New registrar coming from U of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

The appointment of Laura McCain Patterson as University Registrar has been announced by Mary Ann P. Swain, associate vice president for academic affairs. She will assume her new duties May 1.

Patterson will succeed Douglas R. Woolley, who has served as interim registrar since the retirement of Alfred A. Stuart in June.

Patterson has been registrar at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, since 1983. In that post, she is responsible for all functions related to student registration and records as well as scheduling instructional space and student and curricular data access and reporting.

“I am delighted that Laura Patterson will be coming to the University,” Swain said. “She has considerable experience working with different academic units in facilitating their respective missions, a true asset for a highly decentralized campus such as ours.”

At the U-M, Patterson will be responsible for planning and directing all functions assigned to the Office of the Registrar with respect to the more than 36,000 students enrolled on the Ann Arbor campus. These include registration, transcripts, record maintenance, certification, residency determination, tuition assessment, the student identification system, and data management and reporting.

Patterson says she was attracted to the job “because it was Michigan. That made it very appealing. When I came for the interview, it was the people who sold me on the position. I was so impressed with the people I met in the interview process that I came away saying I would very much like to be a part of the Michigan community.”

The biggest challenge facing Patterson, she says, is the U-M’s decentralization. “The administration at Eau Claire is very centralized. But I don’t see [decentralization] as a negative. Decentralization is part of what has made the U-M so strong. It’s important for the registrar’s office to fit services to the decentralized environment.”

Prior to her current appointment, Patterson was director of records and registration at Eau Claire in 1982–83 and registrar at Franklin College of Indiana in 1977–82.

Patterson holds a B.A in psychology and an M.S. in educational psychology, both from Indiana University, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Minnesota.

She is a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and of Women in Higher Education, which she served as secretary in 1987–88.


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