of policies, procedures, and systems that support the timely resolution of student and faculty questions, complaints, and concerns.
  • Serve on college-wide committees representing Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management.

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

The successful candidate must have a master’s degree and significant documented experience in a senior management position leading a records/registration area at a college or university or an equivalent combination of academic preparation and substantive records/registration experience. This position must have demonstrated success with supervisory skills and the ability to establish a culture of confidentiality, discretion, and credibility in the Registrar’ Office; it also requires strong organizational skills, close attention to detail, and the capacity to apply existing institutional policies and procedures to different situations consistently and fairly. A successful candidate must also have the ability to balance competing priorities while meeting deadlines, and strong oral and written communication skills, along with strong interpersonal skills, a diplomatic temperament, and an ability to interact with students, parents and guardians, faculty, and staff to solve problems and resolve disputes. Further, the new registrar will have previous experience working with or implementing SIS software and other information technology; advanced knowledge of federal laws and regulations regarding the maintenance of student records (FERPA, HIPAA, Patriot Act, Solomon Agreement, Voter Registration, and working knowledge of IPEDS reporting requirements); working knowledge of higher-education student information systems, as well as degree-audit and scheduling software (preferred knowledge of Jenzabar CX/JX, CourseDog, Curriculog, Acalog, and uAchieve); and advanced knowledge of established student records management policies, practices, and procedures.

In addition to the stated qualifications for the registrar, the stakeholders at Columbia College Chicago indicated the following characteristics and attributes when considering the position of executive director (in no particular order):

  • A willingness to lead the conversations with campus partners to enhance processes, policies, and procedures to create efficiencies.
  • An excellent project manager adept at supporting and managing change and willing to improve existing operations and practices.
  • The ability to understand how issues relate between the various departments and the capacity to see the big picture to implement effective change.
  • A credible, supportive, and approachable supervisor with knowledge of the responsibilities of each staff member’s position, respect for their work and contributions, and proficiency at advocating for the programs and other needs of staff and students.
  • A compassionate, accessible, transparent, ethical leader with excellent communication skills to articulate a vision, direction, and purpose and earn the respect and confidence of the faculty, staff, and students.
  • Embrace innovation and creativity and be willing to try new services and approaches to meet the needs of the students most effectively.
  • Strategic, future thinker and collaborator committed to advancing student success within the entire campus community.
  • Possess a genuine passion for working with students, empathy for the student experience, and a strong service focus.
  • Demonstrate collegiality, enthusiasm, enjoyment of the work, integrity, and high professional standards.
  • Possess a solid innovative and entrepreneurial mindset.
  • A strong problem solver who can combine steps in the processes to enhance the flow and customer service, particularly to students.
  • The ability to manage, motivate, empower, and retain a diverse staff and to foster a positive, supportive, open, and collaborative work environment.
  • Extremely technologically proficient and preferably familiar with the current registrar-related software systems.
  • Exceptionally capable of working with data – retrieving, analyzing, and making data-informed decisions based on thorough assessments.
  • The ability to manage multiple priorities in a dynamic environment.
  • Demonstrated success introducing best practices and trends into the work of a registrar’s office.

HISTORY OF THE POSITION

The former registrar served Columbia College Chicago (Columbia) for seven years and recently left to pursue another opportunity. This registrar was the first for Columbia and, along with an excellent team, created what is now a high-functioning registrar’s office. This is a fantastic opportunity for the new registrar to continue to build upon the foundational work the office has already accomplished and move the office forward.

An interim registrar currently leads the office while the institution conducts a national search.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE

  • This is an outstanding opportunity for the successful candidate to put their professional mark on the program and build it to a higher level, as there is tremendous support for the registrar and the programs and services of this office.
  • Columbia has outgrown its current Student Information System. This new registrar will have the opportunity to research and implement a new system that will transform the work of the office and college.
  • The new registrar will need time to get to know and establish positive relationships with the entire team, including their roles, talents, and contributions to the organization and its success.
  • Columbia has recently changed to a new scheduling model. This registrar will have the opportunity to continue to assess and improve upon the model, providing more efficient services to the schools and students.
  • The staff in the office are knowledgeable, passionate, and eager to see positive changes in the office’s work.
  • There will be substantial support for the new registrar from senior leadership and the Columbia community; however, the new registrar will need to get up to speed quickly and be proactive in learning and understanding the university’s goals and priorities to be impactful in this role.
  • The current registration model needs to be streamlined to provide both ease and efficiency for the students while also creating more awareness of the process.
  • The new registrar must identify and advance technology solutions that support student success and reflect industry best practices in records and registration.
  • The new registrar will find solid, professional colleagues to work with and collaborate alongside.

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

  • The registrar demonstrates transparency and provides strategic vision, leadership, and accountability while setting a positive office culture.
  • The registrar is a visible and engaged leader and colleague throughout campus and has established collaborative working relationships with all internal and external stakeholders.
  • The registrar will have assessed the skills and knowledge of the staff and developed a strong sense of teamwork among staff.
  • The office is moving to provide year-long scheduling as well as the ability to maintain wait lists for courses.
  • The new scheduling model is entirely in place and running smoothly.
  • Service provided by the office meets or exceeds the campus community’s needs.
  • The new registrar has provided stability to the office with increased staff morale and job satisfaction.
  • Students are satisfied with the services of the office, and graduation rates have increased.
  • The registrar continues evaluating departmental resources to determine the support necessary to deliver essential records and registration services.
  • The registrar’s office will be defined as a strong, highly functioning, well-regarded, and resilient team that works with synergy and shares purpose, readily collaborating across departmental lines with a demonstrated commitment to supporting students from enrollment through graduation.

Institution & Location

OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR OVERVIEW

The Office of the Registrar serves the academic community by delivering enrollment, curricular, and records services with integrity, efficiency, and accuracy.

Organizational Chart for the Office of the Registrar

Organizational Chart for Academic Affairs

DIVISIONAL LEADERSHIP

Marcella David – Senior Vice President and Provost

Marcella David is senior vice president and provost and professor in the Business and Entrepreneurship Department at Columbia College Chicago. In her role as senior vice president and provost, David serves as the college’s chief academic officer and provides leadership for all academic planning and review; program development at the undergraduate and graduate levels; allocation of financial resources by educational priorities; intellectual diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; advancement of faculty scholarship, research, and creative work; global education; online learning; and student retention and persistence initiatives.

INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW

Located in the heart of downtown Chicago’s Cultural Mile, Columbia College Chicago is a private, nonprofit college offering a distinctive curriculum that blends creative and media arts, liberal arts, and business for nearly 7,000 students in more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Dedicated to academic excellence and long-term career success, Columbia College Chicago creates a dynamic, challenging, and collaborative space for students who see the world through a creative lens. Columbia is an urban institution whose students reflect contemporary America’s economic, racial, cultural, and educational diversity. Columbia conducts education in close relationship to a vital urban reality and serves an essential civic purpose by active engagement in the life and culture of the city of Chicago.

Institutional mission, purpose, and strategic plan

Mission, Purpose, and History
Strategic Planning

DIVERSITY STATEMENT

Columbia is dedicated to increasing diversity in its workforce, student body, and educational programs. Achieving continued academic excellence and creating a vibrant university community require nothing less.

THE STUDENT BODY

Total Enrollment: 6,769
Undergraduate: 6,542
Graduate: 227
Retention Rate: 71%

Male: 41%
Female: 59%

White: 48&
African American: 15%
Asian: 4%
Hispanic: 23%
Two or More Races: 5%
Race Unknown: 2%
Non-Resident: 3%

INSTITUTIONAL LEADERSHIP

Kwang-Wu Kim, President

Kwang-Wu Kim, DMA, has been the president and chief executive officer of Columbia College Chicago since July 1, 2013. A native Chicagoan with over thirty years of experience as a performer, teacher, and administrator, he is an outspoken advocate of the value of creative practice as a mode of learning, understanding, and creating new knowledge. During his tenure as president, he has, among other initiatives, overseen a comprehensive revision of the college’s curriculum; an expansion of the college’s student advising, counseling, and career development services; and the construction of a new $55 million student center.

Benefits Overview

To learn about the full benefits offered at Columbia College Chicago, please visit https://about.colum.edu/human-resources/benefits/index.

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin October 19, 2022, 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 Heather J. Larabee at hjl@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email info@spelmanjohnson.com.

 Visit the Columbia College Chicago website at https://www.colum.edu

 Columbia College Chicago complies with all local, state, and federal laws and regulation concerning civil rights. Admission and practices of the college are free of any discrimination based on age, race, color, creed, sex, religion, handicap, disability, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by law.

RELATED LINKS

About Columbia College

https://www.colum.edu/

About Chicago, IL

https://www.chicago.gov/city/en.html