PACRAO Review October 2017 Edition

Volume 8 • Number 1 • October 2017

Download the entire issue: PACRAO Review October 2017

Leadership & Management Styles

-Arturo Torres, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Over the course of centuries much has been written and discussed regarding what makes a great leader. Many books have been written and many studies conducted. Look up the word “leader” or “leadership” and very simple meanings of the words can be found. As many can attest, leadership is not an easy skill to master. In my experience leaders can only be effective through development of their leadership skills and an understanding of what true leadership is.

What is life like after retirement?

-Christine Kerlin, AACRAO

When asked what life is like after retirement, my response could take several hours. I won’t do that to you, but I will offer some brief comments.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

-Soraira Urquiza, Los Angeles College of Music

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“A college or university registrar!!”
-Said no one, ever.

Let’s face it: when people who are not in higher education ask what you do for a living and you respond with “I’m a registrar,” you probably then receive a polite smile and nod that clearly states, “I have no idea what that is, but it sounds important.” There is not a major in “registrar studies,” and most often people do not know we exist until after they graduate or there is some academic disciplinary action (not the ideal way to get to know the registrar!).

Creating FERPA Training That is Fun, Educational, Responsive, Participatory, Assessable

-Barry K. Allred, Jearlene Leishman, and Brian Chantry; Brigham Young University

While not all training programs need to look the same, the approach makes a difference in the learning process. This article discusses how Brigham Young University sought to increase FERPA-compliance and awareness by leveraging key principles.

Leadership & Management Styles


Over the course of centuries much has been written and discussed regarding what makes a great leader. Many books have been written and many studies conducted. Look up the word “leader” or “leadership” and very simple meanings of the words can be found. As many can attest, leadership is not an easy skill to master. In my experience leaders can only be effective through development of their leadership skills and an understanding of what true leadership is. Being a leader is more than instructing people what to do and how to do it. Leadership is about building relationships, making connections, collaboration/partnerships, motivating and mentoring. Take a minute and think about your past and current leaders: What kind of leader are they? It has been my experience that good leaders know that although they are the “leader” the “one in charge,” it is the staff/team that will contribute significantly in understanding problems, finding practical solutions and successful implementations. As instructed in texts such as Organizational Behavior by Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn (2007) leaders set the goals, foster an environment of innovative solutions along with collaboration and teamwork within their organization. Here is something to ponder as written by Sergiovanni, Thomas J (2007) Rethinking Leadership, A Collection of Articles: A leader in your organization which you personally admire because of their ability to handle people but you do not agree with the person’s goals. If you compare to a lender whom you do not like but whose ideas make a great deal of sense, which one of the two leaders would you be more willing to follow? Goal setting, planning, commitment and implementation are key factors to effective leadership. Elements found in effective leadership systems in any organization are leaders, followers, ideas and action (Sergiovanni, Thomas J 2007).

Management styles are another critical theory that must be understood and fine-tuned depending on factors such as office culture and employees capabilities (Klingner, Nalbandian 2003). In many situations of change, I have found from experience that an effective strategy to deploy is an authoritative management style with the expectation that it moves to a coaching and mentoring management style. Establishing clear objectives for all subordinates, setting obtainable goals, providing motivation for staff members to achieve their objectives and goals, and holding those accountable for their successes and shortcomings are key factors to a successful implementation and ongoing practice of authoritative management.

A good boss is strong, decisive, and firm but fair. He is protective, generous and indulgent to loyal subordinates (Handy, 1985).

In many case studies highlighted in Organizational Communication, Approaches and Processes, (Miller 2009), employee’s job satisfaction can depend upon the management style of their leader. An effective leader should select an appropriate management style that will coincide with the university culture and employee readiness to advance. Authoritative management is an opportunity to provide long term vision and direction to your subordinates. Additionally, clarifying with your staff the overarching mission of your department or university and identifying how their contributions add to the mission can be invaluable and motivating for staff to hear and understand. For authoritative management to be effective the leader must set standards, give direction, have the ability to persuade and provide feedback on task and work performance.

Managing change to ensure success requires use of a wide range of strategies, as I have found during my long customer service management career. Strategies can include winning staff support by allowing bottom up advice on appropriate decision making and reporting structures and ongoing managing and feedback of technology and monitoring its effectiveness within your department. Additionally, show appreciation to your staff by including some sort of reward system and/or monthly activities for engagement and team building. Ideas for these can range from staff retreats to having fun on a game day, or a contest for a paid lunch outside the office. These are just a few ideas that can help support a positive and effective workplace atmosphere.

Having a plan and setting clear attainable goals, getting your team engaged and involved will make many challenges more attainable. Identify your areas of responsibility and clearly define staff roles and desired outcomes. How can your responsibilities help the mission of your department or university? Utilize the strengths of your team. Get to know your staff and their capabilities and overall desires. Start to involve your staff in decisions and keep them informed of larger campus initiatives. Goals are important, but they don’t need to be groundbreaking. Be clear about what you want to do and why you want to do it. Understand that employees look to you for guidance and strength. Lead by example. A busy leader must also bolster enthusiasm and a positive work environment. A leader looks for opportunities to motivate and mentor staff (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn 2007).

You must identify what you hope to achieve within the organization. Are you looking at managing positions and therefore managing people’s day to day activities, or are you focused on achieving the organization’s mission? Provide guidance but let your staff take ownership of their processes. Let them be involved and responsible in identifying new ideas or solutions. Ultimately, you need to have your employees focus on the overarching mission of your organization. You must look at your employees as assets and not as positions to manage (Klingner & Nalbandian 2003).

It is becoming common practice to hear terms such as “managing teams” as opposed to terms such as “micromanaging” or dividing duties and responsibilities to individuals. Leaders set the tone for high expectations. Leaders create enthusiasm within their unit and department as a whole, and they establish credibility by successfully executing a set of directives that should be planned and implemented effectively and with optimal timing. The manager’s focus should be on the group as well as the member. Interpersonal skills now become critical in team management (Sergiovanni, 2007).

Studies have shown that shortages in competencies and/or technical skills in employees will result in continuous training needs in organizations. Current demographics of the workforce, along with an increase demand for professional and technical skills, suggest major gaps in employee skill sets (Sergiovanni, 2007). The American Society for Training and Development has reported that the average American company is spending more per employee and providing more internal trainings than ever before. Training, as a whole, must be a part of the department or university strategic planning. Cross training within your department has now become more important than ever before. This provides opportunities for new perspectives and review of established processes to see improvements are possible with or without the use of new technology.

Meet with your staff on a regular basis, as a group, and individually, to discuss office standards, protocol, daily expectations, reporting structure, to set up future team meetings, and to explain the need for cross training within the department. Establish an office mission statement, discuss ongoing expectations, and set up weekly or biweekly 1:1s with staff. Work with your team to create process flowcharts and an understanding of your processes. Find areas of overlap or opportunities to improve processes. Create a production calendar with staff to include all major projects, goals and/or deadlines and activities. Review current policy and procedures with staff to ensure consistency and understanding across your department. Understand what relationships need to be established or fostered throughout the campus community, specifically for your areas of responsibility. Establish individual goals for yourself and staff, add reasons why goals will be useful, include specific actions that will be taken to help achieve the goals, and include a date of goal completion. Follow up with staff on goal setting and expectations on a regular basis.

Accept it or not, everything you do as a manager contributes to other’s perception of you as a professional. Strive to make these perceptions positive. I have learned that while it is important to be collegial with subordinates, you are ultimately the boss and should not engage in unnecessary activities or engage in gossip with your staff. I also learned the importance of communicating your frustrations and disappointments directly with your staff, colleagues, and superiors, rather than searching for a way to avoid the conversation or conflict.

When given the opportunity to be a great leader you will lead your unit with the experience and lessons you have learned at the forefront of your mind. In addition, you should rely on the other members of your leadership team for guidance and mentorship on how to be an effective leader. One lesson I have always practiced throughout my professional career is this: Don’t be afraid to try and to make a mistake, but never make the same mistake twice.

Handy, Charles B (1985). Understanding Organizations: Penguin

Sergiovanni, Thomas (2007). Rethinking Leadership, A Collection Of Articles: CA Crown Press

Klingner, Donald & Nalbandian, John (2003). Public Personnel Management, Context and Strategies. New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Miller, Katherine (2009). Organizational Communication, Approaches and Processes: Wadsworth Cengage Learning

Schermerhorn, John, Hunt, James, Osborn, Richard (2007). Organizational Behavior: John Wiley & Sons, Inc


Arturo Torres, MA, UNLV Assistant Registrar. With over 12 years of experience in the Registrar and Admission offices in higher education, Arturo brings administrative and operational experience and a positive “Can Do” attitude that drives innovation, solutions and morale. Arturo received his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, Law Enforcement from Nevada State College in 2013 and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Non Profit Management from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2015. Combining his work experience along with his expertise in public administration, Arturo aims to continually move student support on college and university campuses to be more innovative, efficient and community centered (virtual/physical). Arturo has grown, learned and has had effective, innovative, and interesting ideas at PACRAO which has help him create and implement successful strategic plans.


PACRAO Review October 2016 Edition

Volume 7 • Number 1 • October 2016

Download the entire issue: PACRAO Review October 2016

Developing Effective Leadership:  the Power of Connection

-Becky Bitter, Washington State University

“Only connect.”  That’s the quote that was on my calendar a few months ago.  While I don’t know what E.M. Forster had in mind when he penned this, it struck me as a compelling statement about leadership.  Seemingly simple, yet incredibly powerful, the ability to connect is present in every good leader I have ever known.  With it comes not only the ability to transform what we do and how well we do it, but also the ability to transform the very environment in which we work.

The Groningen Declaration Today

-Stephen Arod Sherriffs, Stanford University

The Groningen Declaration, signed in the Netherlands on April 16, 2012, was created by an international group of higher education institutions in light of “the need to establish a more complete and far-reaching delivery of digital student data.” The Declaration states that “digital student data portability and digital student data depositories are becoming increasingly concrete and relevant realities, and in the years to come, they will contribute decisively to the free movement of students and skilled workers on a global scale.”

In this article, I want to bring PACRAO readers up to date on the current status and the primary efforts underway. Much of this is based on a conversation, held on August 10, 2016, with Stanford University Registrar Tom Black, who has been involved since the outset.

The Youngest Person in the Room

-James Miller, University of Washington Bothell

A successful leader of the admissions office, office of the registrar, or the enrollment team is usually a master of many arts: equal parts sociologist, counselor, coach, organizational wizard, motivation mastermind, business process analyst, and technologist. It should come as no surprise then that to do really well in a leadership role in an enrollment management office, one has to muster talent, continuing education, hard work, and a good deal of experience. In a perfect world, every leader under the enrollment management umbrella would have ideal mixes of all of these skills. In addition, each leader would have had plenty of “experiential runway” to sharpen skills and perspectives and the opportunity to make critical mistakes that enable learning and growth through paradigm shifts before being asked to make critical decisions for an organization.

The focus of this article will be those leaders who ascend to significant leadership roles before “their time,” when their age is below, sometimes well below, the average age of their colleagues in like positions at like institutions. The young leaders in question will consistently be in meetings in which they are expected to be key contributors but are amongst the youngest folks around the table. They will supervise teams whose average member is sometimes significantly older than they are.

The Youngest Person in the Room



A successful leader of the admissions office, office of the registrar, or the enrollment team is usually a master of many arts: equal parts sociologist, counselor, coach, organizational wizard, motivation mastermind, business process analyst, and technologist. It should come as no surprise then that to do really well in a leadership role in an enrollment management office, one has to muster talent, continuing education, hard work, and a good deal of experience. In a perfect world, every leader under the enrollment management umbrella would have ideal mixes of all of these skills. In addition, each leader would have had plenty of “experiential runway” to sharpen skills and perspectives and the opportunity to make critical mistakes that enable learning and growth through paradigm shifts before being asked to make critical decisions for an organization.

Of course, as we all know, the ideal alluded to above is rarely achieved. In our higher education universe, leaders are very rarely brought up intentionally to be leaders. Few chief enrollment officers, directors of admissions, and registrars can point back to a linear progression in which they, in collaboration with their mentors, chose a sensible pathway to department or divisional leadership. In this context, a leader who has had plenty of on-the-ground professional experience already faces an uphill challenge in managing our very complex work.

The focus of this brief article will be those leaders who ascend to significant leadership roles[1] before “their time,” when their age is below, sometimes well below, the average age of their colleagues in like positions at like institutions. The young leaders in question will consistently be in meetings in which they are expected to be key contributors but are amongst the youngest folks around the table. They will supervise teams whose average member is sometimes significantly older than they are.

Why This Matters

This topic matters for two major reasons.  First, every institution will at some point need to promote a young leader into a significant leadership position. This promotion could be because of staff turnover, budgetary concerns that limit recruitment for a leadership position, or an appraisal of that young leader’s abilities that indicate the young leader is “ready for primetime.” Second, the U.S. workforce is aging. Members of the workforce that comprise the Baby Boomer and early Gen X generations are either quickly nearing retirement or are much closer to retirement than mid-career. In fact, a fulsome 43% of the workforce is over the age of 45 (“Demographics (CPS),” 2016). In higher education, the situation is even more dramatic.

The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) reports that 55% of individuals in the registrar profession have 20 or more years of experience in higher education (AACRAO, 2015). Napkin math indicates that the percentage of folks in enrollment management over 45-plus years of age could be as much as 10% higher than the general workforce. Over the coming years, retirements from the profession will lead to young leaders being increasingly called upon to serve their institutions as key decision makers.

The need to prepare to accelerate young leaders through the traditional learning curve will be pressing as the expected retirement boom takes hold in the coming years. It’s important that leaders of organizations ask themselves what pathways exist for young leaders to fast track through the growth process. It is also important for young leaders and those who are new in the profession with aspirations for leadership to start the process, empowered by their supervisors, of developing their leadership toolkits so that our organizations are prepared to move the next wave of do-it-all super humans into leadership roles.

A Framework for (Re) Thinking about Young Leaders

History is filled with examples of young leaders who have made a tremendous difference in their work and causes. John F. Kennedy was only 42 when elected President of the United States, nearly 13 years younger than the average elected age of presidents throughout history (O’Brien, 2005). George Washington Carver revolutionized agriculture in the United States. He became the first African American Professor at Iowa State University at 34 and was the head of the Tuskegee Institute’s Department of Agriculture by age 36 (Hersey, 2011). Mark Zuckerberg was only 20 when he launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room; by age 23, he had earned his first billion (Kirkpatrick, 2011).

These are just a few famous examples to support the idea that a much-younger-than-average leader can be more than a stopgap or a backup plan. Young leaders in your organization can bring about new ways of thinking, provide a much needed creative spark for a team that lacks inspiration, and provide motivation for other early-career professionals on your team who may be working toward a larger role within your organization.

Understanding how we should think about young leaders starts by reframing the premise that experience is always useful. In order to explore this idea, let’s explore two widely understood and accepted factors that can help us predict whether someone will be successful in a particular role. The first factor is experience. Experience in this example is inclusive of time spent in related work, demonstrated excellence in particular areas of performance, and educational background. The second factor is aptitude. Aptitude is literally defined as a natural ability to do something. In our model let’s think of aptitude as potential for excellence in a variety of skillsets related to the work we anticipate a role fulfilling.

It is generally true in work and in life, if not axiomatic, that:

high aptitude for a type of work + lots of experience = high potential to succeed in role.

A great example of the experience plus aptitude model is Malcolm Gladwell’s oft cited ten-thousand-hour rule. Truly elite or phenomenal[2] performers start with a high aptitude for a particular skill or skillset and then find ways to build upon that skillset. When the two come together at around ten thousand hours of practice, we generally find that the truly elite emerge (Gladwell, 2008). With the accepted wisdom that lots of talent and lots of practice combine for the best of all possible worlds, let’s take apart the mythology of experience. It’s not axiomatic that experience guarantees by itself the ability to be successful. In the case of our young leaders, they will all fail the experience test when examined under strict scrutiny of years on the job.

The question becomes:  what other demonstrative points can be used to identify those who may be a bit short on the experience side but may have significant potential for success in leadership roles? Can you identify young leaders who have demonstrated high-level work, excellent communication skills, the beginnings of expertise, and a high degree of accountability and then substitute those qualities for the pure experience that would normally be desired in a candidate for a leadership role?

Developing Young Leaders

When a youngest person in the room has been identified within your organization and assigned to carry out a leadership role, a plan must be put in place to help that leader grow in three major areas which we will explore with more detail in a moment. The plan for developing your young leaders needs to touch three major areas.

Coaching and Mentorship

Who will serve as a coach for this young leader? Every organization has explicit and implicit rules for its leaders; someone must be responsible for explaining those rules to the young leader. Who will help the young leader figure out her leadership identity? A leader must develop a personal style that reflects the values of your organization for everything from how to run a staff meeting to the way priorities and accountabilities are organized within a team construct.

On-the-Job Training

As your young leader takes the reins for the first time, someone or a group of someones must be made accountable to train the young leader on the work for which he will be responsible and how that work fits into the big picture. Assuming that your young leader hasn’t had organic, on-the-job training from a previous role, this is information that will either be learned through intentional training or through repeated mistakes as the leader stumbles about the organization trying to figure out what is going on.

Affirmation and Challenge

Every person who is asked to take on a new role in your organization, but particularly your younger leaders, must hear two messages from the department head or division head. First, “You were hired into this role because  .  . . .”  An intentional affirmation of what qualities you think the young leader brings to bear is essential to helping that person further develop what you think is great about what she does.  Second, “The items I need you to develop, in order for you to be successful in this role, are . . . .” It is crucial to send a clear signal to your young leader that he needs to develop in particular areas and that you expect that development with support from you and other mentors from the team.

The most important thing to understand is that when you have hired someone who will have a steeper learning curve than someone who has had years of on-the-job learning, you must structure the learning environment to accelerate the paradigm shift. It simply is not enough to reward a talented person with a promotion and a raise. If time and effort are not invested in helping that person learn, the risk is high that the results of the person’s performance will be below your expectations. With that in mind, let’s move on to the three major areas in which a youngest person in the room will need to develop and grow in order to thrive.

The Three Qualities a Young Leader Must Develop


Magnanimity can be generally described as a sense of generosity, forgiveness, altruism, and unselfishness. In addition to those characteristics, there is another lens that is worth considering that comes from outside higher education. This lens is derived from the work of a Jesuit priest named Dean Brackley.

After entering the priesthood, Father Dean Brackley, S.J. taught at Fordham University and served as a community organizer in the South Bronx. In 1989, in the heat of the civil war in El Salvador, six Jesuit priests were assassinated at the University of Central America[3] through what turned out to be coordinated action by the Salvadorian military in collusion with the government in power. Following that event, Father Brackley put his name forward as a replacement for those fallen priests.

Amongst many other accomplishments, Brackley (2004) developed a concept of magnanimity that is relevant for any professional. Simply put, magnanimity involves the following attributes.

  1. A willingness to shed false humility. If you have gifts to share, ideas to put forward, or contributions you know you can make, you are obligated to find a way to share yourself with the organization in which you work. Holding back your gifts because it’s the “humble” thing to do is in fact a selfish act.
  2. To be a generous colleague, you must be able to acknowledge and appreciate your gifts and the gifts of those with whom you work.
  3. Finally, and most important, resentment and grudges will derail your personal and professional equilibrium severely.

It seems that there is a good deal of wisdom in simply stating that leadership and magnanimity should be dependent variables. Help young leaders see that their contributions must be shared lest they hold the organization back, that appreciation of their gifts and the gifts of others is critical, and that their world cannot be driven by political gaming based upon resentments and grudges. Additionally, encouraging  young leaders to see that their ultimate role is to serve those that they lead (Lencioni, 2010) will help center the principles of leadership where they need to be centered.


Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based upon a leader’s passion for a particular long-term goal or objective, coupled with the drive and motivation to achieve that goal or objective. In higher education, we’re familiar with the idea of grit as a student attribute that potentially predicts future success. Duckworth’s (2016) ongoing work on this topic is notable.

In short, grit is tricky because we’re born with a certain degree of grit or lack thereof. However, the idea of resiliency, toughness and determination as a suite of career success attributes can be honed and coached. Coaching in this area is necessary. Every leader could share a chapter’s worth of stories in which mettle was tested by an outside influence and required the ability to respond fairly but in a way that put a clear line in the sand. These moments and a leader’s reaction to them are what will define a leader, more than anything else perhaps, as a leader who can be trusted to do what is right.

Whether it is responding to criticism, standing up for a team member who has been wronged in some way, or making tough decisions, grit is necessary in leadership.

Leadership Identity

While leadership identity is the last and perhaps hardest quality to quantify, helping a young leader develop a leadership identity is perhaps the key to unlocking the rest of the puzzle. The difficulty in this arena is that examples are rare in higher education in which leaders have been walked through the process of developing a leadership identity.

The following questions can be asked to aid this process.

  1. What type of leader(s) do you want to emulate? Why? What leadership practices do those leaders embody that you admire?
  2. What kind of communication style do you respond to best? How can you adapt your style for a variety of other styles on your team? What are systems of communication that you can put in place to ensure information keeps flowing?
  3. What individuals can serve as off-campus mentors for you? Who can you call when you need to vent and get advice without compromising the internal dynamic?

Youngest people in the room must not be left in the lurch when it comes to developing a leadership identity. When failure is not an option for your organization, you must invest the time and resources needed to help young leaders build the foundation on which all leadership work will exist.


If you are a senior leader, make room for youngest people in the room in your organization. Perhaps you already have them contributing on your team. In either case, it is vital for you to consider the ways in which you serve (or do not serve) those young leaders with their overall development in mind. If you are an aspiring youngest person in the room or are already a young leader, take stock of yourself and how you might empower yourself to seek the skills and leadership attributes necessary to become the leader you need to be.


[1] For the purposes of this article, I am defining “significant leadership roles” as roles that encapsulate both the leadership of people and responsibility for a portfolio of duties that are critical for institutional functioning and/or strategic goals.

[2] It is worth noting, and germane to the topic at hand, that the ten-thousand-hour rule is one of the most often misrepresented assertions in modern business psychology. Gladwell was not asserting that you need ten thousand hours of practice under your belt to be good at something. He was stating that you need ten thousand hours to be a phenom, to be truly exceptional. The bar for good is somewhere well south of ten thousand hours.

[3] If you are not familiar, it’s well worth it to read the history of El Salvador and its decades-long civil war. El Salvador’s situation provides a historical toolset for understanding foreign policy and its intended and unintended consequences. Joan Didion’s work, Salvador, is particularly recommended.



  • Brackley, D. (2004). The call to discernment in troubled times: New perspectives on the Transformative \ wisdom of Ignatius of Loyola. New York, NY, United States: Crossroad Publishing Co ,U.S.
  • Demographics (CPS). (2016, September 9). Retrieved September 16, 2016, from
  • Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit: The power of passion and perseverance. United Kingdom: Vermilion.
  • Gladwell, M. (2006). Tipping point, the: How little things can make a big difference. Boston, MA: Back Bay Books/Little, Brown and Co.
  • Hersey, M. D. (2011). My work is that of conservation. ; an environmental biography of George Washington carver. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
  • Kirkpatrick, D. (2010). The Facebook effect: The inside story of the company that is connecting the world. New York: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group.
  • Lencioni, P. M. (2002). The five dysfunctions of a team: A leadership fable. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.,U.S.
  • O’Brien, M. (2005). John F. Kennedy: A biography. New York, NY: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press.
  • Retrieved August 24, 2016, from


UW Bothell Directior of Admissions James MillerJames Miller, BA is the director of admissions at the University of Washington Bothell (UWB). James has worked in admissions for over 10 years. In addition to working at UWB, James has worked in the admissions offices at Oregon State University, University of San Francisco, and University of Puget Sound. His career has spanned every area of the admissions office: campus visits as a student, data and operations, recruitment, and marketing. In particular, James has focused on providing access to higher education through process innovation and improvement, recruitment strategies that work to leverage both revenue-enhancing and mission-based results at a local and national level. In addition to his work in higher education, James has served the profession through a variety of professional organizations; currently he serves as President-Elect of PACRAO.



PACRAO Review June 2016 Edition

antique pen 2Volume 6 • Number 1 • June 2016

Download the entire issue: PACRAO Review June 2016

Developing a Conference Session:  19 Nifty Steps to Turn an Idea into an Outrageously Excellent Presentation

-Sue Eveland, University of Oregon

Everyone always says that a good way to begin to get involved with PACRAO is to present a session at a conference. It’s a short-term, low-stakes, low-time contribution that does not involve travel to meetings or homework assignments or a multi-year commitment. You’re only in the spotlight for an hour or so, and then you can step back and pat yourself on the back for contributing something of yourself to your colleagues and to your organization. Sounds easy! So how do you get started? And what’s the point, anyway?

Nontraditional Credit within Higher Education

-Nathan Cicchillo, University of Phoenix

The assessment of nontraditional credit has existed for decades, in one form or another, in higher education.  However, it has only been within the past few years that the topic of nontraditional credit has begun to gain momentum within the industry.  While some institutions may have assessed nontraditional credit for years and have a mature assessment process, other institutions may just now be investigating the potential to help students by using nontraditional credit assessment.  With additional focus placed on the acceleration of degree completion timeframes, and a reduction of educational expenses for students, it is understandable that students and institutions are now investigating nontraditional credit alternatives to meet those needs.  This article was based on the presentation, Perspectives on PLA and Nontraditional Credit, created by Marc Booker, Associate Provost, University of Phoenix.

Developing Professional Excellence in the Registrar’s Office

-Michael Santarosa, University of Utah

Given our role as higher education leaders, the professional development of our staff is often high on our priority list. We want our staff to continue growing and developing their skills and knowledge.  We want them to enjoy work and thrive in their positions.  And given resource-constraints we often need them doing more with less.  Yet, despite these ambitions, many registrars are at a loss when considering how to move forward.  Two of the major obstacles we run into involve determining what we really ought to do to advance our staff’s professional development and finding the time and resources to do it.  At the University of Utah we recently embarked on a year-long journey in the pursuit of professional excellence that may serve as a model for how you might implement something similar on your campuses.

Traits to Emulate:  A Tribute to Tom Watts

-Rebecca Mathern, Oregon State University

Tom Watts worked at Oregon State for more than 15 years and had long served as the Associate Registrar. During that time Tom oversaw many different units within the office but focused on compliance areas such as graduation, athletics eligibility and veteran certifications. Tom also has extensive experience supporting the scheduling team on campus and led the transition to zone scheduling, created a structure to offer group midterms and final exams, and also served as the Interim University Registrar during a transitional period in 2012. His commitment and support to OSU and the profession was second to none.  These comments reflect statements made at a retirement reception for Tom in April 2016.

Developing Training to Better Serve Undocumented Students, Our University’s Most Vulnerable Populations

-Christina Joy Kim, University of California, Irvine

In 2015 the University of California, Irvine admitted the university’s first undocumented student to the School of Medicine. UC Irvine’s decision to expand its admission pool–along with the advent of state laws AB130 and AB131 (California Dream Acts) in 2013 and the introduction of the federal DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) immigration policy in 2012–has expanded higher educational opportunities for undocumented student populations statewide. Unfortunately, expanded opportunities do not necessarily translate into expanded graduation rates. Faced with a presidential campaign hostile to undocumented persons, as well as multiple state governments challenging the legality of DACA, undocumented students at our universities must not only navigate academic hurdles but also overcome emotional and legal obstacles. Student affairs officers have a responsibility to upgrade their service models to accommodate underrepresented communities.  A recommended starting point for upgraded service is the development and implementation of robust undocumented student training programs.