The office of the University Registrar and other departments are being consolidated to form a new entity called the Student Data and Compliance Office, which officials said will streamline student support practices and use technology to report and synthesize student data.
Several employees in the registrar’s office were told that their positions were being eliminated as a result of the changes, and registrar Paul Simmons was dismissed. The Student Data and Compliance Office will be located in the current Registrar’s Office. The university named Karen Julian as the director of student data and registrar on Thursday.
“The goal of this organization is to centralize those locations to provide a service area for data and analytics,” said Jenn Haas, interim student data and compliance officer.
The unit will report to Haas, and later to Ed Clark, vice president for Information Technology Services.
This spring, Richard Plumb, executive vice president and provost, assembled a task force to look at services provided by Institutional Effectiveness, Graduate Enrollment, Enrollment Operations and the Registrar’s Office, all of which enter, manage, store and report student data.
After researching how other universities handle student information, the group pitched a plan to university leadership on May 1 to combine the group’s functions into a single unit. The plan was approved.
In an email to university faculty and staff, Plumb said the goal is to have the structure staffed and operational by July 1.
Twenty-two staff members will work in the unit, and eight positions have already been filled, Haas said, adding that “while other positions like systems analysts, communications analysts and report writers have been posted on the university’s website.”
Haas said the registrar’s office will function throughout the summer, but she expects all positions to be filled by mid-July.
In addition to Simmons, reorganization of the new unit came with elimination of other positions in departments across the university. Three members of the Registrar Office confirmed that their positions had been eliminated in emails to university staff. They said the change would be effective Aug. 31.
“My responsibilities have been restructured into the new Registrar’s/Enrollment Office and my current position eliminated,” said Chiara Babcock, Catalog & Department Systems Specialist II in an email.
Employees whose positions were eliminated can apply for positions in the newly reorganized unit.
Simmons declined to comment.
Clark could not be reached.
Julian has previously held positions at the university in Financial Aid, Undergraduate Admissions and as Executive Director for Enrollment Operations.
The office will focus on registration processes, FERPA and degree verifications and transfers, among the previous functions of Registrar’s Office.
However, staff members who focus on analytics and research relating to the student body — such as enrollment, admissions, financial aid and retention data — are located on the third floor of Aquinas Hall where Kristine Baker is the director of student data, analytics, and reporting.
Haas said that the service students found in the Registrar’s Office will be maintained. but technology will make some processes more efficient.
“The nature of a registrar has changed,” Haas said.
She views the The Student Data and Compliance Office as a form of a higher education the university wants to provide to its students.
“A registrar has to have a deep understanding of these tools and functions and how they would best serve the university, looking at all of the student processes that utilize all of those tools,” Haas said.
Emily Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article has been edited to correct editing mistakes and word choices.