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Date of Award

Winter 1983


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Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Master of Public Administration


The evolution of the collegiate registrar was traced to the twelfth century. The position of registrar evolved as colleges and universities, in their development from simple institutions to complex organizations, required new areas of administration. Most institutions had managed, with a part-time registrar. But with the enlargement of functions and scope, registrar support service responsibility became a full-time occupation. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to review the evolution of the registrar's roles, to identify basic functions assigned to the registrar, and to seek opinions and perceptions of registrars regarding their participation in the planning and policymaking processes. Another objective of the study was to correlate the level of registrars' participation in planning and policymaking with student enrollment size as well as registrars' educational level and length of occupational service. Because of the multiplicity and diversity of registrar responsibilities spanning the collegiate institutions's academic and non-academic subdivisions, it was suggested that the registrar occupies a boundary role as well as serves as an activist broker. Therefore, the registrar is the boundary role, par excellence, in higher education. One of the most important findings of this study was that there was no significant correlation between student enrollment size as well as registrars' education level or length of occupation service with participation in institutional planning and policymaking processes. Another very important discovery encountered in this study was that the registrars consider their positions as on the boundary between academics and administrators. While the above discoveries were of considerable interest, and from a theoretical perspective, quite suggestive, one of the most important findings of this study involved the mobility of registrars from within institutions where they are registrar. When we consider that a large number of registrars not only previously worked in the registrar's office but also were graduates of the institutions where they were registrars, it is not at all surprising to find that they are subject to multiple sources of frustration because they feel underutilized in planning and policymaking. Even in the role of data manager there is evidence that registrars feel underutilized in the policymaking arena. Finally, in view of the significance of the multiple roles, i. e., boundary, activist broker, data manager, it was suggested that investigative studies should be undertaken to enhance the registrar's utilization in policymaking.