Hawkey voices ideas for role as registrar

Liz Zabel

Earl Hawkey, candidate for university registrar, addressed an audience of faculty members in the Gold Room of the Memorial Union on Thursday afternoon.

For the past 20 years, Hawkey has worked as the director of registration and records at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. With years of experience, Hawkey said he brings a wealth of knowledge to the role of the university registrar at Iowa State.

When Hawkey was asked what a registrar does, he responded, “A lot of it has to do with plumbing — kind of like the master plumber — the more complicated the plumbing, the easier it is to plug up the toilets.” Hawkey said his role as registrar would be maintaining the plumbing and keeping it working well.

Hawkey said there is not one specific role of the registrar. He would need to continue to do what the office does on a daily basis but also assist with things students need to further their career or academic study.

“I’m a really strong believer that you have to give the students a fair shake,” Hawkey said. “You need to treat them fairly and consistently … [and] equip new students with what they need to be successful.”

Hawkey said once the students are here, it is important to develop support systems to identify students who may be having issues to try to help and retain those students. Hawkey suggested coming up with intervention methods to aid these students: methods much more than midterm grade early-warning systems.

As an example, Hawkey talked about a system used at University of Nebraska–Lincoln called Starfish, which is a system designed to be an early-warning system specially designed for students and advisers to allow multiple individuals to “throw up flags” on students. Flags could be anything from students not attending class, missing a quiz or an adviser indicating a student expressing concerns about financial ability. Hawkey said the accumulation of those things would allow to better identify early in the process students with any issues and to help create intervention strategies to address those issues.

Hawkey said he wants people to see the office of the registrar in an advisory standpoint in academic affairs.

“We can be very helpful people,” Hawkey said. “We need to know if there are issues out there.”

Hawkey said the registrar cannot stand alone.

“We need coordination between subsystems that do all of these things,” Hawkey said. “We need to be team players … we all need to work together to make sure we’re successful.”