April 25, 2019

Registrar expands services to faculty, staff

A student talks with Jaci Gustafson in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's Explore Center. The University Registrar is adjusting services to further support student success. The changes include expanding services to faculty and staff.
Craig Chandler | University Communication

Craig Chandler | University Communication
A student talks with Jaci Gustafson in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's Explore Center. The University Registrar is adjusting services to further support student success. The changes include expanding services to faculty and staff.

The Office of the University Registrar at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is transforming the way it supports student success — and it all starts with increasing service to faculty and staff.

Under the direction of Steven Booton, the registrar office develops tools and programs to manage the university’s enrollment and records. When Booton stepped into his role as university registrar, he knew the office could do more to support students.

Booton’s plan centers on eliminating barriers that impede enrollment and limit student success. In addition to advancing customer service and technology for students, Booton knew the registrar needed to increase the support they provide to faculty and staff by creating better tools and resources to manage course planning, curriculum and enrollment.

“The faculty and staff are one of our most important assets in the mission to serve students. Our success as a university is directly related to the relationships professors, advisors and staff members form with the students they advise,” Booton said. “By engaging the campus community, we have the opportunity to positively impact the retention of our students because faculty will be able to focus on meaningful one-on-one conversations with their students as they plan for their future.”

To continue to serve faculty and staff needs and exceed student expectations, the registrar is implementing systems designed to provide relevant, real-time, data-driven information to faculty, staff and students.

These new systems will provide campus with better course planning, curriculum and enrollment management tools and support. In addition to adding new resources, Booton knew that the registrar’s structure had to be reorganized in order help his staff succeed at providing proactive enrollment management support.

“By reorganizing and aligning our services, we can foster and environment of collaboration and knowledge sharing within those teams,” Booton said. “As the campus becomes more reliant on data and technology, this new structure will allow the team to work together to form strategies and solutions to meet demands.”

Booton’s reorganizationof the bursar office is supported by Amber Williams, assistant vice chancellor for academic services and enrollment management.

The registrar’s office has added two new roles as part of the reorganization — an enrollment services coordinator and a curriculum and class scheduling coordinator. Both positions are dedicated solely to faculty and staff.

Sue Jensen, the new curriculum and class scheduling coordinator, will provide academic departments support in analyzing course offering. Jensen will also work with academic departments to identify opportunities for adjustments in class size, rooms, number of sections or other factors to accommodate student demand.

Jensen will organize campus workshops for faculty and staff to learn more about the tools and resources available.

Upcoming workshops will focus on how to use electronic tools to build class schedules; how to cross-list classes; and how departments can work together to avoid offering classes that overlap and can prevent students from enrolling in courses required for degree plans.

Currently, faculty and staff who have access to the class schedule building software will receive an email when a new workshop is scheduled. Faculty and staff who don’t have access to the software can watch for summer and fall workshops online.

Departments and colleges working on curriculum or building class schedules can reach out to sue.jensen@unl.edu with questions or schedule one-on-one trainings.

Qian Ning (Alice) Fam, the new enrollment services coordinator, will analyze student plan data and coordinate with the advising community when data finds there will not be enough seats for the number of students who planned for a class. For courses with available seats, Fam will work one-on-one to help departments and colleges learn about the different ways they can use online tools to promote an even class-section distribution.

Departments interested in scheduling a training or advisers and staff working with students to resolve enrollment issues, should send email to alice.fam@unl.edu.

“At Nebraska, our registrar is at the forefront of innovation, to be one of the first universities to evolve the role of faculty and staff in order to advance student success. This reorganization is a model for how a registrar should serve a university,” Williams said. “Our ultimate goal is to make sure our faculty and staff have the data, tools and time they need to advance the academic success of each student and — ultimately — contribute to a higher rate of degree completion.”