From guiding academic policies to ensuring data integrity, the 42 employees who staff the Registrar’s Office play a critical role at Northeastern. “We want the Northeastern community to think of the Registrar’s Office as the enablers of all they wish to achieve,” explained Rebecca Hunter, Associate Vice President and University Registrar.
With the influx of students and advent of new technologies, Hunter and her team have seized the opportunity to evolve their operational model from a task-driven focus to a service-driven operation. “We asked ourselves how we can make our operations more nimble and agile,” said Hunter. “In addition to functioning seamlessly, the new model is designed to anticipate future needs by focusing on core operations, essential services, and strategic optimizations.”
Currently structured in six areas, the new operational model streamlines the Registrar’s Office into three areas of focus: Operations, Network and Student Services, and Solution Delivery and Strategic Reporting. To ensure day-to-day operations continue to run smoothly, Hunter and her team will launch the three verticals and associated services simultaneously.
Hunter explains, “Operations is primarily responsible for the core tasks central to any registrar’s office: maintaining the student academic records, registration, degree progress and conferral, classroom assignments, course schedule preparation, and the development of the academic catalog and calendar—keeping the train running, operationally, so to speak. Network and student services will launch focusing on the student-facing registrar services, such as transcripts, degree verifications, enrollment certifications, as well as triaging and resolving service issues. The next phase of implementation will include services for faculty and staff, such as training and support for faculty submitting grades and advisor approved transactions. And last, the solution delivery and strategic reporting vertical will focus on proactive services and solutions, like using and enhancing our system capabilities, handling implementations, and triaging technology-related system issues as the liaison unit with IT. Reimagining the registration process from the student’s viewpoint is one early idea—transitioning the registration process from a “first-to-sign-up” model to a multi-factor, algorithmically managed ranked-choice approach.”
||New Structure Structure
Reorienting the Registrar’s Office team from executing tasks to delivering integrated services also empowers professional development. Within the new structure, there will be more opportunities for knowledge-sharing, cross-department collaboration, and career advancement.
“Our team has done a tremendous job managing the complexity of 13 campuses and a rapidly growing student and staff population,” said Hunter.
Leading a Collaborative Effort
“Our goal is to deliver a more tailored experience for all,” explained Hunter. “That’s why we’re also welcoming feedback from the university community—so we can continue to evolve.” Supporting this commitment to continuous innovation, the proposed plan includes several ways for the Registrar’s Office to gain user insights including:
- Opportunities for users to share feedback online
- Digital analytics to track online service efficiency and effectiveness
- An advisory group comprised of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to sharing proactive insights
The Registrar’s Office is dedicated to delivering this seamless digital journey that spans academic programs, campus locations, and system platforms. With that, Hunter and her team are eager to receive student, faculty, and staff feedback, iterate services, and work toward a state of perfection. “Which we should never achieve,” she said with a smile.
|Getting to Know the Registrar’s Office