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University Registrar

Date: August, 2013
Reports to (Job Title): Vice President, Academic & Provost
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles):

Associate Registrar, Records & Systems

Associate Registrar, Admissions

Director, Marketing & Undergraduate Recruitment

Director, Student Awards & Financial Aid

Assistant Registrar, Applied Health Sciences & Mathematics

Assistant Registrar, Arts & Environmental Studies

Assistant Registrar, Engineering & Science

Administrative Officer
Location: Main Campus

USG 19

35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Registrar is the executive officer responsible for the management of the Office of the Registrar. S/he oversees undergraduate student recruitment, marketing and communications, admissions, enrolment, examinations, development and application of academic policies, and convocation. The office facilitates the recruitment and timely admission of highly qualified undergraduate applicants; secure production and maintenance of accurate student records on which the conferral of degrees and the University’s grant claim are based; the administration of provincial student aid and bursaries; the administration of Waterloo’s locally administered financial aid guarantee; the management of merit-based scholarships and awards; financial aid counselling; prudent use of classroom space through the creation of class schedules that support the multi-disciplinary character of the curriculum and the interests of  students; the creation of the examination timetable and the administration of final examinations; the organization and execution of convocation ceremonies; and a central source of information, help and services as they relate to these tasks and responsibilities.  

Key Accountabilities:

1.  Senior Management Oversight

The Registrar is responsible for providing leadership regarding the overall vision and strategy for the Registrar’s Office. S/he must be fully aware of trends within postsecondary education provincially, nationally and internationally and interpret how forces and factors at play influence the University in general and the registrarial function specifically. S/he monitors best practices with respect to registrarial functions and ensures that uWaterloo steadily enhances the services it provides. In his/her capacity as one of Waterloo’s senior department heads, the Registrar  regularly meets and works closely  with other senior managers to determine how cooperation and collaboration can lead to improved service provision.


2.  Enrollment Management

The Registrar, in partnership with the Associate Vice President Academic, co-leads strategic enrollment planning and management.

S/he leads a complex and organized planning effort to connect mission, current state, and changing environment to long-term enrollment and fiscal health, resulting in a concrete, written plan of action.  The Registrar insures that this plan is data-informed and identifies, evaluates, and modifies strategies and enrollment goals in light of internal and external forces that may influence the direction of the university.  


3.  Systems Development and Implementation

The Registrar, in partnership with senior managers in IST, oversees the functional needs analysis within the office, participates in enterprise software selection or local software development decisions and ensures that dedicated and qualified staff  are continuously deployed for functional user analysis, testing, implementation and training. 


4.  Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment The University has ambitious goals for attracting the best quality undergraduate students from Ontario, elsewhere in Canada and other countries. The Registrar provides overall direction to the Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment division, ensuring that marketing and communication plans and strategies are based on sound market research, are supported by the Faculties, the Federated University and the Affiliated Colleges, are adequately funded, and are effectively executed in the continuum from prospect to registered student.


5.  Undergraduate Admissions

Achieving undergraduate enrolment goals is central to the fiscal well-being of the University and the competition for qualified undergraduate students is intense. The Registrar provides leadership and a high level of management, professional and support staff resources to ensure timely processing of applications, reliable input to the analysis and decision-making processes at Faculty and University levels and accurate and effective communications of admissions decisions to applicants.  Because of Waterloo’s prominence, the Registrar is a confident and effective spokesperson on admissions matters and advocates for Waterloo’s interests at the provincial level.



6.  Undergraduate Records

Responsibilities include the effectiveness of policies, systems and procedures which support creation, maintenance, preservation and accurate reporting of student academic and related data.  The Registrar is also responsible for implementing official policies on access to student information and protection of individual privacy in the management of student records.  S/he is accountable for the completeness and accuracy of student records data upon which students’ degree eligibility is based, claims for operating funds are made to government, and internal planning and analysis are based.


7.  Timetabling, Classroom and Examinations Management

The Registrar oversees the effective management of a large classroom inventory, including the creation of class schedules that reflect students’ preferences balanced against Faculty priorities related to the delivery of a multi-disciplinary curriculum with limited resources. Creation of the examination timetable and the administration of final examinations according to University policy is also a key responsibility.


8.  Student Financial Aid and Scholarship Administration

Access to post-secondary education is a high priority for government. The ability to finance a university education is prominent in the minds of parents and students.  Accordingly, the Registrar advises senior management of the University on locally administered financial aid programs and merit scholarship programs. The Registrar is accountable for the effectiveness of the administration of all financial assistance and academic scholarship programs administered on behalf of the University by the Student Awards and Financial Aid Office.  These include programs sponsored by provincial and federal government agencies, the locally managed financial aid guarantee as well as programs sponsored by other public or private agencies.


9.  Ceremonial Functions

The Registrar is responsible for the overall planning and conduct of convocation, the University’s highest profile ongoing public event.  Specific responsibilities include preparation of invitations, programs, arrangements for honorary degree candidates, and protocol for installation of Presidents, Chancellors, and other Officers of the University as required.  The Registrar works directly with honourees, the Chancellor, University President and other senior officials in such matters, and is a resource person on the Senate Honorary Degrees Committee.

Position Requirements


Bachelor’s degree  with post graduate credentials in education or management or administration an asset 



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Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

The Registrar interacts directly with the Chancellor, President, the Vice-President, Academic and Provost, other Vice-Presidents, the Chief Information Officer, the various Associate Provosts, the various Associate Vice-Presidents, the Chair and members of the Board of Governors, the Faculty Deans and Associate Deans, the Secretary of the University, Heads of the Federated University and the Affiliated Colleges, academic department chairs and directors of schools, and other senior administrators and academic support department heads.  The Registrar makes presentations and recommendations to senior committees and councils of the University, such as Executive Council and Deans’ Council in addition to Senate and Faculty Councils and their committees. Externally, the Registrar interacts with counterparts at other universities, senior officers at the Council of Ontario Universities, officials of the Federal Government, Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities, Ontario Ministry of Education and officials from regional and municipal governments. S/he is one of the University’s spokespersons responding effectively and diplomatically on various matters to the press, interest groups and the general public. 

Level of Responsibility:

The Registrar is the senior department head responsible for the management of the Office of the Registrar. These responsibilities include developing and maintaining an organizational structure that reflects the university’s culture and supports its mission; making the case for adequate levels of budget support; effectively managing and controlling  resources allocated to the Office; providing effective administrative support systems; providing  assertive leadership to staff, including enlightened change management; ensuring fair performance evaluation; and providing job-related training and encouragement of staff participation in personal and professional development on an on-going basis.


The Registrar is a member of the Executive Council, an ex-officio voting member of the University Senate, the Senate Undergraduate Council, and a resource person to the Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees.  

Decision-Making Authority:

The Registrar provides input to policy and procedural deliberations and acts decisively to ensure that Government, University and Faculty policies related to student admission, academic progress, and student records and financial aid are fairly and appropriately reflected in administrative systems and procedures supporting processes at University and Faculty levels.  At provincial and university system levels, the Registrar interprets and presents University positions and points of view in deliberations on a broad range of matters relating to the interface between school and university sectors, between universities provincially and nationally, and between university and college sectors. The Registrar is a uWaterloo representative on the Ontario Universities’ Council on Admissions and, given the stature of the University of Waterloo, s/he routinely represents uWaterloo itself or all universities on COU or provincial task forces or working groups. On occasion s/he is invited to chair such groups.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal demands typical of an administrative position within an office environment

Working Environment:

Travel:  Minimal

Working Hours:  Regular working hours, some evening/weekend work required.

Risks  – physical and psychological :

Psychological risks