Being Homeless: Or, Not Having a Functional Area

I am the Registrar Registration Administrator at the Boston University School of Social Work. Sounds like a fairly impressive title, right?

As those of us in Student Affairs know, titles are sometimes not totally indicative of what we actually do. Mine is actually fairly accurate to be honest. Where I find myself lacking in some way is that I often feel homeless when interacting with other #SAchat people. The functional areas which are closest are Academic Advising and Enrollment Management, but I’m at best on the fringes of most conversations as they tend to focus on literal advising and admissions respectively. I’ve also seen the Registrar’s office under Academic Affairs, which brings a whole new set of prejudices and confusions on both sides of the Student Affairs/Academic Affairs coin (and I believe we ARE both parts of the same coin, but that’s not really part of this post–I’m saving that for another time). To make this post more relevant, I’m assuming that Registrar is within Student Affairs as that is my training and how I view my current position*.

In a nutshell, I take care of everything from the day a student pays his/her deposit: on-board incoming students; track academic progress/success; plan semester schedules with the departments, then help the students plan their programs around that; grad review and tracking; maintaining student records; and updating/implementing policies/procedures to make things run more smoothly for students and the school. Honestly, I generally like what I do, and it’s well-suited to many of my skills and preferences.  It makes me wonder where the other registration-type people are; I’m the only one I know outside of my counterparts here at BU; it’s kind of lonely. Maybe there’s a #SAReg hashtag and I’m missing it (just checked–nope)? Does #EMchat or #AcAdv talk about reg issues when I’m not looking?


We talk a LOT within Student Affairs about functional area, but where can one make a home for herself when she doesn’t quite fit in? How does one reconcile a preference for one functional area with a  job in another one?



*For the record, I learned as I wrote this that CAS lists “Registrar Programs and Services” as a functional area for which they have developed standards, so we are considered a “thing”.  And then we have  American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, which leads me to believe that professionally at least, Registrars count themselves within Enrollment Management.