ARUCC Webinar Series

The Creative Crisis: Developing Registrarial Leadership in a Time of Change

Melissa Padfield & Norma Rodenburg Facilitators

Join your ARUCC colleagues for this 3 part webinar series examining registrarial leadership during a time of unprecedented change. This series will provide an opportunity to come together and share stories, reflect on the past 7 months and gain practical strategies for navigating the future. We will explore three tension points currently facing leaders: moving from survive to thrive, leading through empowerment vs expediency and the role of the Registrar as a convenor rather than a responder. These highly interactive sessions are designed to be engaging and promote connections between participants. Participants will also come away with a set of curated resources and articles that speak to the topics.

Sessions Dates and Times:

Webinar 1: Monday, October 26, 10:00 am MDT
Webinar 2: Monday, November 16, 1:00 pm MST
Webinar 3: Monday, December 7, 12:00 pm MST

Other details:

  • Max 30 participants per session
  • Preference given to individuals who can attend all 3 webinars
  • Certificates of completion will be provided if a participant completes all three sessions
  • If there is interest from more than 30 participants a waitlist will be developed and offering additional sessions will be explored

Webinar 1: Moving from Survive to Thrive

Monday, October 26, 10:00 am MDT (9 am PDT, 11 am CDT, 12 pm EDT, 1 pm ADT, 1:30 NDT)

We are now seven months into a global pandemic and our actions are moving from crisis management to chronic sustained effort, with no end in sight. Registrar’s offices have been thrust into the spotlight supporting new policy development, academic schedule changes, working remotely and planning ahead in an environment where information is scarce. If folks on your campus didn’t know what a Registrar did before COVID-19, they sure have learned how integral this work is!

This first webinar will provide participants a chance to reflect on the events of the past seven months and begin to create meaning out of this crisis in relation to the work we do. Grounding the discussion will be a focus on the “Survive/Thrive” duality and how we can access the benefits of both stances over time for ourselves and our teams.

Webinar 2: Empowerment vs Expediency

Monday, November 16, 1:00 pm MST (12 pm PST, 2 pm CST, 3 pm EST, 4 pm AST, 4:30 NST)

Crisis related decision making requires us to make quick decisions generally from a command and control perspective. As the Covid 19 global pandemic is primed to continue impacting our work well into the future, we must turn our focus from crisis to adapting to the new conditions. Key questions that will be explored include:

  • How do we manage the urgent nature of our shifting health and safety landscape, and still find ways to foster an empowerment and development based practice?
  • How do we get our staff reengaged and refocused on participatory and empowered decision making?
  • How do we offer meaningful opportunities for consultation and engagement when some decisions are still being led by emergency health and safety orders?
  • How do I manage effectively when everything on my “to do” list is in the urgent/important quadrant?

Webinar 3: Responder vs Convenor

Monday, December 7, 12:00 pm MST (11 am PST, 1 pm CST, 2 pm EST, 3 pm AST, 3:30 NST)

Registrar’s offices have played a prominent role in the campus response to the Covid-19 global pandemic. We have a perspective that allows us to see the big picture and to advocate for decisions that impact students and our staff in the most beneficial way. In times of crisis Registrar’s Offices are called upon to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of the campus community through the provision of expert knowledge and support. Crises often also present an opportunity to shift from expert resource/responder and offer value as a leader and convenor of important work and collaboration. Finding authentic and creative ways to capitalize on the opportunities offered by this particular moment in time will underpin the work in this session.

Key questions to explore will include:

  • How can we use this moment to add additional value to our organizations as leaders and convenors?
  • How can we leverage our unique perspectives and history as expert responders to move in the direction of convenor/influencer?
  • How can we walk the line between these two important roles (responder/convenor) effectively?

Registration for ARUCC's Webinar Series 2020 is now closed as we have reached our maximum capacity for this event.

View All Events Register



Melissa Padfield has nearly 20 years of experience working in higher education and currently serves as Vice-Provost and University Registrar at the University of Alberta. She joined the University of Alberta full time in 2006 and has held roles within the Dean of Students portfolio and Faculty of Arts before joining the Office of the Registrar in 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a certificate in Globalization and Governance from the University of Alberta (2003) and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Victoria (2005). Melissa also completed the Certificate in University and College Administration from the Centre for Higher Education Research & Development at the University of Manitoba (2015) and the Management Development Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2017). When not working Melissa loves spending time with her family and friends exploring, either by foot, on x-country skis or travelling.

Norma Rodenburg has 18 years of experience in a diverse range of student services work at the University of Alberta. She currently serves as an Associate Registrar where she oversees a number of functions including Student Connect Student Services, Examinations and Timetabling, Records/Registration/Fees, and the RO Marketing and Communications department. She has been in the Office of the Registrar for 6 years and throughout that time also created the current strategic plan. Prior to her work in the RO, Norma spent 5 years in the Office of the Dean of Students as the Student Affairs Officer supporting student groups and student support services. Her career began in the Students’ Union where she oversaw the orientation program and the SU suite of student services. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the U of A and a Masters of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University. Outside of work she spends time with her family which includes her partner, 2 daughters, a brand new puppy and an aging labrador retriever who is patiently putting up with the new puppy antics.