Two versions of our strategic plan are available: the Registrar's Office Strategic Plan (pdf) version and the html version below.
The Strategic Plan of the Registrar's Office 2014-2018
The Registrar's Office engages with Waterloo students at every stage in their journey from prospect to alumni. We are a mission-critical support organization that materially facilitates the mandate of the University; we identify, nurture, support, and celebrate with our leaders of today and tomorrow. This document aligns with the University's strategic plan and describes our mission and goals for the next five years. We intend to champion specific initiatives within our mandate and collaborate with campus partners as we define a distinctive future together.
This plan is a collaborative work that is informed by and was contributed to by all of the operational teams within the Registrar’s Office; it is also a reflection of the critical roles we will play as the University of Waterloo delivers on the vision described in the overall strategic plan. We are up to the challenge!
Over the next five years, we will continue delivery of outstanding services and support while relentlessly pursuing improvement across our organization. We will strategically position Waterloo in the minds of students and influencers. We will identify prospective new students and inspire them to join us at Waterloo. We will professionally manage many thousands of applications each year with a keen appreciation of the dreams and aspirations linked to those applications. We will conscientiously manage course requests, schedule classes, administer final examinations, maintain academic records, and monitor progress as we help prepare students to graduate. We will identify meritorious academic performance and reward it with scholarships. We will proactively identify students with financial need and link them to suitable financial aid. We will diligently manage thousands of in-person and virtual requests, solving problems and connecting students with appropriate campus services. Finally, we will celebrate with our graduates and their families at each convocation ceremony that we plan and execute.
We are keenly aware of the interdependencies inherent in our role as a critical infrastructure organization within the University of Waterloo. Success for our organization is and will continue to be driven by close collaboration and open communication with students, alumni, faculty, staff, and other on and off campus stakeholders and influencers. This interdependency was made abundantly clear in the many stakeholder interviews, discussions, and candid comments that were formative parts of our strategic planning process. We at the RO are grateful for the insights and ideas provided throughout this process by our valued campus partners.
As the whole campus community collectively pursues recognition as one of the top innovation universities in the world, the Registrar’s Office will be engaged and involved every step of the way.
Kenneth A. Lavigne
1. Executive Summary
"Ideas Start Here" is a registered trademark of the University of Waterloo. It is also a foundational element of the organizational culture in this institution and a fundamental aspect of the Waterloo experience for our campus community.
As the Registrar’s Office (RO) contributes to Waterloo's recognition as one of the top innovation universities in the world, many new ideas will get their start as we seek to improve and enhance the way we approach our enrolment management objectives. Some of the ideas will be conservative iterations on existing themes and approaches; other ideas will be more radical and aggressive. Regardless of the nature and scope of our ideas, they will all be informed by and contribute to the overall institutional objectives.
The strategic plan of the RO is deliberately, structurally aligned with the University of Waterloo Strategic Plan (UWSP). The UWSP declares a vision for the university.
Experiential education for all in a uniquely entrepreneurial university environment, where faculty and students engage in transformational research. Waterloo will build this dynamic future on a foundation of excellent academic programming, global prominence, vibrant student experience, robust employer-staff relationship and a sound value system.
As a critical infrastructure component of the University, interpreting and supporting the strategic pillars of the UWSP through the lens of the RO’s mandate and functional areas provides a natural and appropriate approach to defining our contributions.
The RO will support and develop initiatives aimed at realizing the University goals. For the purposes of this strategic plan, the focus will be on identifying and promoting those actions for which the RO is able to directly impact through leadership or collaboration. We will, of course, also offer support and promotion to other campus groups and stakeholders in the pursuit of the actions where another group is leading. These supporting actions are presented approximately in sequence order associated to the enrolment management funnel.
1.1 Quotes from our Stakeholder Interviews
We have included below some quotes from the extensive stakeholder interviews that were conducted as part of the overall RO strategic planning process. As an organization, the RO found these interviews tremendously valuable in terms of appreciating areas of excellence, as well as, identifying areas for growth. We would like to thank the faculty, staff, alumni, students, partners, and other on- and off-campus stakeholders for their advice and valued feedback.
In our partner's words . . .
The Registrar's Office is seen as the wizard behind the curtain. People do not see the volume or complexity of the work the RO does.
The Registrar's Office develops partnerships with faculties, understands that one size doesn't fit all, and builds custom designed solutions.
The Registrar's Office is a strategic partner rather than an operational unit.
The Registrar's Office often deals with all six faculties wanting to do things differently. They work to accommodate each one where possible (and they'll always talk about it).
The increase in a diverse set of academic programs here means a diverse set of rules and regulations in the areas of admission criteria, academic progression, and academic advisement: RO staff knowledge in these areas is important and valued.
Responsive! Always there to offer information and advice.
Dealings with the Registrar's Office have been a "super positive experience overall." It feels that people are engaged in what they do.
Excellent support provided for petitions and special case students.
Triage desk at the front of the Registrar's Office has eliminated the line-up and increased customer service.
The Registrar's Office has a culture of helpfulness and collegiality with all interactions.
Culture: people generally believe they are there to support students and faculties – we consider the RO an "academically smart unit."
1.2 Strategic Enrolment Planning & Management
The approach and intent behind much of this plan is rooted in the concepts of Strategic Enrolment Planning (SEP) and Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM). The RO is connected to activities and interactions at each phase of a student's life cycle with the University of Waterloo, so this approach and concept inform our thinking.
"Strategic enrolment planning (SEP) refers to a complex and organized effort to connect mission, current state, and changing environment to long-term enrolment and fiscal health …" 
In practical terms, it is necessary for the RO to maintain a clear picture of the interactions with prospective students and current students, from the first indication of interest in the University of Waterloo, through to their successful completion of studies here. This necessity is part of what drives the RO leadership on campus in SEP and SEM.
Particularly as informed by the needed research and evidence-based decision-making inherent across the mandate of the RO, we expect to continue informing and advising our campus partners as it pertains to Enrolment Management.
Figure 1: Enrolment Management Funnel 
2. About the Registrar's Office
2.1 Mission and Vision
2.1.1 Our Mission
To be conscientious and passionate stewards of the student experience , as well as, Waterloo's institutional integrity and reputation throughout the student life cycle as informed by the principles of strategic enrolment management.
2.1.2 Our Vision
- Ideas Start Here: Live the brand of Waterloo and proactively pursue innovation in all we do
- People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to grow and excel
- Partnership: Nurture collaborative partnerships with all stakeholders and campus partners
- Transparency: Be a campus leader in transparent communication and evidence-based decision-making
- Portfolio: Be measurably excellent in delivery of the services portfolio of the RO
2.2 Responsibilities of the RO
The RO is the central administrative unit that facilitates an excellent student experience in co-operation with faculties and departments as we administer undergraduate programs, prepare data for internal groups, submit data to various government and external agencies, and provide assertive leadership and counsel on and beyond the campus throughout our broader communities and our institutional peers.
The RO is committed to providing leadership across a range of functions and services that are critical to the operation of the University of Waterloo. These include:
- Manage the creation of an evidence-based marketing plan to recruit highly qualified smart, motivated leaders and entrepreneurs domestically and internationally;
- Manage the timely admission of applicants to all undergraduate programs;
- Administer the delivery of provincial student aid and bursaries; administer Waterloo's financial aid guarantee; manage the awarding of merit-based scholarships and awards; financial aid counseling;
- Produce and maintain accurate student records on which the integrity of the University’s degrees depend and support the University's provincial grant claims;
- Manage classroom space;
- Create class schedules that support the needs of faculty, the multi-disciplinary character of the curriculum and the interests of students;
- Create the examination timetable and maintain the integrity of final examination administration;
- Organize and execute convocation ceremonies;
- Clearly and transparently communicate to the campus partners regarding RO functions and activities; and
- Operate as a central source of information, help and services as they relate to RO functions, and to generally promote good customer service for our stakeholders.
3. Initiatives and Programs in to Achieve Strategic Goals
3.1 Structure and Approach
With the following subsections, this plan will replicate the high-level goal(s) and objectives for each of the strategic theme areas as defined by the University of Waterloo Strategic Plan (UWSP) and then provide interpretations and actions to articulate the ways in which the RO can help the University achieve these objectives with our initiatives and activities.
3.1.1 Campus Partners
In many cases, this document may refer to campus partners, as well as (when appropriate), specific organizational units at the University of Waterloo. In virtually every aspect of RO activities and processes there are indirect and direct impacts across a wide range of both on- and off-campus partners, including but not limited to students, alumni, faculty, staff, community members, partners, stakeholders, and decision influencers. It may be assumed that a reference to campus partners is intended in the broadest and most inclusive sense.
The activities and processes of the RO impact stakeholders across the entire campus community as such, we are committed to clear communication with our campus partners about these activities and processes. Promoting clear, proactive and transparent communication is a core value for the RO. Special emphasis on certain points or Actions notwithstanding, for the purposes of all of the Supporting Actions listed in the subsections below, it may be assumed that each Action also contains phrasing to support this core value of Communication.
The activities and processes of the RO impact stakeholders across the entire campus community (and beyond); many of these literally cannot be completed without active participation by and collaboration with our valued campus partners. As with Communication, this collaborative and consultative approach is a core value of the RO. While specific collaborations may be called out as appropriate in certain Supporting Actions, it may be assumed that every Action also contains the phrase "in collaboration with our valued campus partners."
3.1.4 Research and Evidence Based Decision-Making
Evidence based decision-making demands a systematic and rational approach to performing relevant research and analysing available evidence in order to inform policy and shape enrolment management activities and processes. Particularly in the context of maintaining the integrity of the student experience at Waterloo, as well as, making the best possible use of existing resources, this approach is the default taken across all RO teams. Further, this approach strongly lends itself to ensuring a high level of transparency and accountability to the stakeholders that depend on RO activities.
3.1.5 Strategic Theme Champions
The Registrar will designate a champion from among RO senior staff for each of the strategic theme areas. This champion will be responsible for proactively liaising with the theme leaders and providing oversight and centralized communication of relevant activities for that theme within the RO. In collaboration with other RO leaders and subject matter experts as needed, these Theme Champions will also be responsible for leading the creation and monitoring of performance measurements and metrics associated with theme-related initiatives within the RO.
3.1.6 Supporting Actions
Note that in each section, the supporting actions are not in order of priority or emphasis. Rather, they are aligned with the strategic enrolment management stages in the funnel or life cycle of a student’s interactions with the university.
4. Experiential Education for All
Experiential education is an important differentiating strength for the University and it informs and impacts a broad range of enrolment management factors. The RO can deliver both tactical and strategic support for the University's commitment to taking co-operative education to the next level. Through management of the Work Study and Work Placement Programs, we are well positioned to enhance promotion and delivery of these programs to actively and meaningfully employ our co-op and regular students. We will also enhance the way in which we develop and manage our student records to reflect a well-rounded portfolio of each student's experiential learning activities.
4.1 UWSP Goal & Primary Objectives
Be the world-leading university in co-op education and other forms of experiential and work-integrated learning
- Educate outstanding and world-ready graduates whose skills are in high demand globally
- Enlarge the resource base of professionally credentialized and/or discipline-relevant employers
- Achieve a closer integration of research opportunities and co-op work terms
- Expand experiential learning to include service-based activities and international programs
4.2 Over the next five years the RO will …
… continue to promote our competitive strength in experiential learning as an integral part of our brand and our key value propositions to prospective students. Once those students are on campus, will collaboratively extend and support the systems and processes that underpin co-operative education and experiential learning to help ensure Waterloo is well positioned in the global market as a conceptual and practical leader.
RO Strategic Theme Champion: Gwen Graper
4.3 Supporting Actions
- Continue to promote and conduct research that articulates the University’s competitive recruiting advantage relative to co-op and experiential learning; this will be supplemented by continued research into the reasons why incoming students choose co-op
- Develop marketing initiatives related to experiential learning that engage smart, motivated leaders and entrepreneurs for subsequent personal relationship building throughout the stages of the enrolment management funnel
- Revisit admissions processes and the Admission Information Form (AIF) to capture student readiness for co-op, building on work by Co-operative Education and Career Action and other campus partners to ensure student employability in their first work term
- Collaboratively pursue creation or restructuring of scholarships to support and focus on experiential learning
- Continue to actively promote and deliver the Work Placement Program, to ensure meaningful co-op experiences at Waterloo, given that the University is the largest employer of co-op students
- Proactively seek out partnerships with faculty members who can embed value-added student projects with the RO or units within the RO as the customer/mentor as an experiential part of their courses
- Collaborate with Co-operative Education and Career Action to ensure seamless sharing of student information and provide robust data to support decision making related to all aspects of co-operative education
- Continue to be an active employer of co-op students, focusing (where possible) on employing students seeking their first work-term positions and proactively pursuing outcome analysis of coop positions
5. Uniquely Entrepreneurial University
The RO has the ability to tell the story about Waterloo’s achievements as an entrepreneurial university, as well as, to embed support for entrepreneurship directly into the processes of recruitment and admissions. We can also relentlessly pursue opportunities for intrepreneurship within the RO, supporting and encouraging innovative projects, particularly those tied to components of Strategic Enrolment Management objectives. We can actively promote entrepreneurial thinking and leadership throughout the participation of RO personnel not only with their on-campus activities but also with their interactions and contributions to broader communities of which we are a part.
5.1 UWSP Goal & Primary Objectives
Solidify Waterloo's global leadership in all forms of entrepreneurship education and practice
- Enhance student opportunities to participate in entrepreneurial activities
- Build relationships and generate opportunities with the regional entrepreneurial community
- Advance commercialization and other forms of utilization of leading edge entrepreneurial research and intellectual property
- Promote innovation and entrepreneurship that spans a wide range of needs, including social, political, health, environmental and technological
- Make entrepreneurship a key element of the Waterloo brand
5.2 Over the next five years the RO will …
… clearly showcase Waterloo’s commitment to entrepreneurship in our communications and the RO itself will walk the talk with infrastructure, processes and requirements that embrace and include entrepreneurship across the spectrum of student, staff, and faculty interactions.
RO Strategic Theme Champion: Scott O’Neill
5.3 Supporting Actions
- Showcase entrepreneurship and Waterloo entrepreneurs in recruitment communications and content; leverage the Ideas Start Here trademark and brand in support of developing and maintaining market awareness of entrepreneurial leadership among our target audiences
- Review and, as appropriate, retool admissions decision processing to include/reflect entrepreneurship as a positive supplemental admissions factor
- Pursue opportunities to develop or refocus student awards tied to entrepreneurship activities and achievements
- Implement a self-service Entrepreneurial Space Reservation system, permitting campus entrepreneurs to find and use working/meeting space to pursue projects
- Promote and support entrepreneurship behaviours across the RO through intrapreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial engagement with the broader communities of which we are a part
- Collaborate to support the planned International Entrepreneurship Leadership Summit with needed infrastructure and resources
- Undertake entrepreneurship-specific research as part of the ongoing surveys conducted by the RO (i.e., non-confirm survey) to better understand why young entrepreneurs choose (and don't choose) Waterloo
- Promote the identification and categorization of entrepreneurs within the RO and make these personnel available as mentors to students and others at Waterloo
- Institute research and tracking mechanisms to understand and evaluate entrepreneurial characteristics within the prospective and admitted undergraduate population at Waterloo
6. Transformational Research
The quality and nature of research is a foundational part of the University’s reputation and impacts the types of students we can attract and retain within the enrolment management funnel. The RO will help promote the impact of our research, we will show that learning is enhanced when it includes research, and support our strong researchers with the needed tools and infrastructure for teaching. We are also well positioned to enhance the way in which we develop and manage student records to reflect a well-rounded portfolio of research-learning experiences.
6.1 UWSP Goal & Primary Objectives
Increase the worldwide impact and recognition of University of Waterloo research
- Be recognized internationally for excellence and innovation in education, research and scholarship
- Enable conditions which support research excellence and impact
- Identify and seize opportunities to lead in new/emerging areas
- Increase interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research at the global, national, and local scale
- Strengthen the relationship between research and teaching at the undergraduate level
- Build wider awareness and understanding of Waterloo's research productivity and impact
- Seek global awareness of Waterloo's research and teaching expertise
6.2 Over the next five years, the RO will…
... enhance the recruitment of students looking to further their experience through research opportunities, driven by the awareness that new and current undergraduate students become the graduate students of the future. The RO will focus efforts on attracting that special group of undergraduate students whose interest in research at Waterloo is ignited by a shared passion for discovery and action.
RO Strategic Theme Champion: Mark Walker
6.3 Supporting Actions
- Highlight Waterloo's research leadership in recruitment communications and content, with special focus on the areas of current or potential world leadership
- Clearly communicate and promote to prospective students opportunities for undergraduate research engagement (as informed by the University’s strategic plan)
- With our campus partners, investigate the establishment and/or realignment of awards to target research-based enrolment for both incoming and current undergraduate students
- In collaboration with campus partners, establish research methods, systems, and processes to identify research-oriented/research-minded students early in the student life cycle
- Ensure that teaching schedules support and accommodate the needs of researchers who teach
7. Outstanding Academic Programming
The RO supports the University’s vision of evolving and growing academic programming, undertaken by faculty who engage and inspire through their teaching and research. Program and curriculum development and delivery are foundational to enrolment management across the entire student life cycle. As our outstanding faculty continue to reshape the traditional classroom, the RO will ensure that the infrastructure, support and processes are in place to manage the practical aspects of transformational learning.
7.1 UWSP Goals & Primary Objectives
Offer leading-edge, dynamic academic programs
Be a leading provider of technology-enabled learning opportunities
- Program development
- Educate graduates uniquely prepared to address the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century
- Enhance Waterloo’s excellence in academic programs
- Ensure teaching quality of the highest international standard
- Assign a higher value to recognizing and rewarding high-quality teaching
- Seek global awareness of Waterloo's research and teaching expertise
- Technology-enabled delivery systems for learning
- Expand Waterloo’s footprint in the online-learning market
- Provide leading-edge, technology-enabled learning opportunities
7.2 Over the next five years, the RO will …
... support and promote Waterloo’s outstanding academic programming across all stages of the enrolment management funnel. The RO will capture the exceptional stories of our engaging and inspiring faculty, as well as, supporting the current and emerging programs with leading technology systems and processes.
RO Strategic Theme Champion: Mark Walker
7.3 Supporting Actions
- Continue to target the recruitment of smart, motivated leaders and entrepreneurs with particular focus on outstanding academic performers from national and international sources
- Continue to provide needed communications, recruitment efforts and admissions infrastructure to address enrolment management goals for new and emerging academic programs
- Contribute to data-driven academic program planning and development through discussions with campus partners using an enhanced planning template that reflects enrolment management best practices and market/recruitment intelligence
- Support the delivery of a superior classroom experience for students and faculty by management of physical and infrastructure needs through scheduling systems, classroom renovation programs and new technology
- Collaborate on the Enterprise Business Intelligence project to ensure that data is available to inform curriculum development and refinement and investigations that assess the student experience and success
8. Global Prominence and Internationalization
The RO has the ability to direct, promote and shape internationalization through our efforts in recruitment and admissions, as well as, our many systems, processes and communications. The enhancement of Internationalization is a priority area within strategic enrolment planning within the RO and across campus. In collaboration with our faculty partners and Waterloo International to pursue international recruitment, as well as, to facilitate the administration of incoming and outgoing exchanges. By establishing vibrant relationships to broaden awareness among international audiences, we can streamline processes to ensure smooth transition of the best and brightest students from around the world to Waterloo.
8.1 UWSP Goal & Primary Objectives
Become one of the most internationalized universities in Canada
- Be recognized internationally for excellence and innovation in education, research, and scholarship
- Educate globally literate and world-ready graduates
8.2 Over the next five years, the RO will …
... support opportunities for international exchange, service learning, field programs and co-op employment, as well as, continuing to advise on the setting of targets for international student recruitment while conducting international recruitment in support of our partner faculties. In particular, the RO will also seek to broaden and diversify the incoming pool of international students, both to enhance the international experience here on campus, as well as, to help ensure a stable and secure base across multiple regions and countries.
RO Strategic Theme Champion: Tony Munro
8.3 Supporting Actions
- Recommend policy refinements and changes using evidence gathered from the analysis of international student progression and the comparison of admit average, language requirements, grades in required courses, system of study, etc.
- Continue to actively pursue international undergraduate recruitment including market research, targeted communication, data-driven marketing, and on-going local presence in identified key markets, with strong relationships among local influencers and partners
- Competitively evaluate and recommend enhancement for admissions decision processing of international applicants, including the capacity to include more than marks in decision assessments and also to accurately reflect the cultural norms and academic requirements of the applicant's country
- Admit smart, motivated leaders based on admissions standards that are similarly applied among high profile universities in Canada and internationally, and that reflect an equitable understanding of international systems of study
- Research and assess specific curriculum data to determine appropriate international admissions requirements while maintaining competitiveness with other high-profile schools
- Research and recommend targeted/focused scholarships and awards tied to strategic internationalization goals
- Ensure that personal interactions, technology systems, application processes, RO communications and other interaction points with the RO are accessible by and relevant to international students
- Support student mobility programs that include the best universities and practices in the world in support of academic exchange/study abroad, international service learning, field programs and international co-op placements, keeping in mind needs of both inbound and outbound students
- Sustain, develop, enable, and assess value-added supplemental programs to enhance the University’s ability to compete for International students (such as Bridging to Academic Success in English (BASE) and an international summer school program)
- Refine and bolster our Canadian College Transfer process to increase overall international transfer student application and enrolment
9. Vibrant Student Experience
Quality of campus life and ongoing retention are key enrolment management factors that are greatly informed by "the student experience." As an organization that interacts with Waterloo students from their first indication of interest in attending, on through to their convocation, the RO is deeply embedded in all aspects and phases of the student experience at Waterloo. As such, we can affect students' perceptions and shape the interactions that they have with this university. The RO already has a reputation for customer-service excellence. We have the opportunity to build on this reputation to help lead the campus towards a more student-centric mindset; the promise of a vibrant student experience is well aligned with the strategic enrolment management espoused by the RO.
9.1 UWSP Goal & Primary Objectives
Ensure that students have an engaging, purposeful, and relevant experience
- Deliver excellent student services through an integrated student-focused approach
- Provide enabling experiences, programs and supports, including student leadership development opportunities, in order to develop student potential
- Develop strong partnerships within and between academic and non-academic units to enhance the positive student experience
- Build a community of communities by providing an environment where students, faculty, and staff can connect
- Deepen the connections between students and the City of Waterloo community
9.2 Over the next five years the RO will …
... ensure that systems and processes are optimized to the needs of our student "customers," to enhance the student experience. The RO will build on its track record of customer- service excellence to be a campus leader in the development and enhancement of a student-centric customer service culture across campus. We will provide leadership in establishing standards for accuracy of information, timeliness, integrity and compassion.
RO Strategic Theme Champion: Mark Grant
9.3 Supporting Actions
- In conjunction with Information Systems & Technology (IST) and others, pilot Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology as a single source of (prospective and current) student information and management of service interactions
- Improve awareness of all financial aid and award opportunities to prospective and current students, and explore use of financial aid packaging to that end
- Promote a Customer Service culture across campus, leveraging the subject matter expertise in the RO department to deliver professional development and peer collaboration to enhance the Waterloo experience for students
- Encourage and support students to share their vibrant experiences as part of an overall philosophy that everyone (including current students) can contribute to recruitment and retention
- Coordinate and enhance on-campus visits and open houses to showcase Waterloo's vibrant student experience and engage prospective students with current students
- Continuously apply efficiencies and best practices to the admissions decision processing to improve services and communication to applicants
- Continue collaboration with Institutional Analysis and Planning and the faculties to identify indicators of success through the mining of admissions data and student academic performance to support predictive modeling as part of enrolment management strategies
- Continue and enhance efforts to streamline and improve distribution of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) funds and awards to students each year, recognizing the importance of finances to a student’s experience
- Reduce the overall use of manual/paper processes and enable more system-based workflow solutions and self-service options across all services in the RO
- Proactively review and improve RO communications (internal, institution-wide and external) to ensure clarity, relevance and appropriateness
10. Robust Employer-Staff Relationship
With more than 100 staff members, the Registrar's Office (RO) has a diverse and talented pool of individuals that materially contribute to the success of the University on a daily basis. There is a strong culture of customer service and a student-centric approach embedded within the RO culture; these are coupled with a compassionate and conscientious administration ethic form the basis of a very positive employer-staff dynamic. The RO will continue to build on this strong base to further enhance the performance and quality of work life for all of the staff in this office, and thereby ensuring support for continued support of enrolment management objectives.
10.1 UWSP Goal & Primary Objectives
Be an exemplary employer
- Be a destination of choice for superior individuals seeking employment
- Enable staff to fulfill their potential in a career at the university
10.2 Over the next five years the RO will …
... continue to build an organization that is nimble, resilient, professional, and focused on continuous improvement and a shared passion for achieving excellence in the student experience. The RO will leverage its personnel strengths and positive cross-campus relationships to foster collaboration among and across other departments and Faculties; these strengths will also be used to provide and enhance opportunities for the talented and motivated staff members of the RO to materially contribute to the success of the University, its faculty, and its students.
RO Strategic Theme Champion: Maureen Jones
10.3 Supporting Actions
- Ensure the successful transition and growth of new managers and supervisors (in partnership with the Organizational & Human Development, as well as, Human Resources) to provide ongoing development and refinement of leadership and management skills
- Embed a focus on overall student recruitment/retention/enrichment as part of the RO hiring process and philosophy
- Maximize the opportunity for a positive and successful start as a RO employee, through the maintenance and enhancement of an effective onboarding program that includes:
- a permanent training and orientation team
- meaningful orientation sessions
- a useful suite of training and orientation materials
- continued maintenance of up-to-date and easily accessible procedures
- Encourage and foster supportive mentorship within and across departments as a core value
- Continue commitment to the creation and support of career-path positions that allow growth in accountabilities and responsibilities without having to change jobs or leave the office
- Encourage staff to lead projects or work groups to gain useful supervisory and leadership experience
- Proactively define and deliver administration and human resources infrastructure to ensure the continued success and smooth operation of the RO
- Continue to create short-term reassignments and cross training to develop bench strength and reduce single points of failure
- Engage staff in the creation and monitoring of individual development plans by documenting experience, career aspirations and the necessary training and education needed to advance; recognize and celebrate milestones as they are attained
- Create a strategic workforce plan that includes talent development, succession planning and the deepening of skill and experience to minimize costly searches and disruptions in service
11. Sound Value System
As an organization that interacts daily with all of the campus community, the RO is uniquely positioned to contribute to the pursuit of integrity, equity, diversity, and a balanced life for students, faculty, and staff. Direct and indirect impacts to strategic enrolment management abound in this theme area, colouring the individual student experiences, as well as, the institution's ability to effectively deliver on the promises made in our plans.
11.1 UWSP Goal & Primary Objectives
- Enhance the well-being of students, faculty, and staff
- Promote integrity as a core value of the campus community
- Provide an equitable and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff
- Balanced life
- Develop a strong, vibrant integrated community
- Assist students, faculty, and staff in achieving appropriate work-life balance
- Foster student success through engaging and relevant university-based experiences
- Deepen and broaden the university's approach to integrity
- Equity and diversity
- Develop a supportive campus community that proactively articulates, promotes, and effects change to achieve equity for students, faculty, and staff through policies, programs and practice
11.2 Over the next five years the RO will …
... consistently demonstrate integrity through its actions and interactions with the campus community. We will exemplify Waterloo’s core values in our communications, systems, processes and personnel. We will creatively tell stories that underscore these values. We will relentlessly focus on and regularly review success in embedding these values into our day-to-day interactions across campus as we seek to enhance the overall experience of learning, working, and living as part of the University of Waterloo.
RO Strategic Theme Champion: Charlene Schumm
11.3 Supporting Actions
- Continue to conduct and promote research to support evidence-based decision-making with regards to initiatives related to the sound value system theme
- Continue to cultivate activities and approaches to work that foster student-faculty-staff interaction and fellowship
- Proactively pursue engagement with students, staff, and faculty to build on their sense of school pride and encourage all community members to become active and intentional ambassadors for the University (which will also contribute materially to recruitment and retention as part of enrolment management).
- Lead the delivery, enhancement, and improvement of Convocation as a key part of campus culture and a source of pride for students, alumni, faculty, and staff.
- Support academic integrity through coordination and production of final examination materials and the overall exam timetable in accordance with University policies.
- Take a leadership role in the establishment of policies and procedures related to proctoring and conduct for final examinations and online exam paper production and distribution.
- Lead by example through proactive and transparent communication to the campus community with regards to RO initiatives and projects, with special focus on those that have an impact across a wide array of stakeholders, i.e., Scheduling, Timetabling, and Examination Project (STEP).
Equity and Diversity
- Ensure accessibility into all our classrooms and convocation ceremonies for staff, students, and faculty.
- Improve communications by publishing an accessible yearly calendar and maintaining a repository of archive calendars
- Create forms that meet accessibility requirements and expand to incorporate accessibility priorities across all parts of RO
- Continue to deliver online content that meets or exceeds accessibility standards
- Regularly review and revise student awards and financial aid to ensure a level playing field for assessments.
- Establish, document, and regularly review administrative processes to ensure fairness and consistency.
12. Appendix: Functional Areas within the RO
The RO strives to create a positive student experience by providing services and support to prospective students, parents, applicants, current students, alumni, staff, and faculty. Various teams in the RO collaborate to deliver this combination of services and support.
The Administration team, led by the Registrar, ensures that the RO operates effectively in support of students and other campus stakeholders. The administrative team provides financial oversight, human resources and payroll administration, administrative support, strategic planning, information management, and event coordination. In addition, the Registrar oversees all of the functions listed below.
The Admissions team, in conjunction with faculty and university college partners, evaluates applications, and produces offers of admission or refusals to the University’s undergraduate programs.
The Communications team disseminates important information to undergraduate students through vehicles that include the annual undergraduate calendar, mass email, forms, content for the Student Portal, and web content. The team also provides support services for convocation ceremonies.
The convocation team manages the staging of convocation ceremonies, produces materials such as the convocation program and web content, co-ordinates staffing for the event, and liaises with numerous contacts, both on and off campus.
The Customer Service team provides front-line interaction and support to students requiring information or assistance with such tasks as ordering transcripts, solving course enrolment issues, and providing enrolment verification.
Marketing & Undergraduate Recruitment
The Marketing & Undergraduate Recruitment (M&UR) team develops and implements creative, research-based marketing strategies to recruit smart, motivated leaders and entrepreneurs from around the world into undergraduate studies.
Scheduling & Examinations
The Scheduling & Examinations team develops the Schedule of Classes, and books and confirms requested academic events. The team is responsible for activities related to the administration of all final examinations scheduled and administered by the Registrar. In addition, their responsibilities include the maintenance and allocation of all centrally managed classrooms.
Student Awards and Financial Aid
The Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) team provides student financial support through the administration of various government student financial aid programs, as well as, awards, scholarships, and bursaries, offers individual financial aid counselling, and develops system enhancements to improve the delivery of financial aid.
The Records staff and the Records & Systems team ensures the accuracy of all student records and provides advice and guidance for students, staff, and faculty in the maintenance of that record and associated business processes. They are responsible for student records, self-service features and development of new services found in Quest, Waterloo's student information system. Areas of influence include all aspects of records data and maintenance, course and classroom scheduling, convocation, government reporting, and the support of other campus systems through interfaces and data feeds.