with voice automation, Antrobus to retire with a sense of satisfaction
Registrar Ann Antrobus rolled up her last batch of diplomas
in May, a task which she has done with the registrar staff
for 25 years.
of the first pieces of equipment that Ann Antrobus used when she
started working in the registrar's office in 1975 was a megaphone
-- to reassure registering first-year students that they would
still be enrolled even if they couldn't get into all their classes
were students sitting on the floor, crying," recalled Antrobus,
who will retire June 23 from her position as University
Registrar. "We were using data cards then, and when the
last one was taken, that meant the course was filled. I walked
around with a big bullhorn, saying, ŒYou do not need a complete
schedule in order to check out.'"
her 25 years with the office, she moved up from what she called
a "Girl Friday" hourly position to become registrar,
a post she has held since 1994.
biggest change she has commandeered is ending that lengthy, tedious
process of having students line up to register for classes each
year, winding from table to booth in University Hall, in favor
of an automated procedure. Now students register for classes by
phone or the Web via U.Va.'s Integrated Student Information System.
Ann Antrobus became University Registar in 1994, her main
goal was to see that students and staff would never again
have to spend a hot, steamy August day going through registration
in University Hall.
and her 19 staff members stay busy year 'round. In addition to
overseeing student enrollment as "the guardian of ISIS"
and certifying degrees -- which includes rolling and tying ribbons
on the diplomas -- the registrar's office coordinates classroom
assignments, publishes the Undergraduate and Graduate Records
and three course directories a year, and plays its part in the
new summer orientation begun last year. Until 1999, the office
also produced student identification cards, but that function
moved to Business Operations, since the cards are used for so
many services that come under that office now.
of their most important functions is "protecting the integrity
of the student transcript," she said. Her office fulfills
approximately 60,000 requests per year for copies of transcripts,
for $3 each. And that doesn't include internal reporting to departments
and schools. They keep student records in perpetuity -- 100 years'
worth at Carruthers and older records kept in Alderman Library's
Special Collections, except for those lost in the 1899 Rotunda
A self-described "people person," Antrobus said working
with students has been one of her favorite aspects of the job.
"Some of us actually miss it," she said, referring to
the old days that included more face-to-face interaction with
students, especially when the office was located in Garrett Hall
(it moved to Carruthers in the early '80s). Still, the front desk
staff remain "the heart of the office."
who had been a full-time homemaker, came to U.Va. in 1974 at the
age of 40, after interviewing with a consulting company that U.Va.
retained to modernize registration. She turned down their first
job offer, however.
"I had no idea what the man was talking about," she
said, thinking the "fish" the consultant referred to
were the kind that swam around, not the record-keeping microfiche.
Nevertheless, he called her back months later, asking if she would
act as a liaison with U.Va. deans and faculty, helping to sell
the new system. She was only going to try it for a month, but
from the start, she was hooked. "It was fascinating. I was
learning something every minute," she remembered.
A year later, then-registrar Herbert Pickett asked if she'd continue
the same role for U.Va. She took it and said working anywhere
else has never occurred to her. It wasn't long before Pickett
was encouraging her to pursue a master's degree, which she earned
from the Curry School in '79.
she doesn't have any big retirement plans, Antrobus, who hails
from the Southwest Virginia town of Saltville, will be heading
back to her neck of the woods for this year's summer vacation.
She and her family -- her husband, three daughters and their husbands,
and her six grandchildren -- have rented cabins in Hungry Mother
Except for other visits to see her grandchildren, she'll probably
stay close to home, she said, adding that she was fortunate enough
to do all the traveling she'd ever want to do in her younger days.
say [when you retire] you're supposed to do what you haven't done
yet, so I told a colleague I guess that meant I'd sit at home
reading 'True Confessions,' eating chocolate bonbons and watching
soap operas." When the colleague looked shocked, she realized
he didn't know she was kidding.
a serious note, though, she said her job satisfaction rate would
be 90 percent or better. "The University has been good to
me, and I think I've been good for the University. I've been blessed
with a wonderful career."