The registrar is responsible for admitting eligible students, maintaining
their records and assessing their eligibility for graduation. The registrar
may also supervise others who perform these administrative duties.
"Duties vary considerably from one institution to another," says Ann Montgomery,
a university registrar. "Some registrars look after recruitment, publications
such as the calendar, ceremonies such as graduation. Where there is a registrar,
normally it is a fairly senior administrative position with a number of staff
Registrars work at both public and private schools, including universities,
colleges, institutes and other educational institutions.
Technology has certainly changed the inner workings of universities. In
many cases you can now register online, and some universities are providing
students with security cards that open doors and even dispense goodies from
But while universities may have gone high-tech, the job descriptions seldom
call for specific educational training.
For example, William Haid worked in data processing at the university where
he was obtaining his degree. He asked the registrar if he would provide a
reference, who instead suggested he apply for a job as an assistant registrar.
"It was a good match," says Haid, who is now a registrar.
Registrars work standard office hours. There are few special physical requirements
for this job. It is one that could be done by a physically challenged person,
with the right support.
A registrar must be able to cope with tense situations. Few people are
more uptight than students in their final year who discover their grade point
average is just shy of the requirements for grad school. And make sure you
have a solid, up-to-date computer background.
"It doesn't really matter what your background is as long as you are willing
to learn on the job, be detail-oriented and understand what a computer can
do," says Bruce Shutt, who has been a registrar for nearly 40 years.