Choosing classes, receiving grades and even graduating are essential aspects of the college experience that would not be possible were it not for the school’s registrar.
On Jan. 12, Fairfield’s registrar of 40 years, Robert Russo, retired from his position, according to the Chair of the University Registrar Search Committee and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Donald Gibson.
The position will be held by an interim registrar, Librarian and Dean of Libraries Brent Mai, until the new Registrar, Lynn Kohrn, who was announced on Feb. 6, takes over the position on March 19.
Gibson described the search process.
“We did a national search,” Gibson explained. “We started in the beginning of November and we put out a call to associations of registrars and also all the other Jesuit schools, and we asked for people to submit their materials and we convened a search committee that had faculty and administrators on it and that group met in December and we invited candidates in January to come to campus.”
In an email sent to the student body, Gibson emphasized that Kohrn was chosen from “a strong group of candidates.”
Kohrn was chosen “based on her deep experience as registrar at universities similar to Fairfield in complexity and size, her strong knowledge of technology and experience with Banner, Degree Works, and other essential platforms, her ability to effectively manage a team, and her expertise in the trends, policies, and practices of a strategically-relevant registrar’s office,” the email continued.
Gibson said that Kohrn stood out from the other candidates because of her past experience as Registrar at both the University of New Haven and Clark University. According to Gibson’s email, Kohrn received her BS with a major in Elementary Education and an MS in Counseling, with a concentration in Counseling in Higher Education from Southern Connecticut State University.
“She has a lot of experience in being a registrar and also, the registrar job now is very technical so she has a lot of experience with new kinds of computer platforms, so she wants to make the registrar experience as accessible to students as possible, so she’s very good on that technology side as well,” said Gibson. “She’s effective in leading people, which is another part of the registrar.”
Gibson went on to explain that the registrar’s office works to keep track of student records, including grade transcripts, classes and scheduling of classes. The registrar also oversees the course catalog and keeps records of who will be graduating.
“It’s a critical position for the University,” said Gibson. “Most students have had some interaction with the registrar if they’ve been trying to get into a class or if you see on your class schedule they help you find where those classes are and which buildings they’re located in and the timing, so they’re critical to the operation of the University.”
When asked how he believes Kohrn will do as the new registrar, Gibson commented, “I think she’s going to be great. She really stood out among the candidates we interviewed. I think she really brings the knowledge and experience, but I think she’ll also be a great match with Fairfield University. She understands the Jesuit approach, so I think she’s going to be a terrific addition to the University.”