Search for new registrar begins

by Jay Krehbiel | 11/20/98 6:00am

The College released yesterday the names of the committee searching for a registrar to replace Thomas Bickel, whose four-year term as registrar ends July 1.

Bickel served three terms as registrar, but decided not to serve a fourth term so he could return to teaching mathematics full time.

The committee will be chaired by Biology Professor Roger Sloboda and includes Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Karl Furstenberg, Dean of First-Year Students Peter Goldsmith, Computing Services Project Manager Phillip Hobbie, Associate Executive Officer in the Dean of the Faculty Office Kate Soule and Biology Professor Samuel Velez.

In addition to the faculty and administrators, several students will sit on the committee. The Student Assembly will recommend several candidates, who will be interviewed, Sloboda said, then he will choose two or three.

The search for the new registrar is breaking with tradition at Bickel's suggestion, Berger said. The past three registrars had been found after internal searches which looked only at college faculty members, Berger said.

This does not indicate that qualified applicants do not exist at the College, Berger said, but at Bickel's suggestion the committee is broadening the horizons, hoping to find the best fitting candidate.

The registrar is responsible for maintaining all academic records, placing students in courses and sections of courses, advising them about major and other degree requirements, handling transcript requests and scheduling classes and examinations.

In addition to carrying out the standard duties of registrar, the committee hopes the new registrar will have previous experience at that type of job -- often but not always, that experience comes from the math or science fields, Sloboda said.

The committee held its first meeting Thursday morning, set goals and dates for the search, and planned on advertising nationwide for the position. An advertisement will likely go out in the January issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Sloboda said.

Bickel, who spent 12 years as registrar, specializes in abstract algebra and has taught at least one class per year while he held the position, including one last spring.

As registrar, Bickel oversaw the changeover to a computerized course selection proces, helped create the online ORC and established the online degree audit.

After Bickel served 12 years on the job, a new person will bring fresh ideas to the job, Bickel said. "It is good to have a new face every once and a while."

Faculty members who take administrative positions at the College serve four year terms.

Bickel accepted the position 12 years ago from then Dean of the Faculty C. Dwight Lahr.

After his first and second terms expired, Bickel asked to have his term renewed, both times successfully. And the College was more than happy to keep Bickel on, Berger said.

"Tom has been a superlative registrar," Berger said. "He has been the prime mover for the Banner project [Information System] ... and has been knowledgeable and hard working."

The College would have gladly appointed Bickel to fourth term, Berger said, but Bickel decided it was time to return to being a full-time teaching faculty member.