Fourth finalist for director of the Office of the Registrar speaks about accessibility


Amber Mohmand/Iowa State Daily

Jennifer Suchan, the current interim director of the registrar since 2015 and holds a doctorate in higher education administration, spoke in a forum 11 a.m., Friday at the Memorial Union.

Amber Mohmand

The fourth finalist for Iowa State’s next university registrar will focus on making a big difference by changing the “little things” if she receives the position. 

Jennifer Suchan, the current interim director of the registrar, holds a doctorate in higher education administration and was the final finalist to speak in an open forum 11 a.m. Friday at the Memorial Union.

With the theme of “How Best can the Office of the University Registrar support Iowa Support Iowa State’s Mission and Enrollment Management?,” four finalists were invited to Iowa State to present their ideas of success for the university. 

Suchan said she wants to use the little changes she made during her time as interim director as steps to support the mission. 

“It’s not about grand innovations, it’s a lot of little innovations,” Suchan said. “Everyday, every week, every month — making something a little bit better.” 

Suchan spoke about inclusivity for students by removing the barrier for those who need accommodations such as changing their pronouns. Suchan said during her time as interim director she added accommodations like adding braille for students and using their primary language.

Another way to give students more functionality was to create online transcripts for students so the data is available at anytime, Suchan said. The online access would aide students to get their transcripts and send them as necessary.

“We’re actually going to be outsourcing our transcripts,” Suchan said. “Students can order online at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. and get their transcripts within seconds instead of having to wait and come to us and do it online then wait two or three days and then have it go through the mail. [Ordering transcripts online] would be very nice for them.”

Suchan said adding to inclusivity and accessibility also is the responsibility of faculty and staff. Her team has been researching through books, articles and watching documentaries to learn and discuss what they learn to integrate it into the Office of the Registrar. 

“I believe that inclusion is the responsibility of every teacher and every leader to learn the strategies necessary to make inclusive education possible — and it is possible,” Suchan said. 

Suchan was the final candidate for the university’s registrar. The position reports to Laura Doering, associate vice president for enrollment management in the academic affairs division. The tasks of the position includes strategic planning, budgeting and compiling data-driven reports, according to the Iowa State’s Office of the Senior Vice President website.

A feedback form can also be found on the website for people to provide their input on any of the final candidates. Feedback about the finalists must be submitted by Nov. 22.