Cornell University seeks an experienced, committed, and collaborative professional to serve as the next University Registrar and Director of Student Academic Records.

About the University 

CornellCornell University is an innovative Ivy League university with a land-grant mission, a world-class research institution known for the breadth and rigor of its curricula, and an academy dedicated to preparing young people to be well-educated and well-rounded citizens of the world. Cornell embraces traditional liberal arts education, practical applications of knowledge, and interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to research and teaching.

Cornell’s inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff imparts an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contributes creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement. Such ideals are woven into the very fiber of Cornell’s history, and have solidified the institution as a vanguard for academic excellence at the nexus of equality and opportunity.

Today, Cornell University consists of fifteen schools and colleges. Among the Ithaca campus, the Weill Cornell Medicine campuses in New York City and Qatar, and the new Cornell Tech campus in New York City, the university enrolls nearly 15,000 undergraduates and over 8,000 graduate and professional school students. With more than 1,000 student organizations, there is a community for every interest. There are also 37 Division I athletic teams, dozens of intramural, outdoor education, and recreation programs; 60 recognized fraternities and sororities; 28 affiliated faith communities; and thousands of outreach and volunteer opportunities. Students also have the opportunity to study abroad in over 87 countries, preparing them for life in a global community. 

Position Description and Responsibilities

Reporting to the Vice Provost for Enrollment, the University Registrar and Director of Student Academic Records provides strategic leadership and direction for all aspects of the university’s student academic record-keeping systems and oversees the Office of the University Registrar (OUR). The Director is responsible for the strategic and comprehensive operations and management of the university’s student academic record-keeping and ensuring timely and efficient delivery of services, overseeing quality controls, and promoting effective management of student academic records. Using exceptional leadership and supervisory skills, the University Registrar leads the office in its strategic direction as well as its complex and detailed day-to-day operations. The University Registrar must have an in-depth understanding of student records administration, and knowledge of current records, registration, and enrollment policies, Veteran’s Benefits, Title IV compliance and other regulations, both state and federal, laws and trends as well as an indepth understanding of student information systems. The University Registrar must also be familiar with rules and regulations related to accreditation. The University Registrar is the university’s custodian of academic records and is responsible for the development, maintenance, and integrity of those records, ensuring compliance with all laws, university policies, and guidelines. 

cornell 0185 10 198Partnering with Dean of Faculty, the Faculty Senate Educational Policies Committee, and offices across campus including Financial Aid and Student Employment, University Bursar, Office of Compliance for Student Aid Programs, Institutional Research and Planning, University Audit, University Counsel, Information Technology, and Cornell’s schools and colleges, the University Registrar must also lead the development and implementation of strategies and policies that will make certain Cornell is in full compliance with federal and state laws and university policies. In support of these responsibilities, the University Registrar must identify and deliver technology solutions to enhance business processes and procedures; support innovative and evolving teaching pedagogies and programs; and deliver data that support the university’s academic and administrative policies and the delivery of services to students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

In addition to providing direction and supervision for a creative and diverse staff of 20 employees (as well as seasonal and student workers), all school and college registrars for the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses have a dotted-line reporting to the University Registrar with a focus on compliance with university-wide policies, and state and federal laws and regulations as they relate to student’s academic records. The University Registrar leads regular meetings with the college and school registrars and works collaboratively with the Weill Cornell Medical College Registrar.

Major areas of responsibility include:

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  • Serve as the senior registrar within a complex, university registrar community, and serve as the chief academic records deputy to the Vice Provost for Enrollment.
  • Establish and maintain collaborative and effective working relationships with academic and administrative leaders throughout the university.
  • Lead the mission of OUR to create, maintain, and protect the academic records of current and former students with a thorough understanding of university policy and federal, state, and local laws governing release and appropriate use of student information.
  • Proactively direct, lead and shape efforts across all divisions of the university to ensure timely compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements under federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Ensure the university is compliant with rules related to academic program and administration, class start and end dates, reporting to the National Student Clearinghouse, and dates related to leaves of absence and withdrawals.
  • Anticipating broader and deeper responsibilities for relevant (computer and network) systems, including systems that could complement the PeopleSoft core.
  • Provide leadership and strategic oversight for PeopleSoft Student Records and Academic Advisement Tool for Degree Audit.
  • Collaborate with colleges and units on technology and systems that are efficient, secure, compliant, and provide resources for an infrastructure that supports the student experience.
  • Understand and enforce rules and regulations around course credits and contact hours.
  • Responsible for issuance of official transcripts, certification of enrollment and degree, diplomas, and university ID cards.

Position Qualifications

The ideal candidate will demonstrate a record of accomplishment in guiding strategic planning processes, leading a high functioning team, promoting a culture of data driven decision making, collaborating across campus with senior leaders and faculty, and fostering a culturally competent community. 

The successful candidate will also possess:
  • Bachelor’s degree with eight to ten years of progressively responsible experience with academic records and registration, including three to five years in a leadership position, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Strong leadership skills, including the ability to provide leadership for academic records and registration for a complex, decentralized research university environment.
  • Ability to establish and maintain a highly collaborative and effective working relationship with a broad and diverse group of academic and administrative leaders from across the university, including schools and colleges, and central offices.
  • Strong management skills, including the ability to direct and motivate staff responsible for time-sensitive, customer-oriented processes.
  • Ability to plan, communicate, and establish consensus for projects, priorities, and goals spanning 15 registrar offices.
  • Excellent analytical, reasoning, and organizational skills and an affinity toward and with technology.
  • Proven ability to relate effectively to a wide variety of people of diverse backgrounds, including an understanding and respect for cultural, ethnic, and individual differences.
  • Strong commitment to delivering excellent customer service to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other constituents.
  • Extensive understanding of the interrelationships among core student service functions, such as Admissions, Financial Aid, Bursar, and Title IV Compliance.
  • Familiarity with program development and rules/regulations for program development and development of compliant program calendars.
  • Familiarity with Veterans Benefits;
  • Significant experience managing a complex student information system and other systems that support the mission of the Office of the University Registrar.
  • Success in leveraging the power of technology to meet the dynamic needs of an operation.
  • Experience implementing policies and procedures to enforce federal and state laws and university policies governing student records administration including the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Title IV Financial Aid, and Higher Education Authorization (HEA). 
Other preferred qualifications include:
  • Master’s degree;
  • Experience as a College or University Registrar at a comprehensive Research institution;
  • Familiarity with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions; Familiarity with NCAA and Ivy League student-athlete eligibility rules;

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position and a resume electronically to The subject line in the email should be URCU. Confidential inquiries may be made by contacting Megan Spelman by email to or by telephone at 585-366-4329.

For full consideration, all materials should be received by August 19, 2019. The process will continue until the position is filled.

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

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