The two positions of the Dean of Students and the Registrar are being combined. The Dean of Students is currently in charge of recruiting domestic students, and provides support for students throughout their years at Brandon University in the form of counsellors, as well as things like the writing center. The Registrar deals with student applications and admissions, as well as things like academic probation.
The administration is combining these two positions for a number of reasons. One is financial: the combination of these two positions will save the university from having to pay out two senior salaries, and allow the money to be spent elsewhere. The second most prominent reason is a close relationship with students. The new position, titled the Associate Vice-President (Student Services and Enrolment Management) and University Registrar will deal with all aspects of both jobs, with support staff to aid in the process. Dr. Deborah Poff, BU President and Vice-Chancellor, is optimistic that this combination of the two positions will be successful, as similar models run in many universities in Canada with positive results. One such university is the University of Manitoba. A third reason for the combination is that the Registrar position has not been filled for the past three years, with only an acting Registrar in the office. This vacancy allows the administration to move ahead with the new position, which should be filled and running as early as May.
Carissa Taylor, Brandon University’s Student Union President, is unsure how the new position will go. With the combined roles of student advocate and academic disciplinarian going to one person, Taylor isn’t sure how students will feel about going to the new Associate Vice-President with academic concerns if the Associate Vice-President is the one who might be disciplining them. Taylor is also concerned about the level of stress that might be placed on the new Associate Vice-President. With two jobs combined into one and not knowing how many support staff there will be for the new position, burn-out of the new Associate Vice-President is a serious concern for Taylor. Both Taylor and Dr. Poff hope for the best with the new Associate Vice-President (Student Services and Enrolment Management) and University Registrar position, and the change it will bring to students and the future of the university.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 103, Issue 15, December 11, 2012.