Office of the Registrar (University of Michigan), records: 1840-2003 (bulk 1867-1993)
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In 1846, the faculty authorized the position of secretary of the faculty of the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts. The secretary was to create a permanent written record of faculty proceedings and to keep student records. The earliest use of the word "registrar" in a title occurred in 1863 when student record keeping was separated from the secretary's position. Edward P. Evans, professor of modern languages, was the first to be elected to this one-year position. According to The University of Michigan Encyclopedic Survey edited by Wilfred Shaw (Ann Arbor: University Press, 1942), student discipline problems caused the registrar's position to be abolished between 1872 and 1888. During this time the secretary of the faculty resumed the duties of the registrar.

In 1875, Paul R. B. de Pont, instructor in French, was elected secretary of the faculty. He served as secretary until 1888 when the regents appointed him registrar of the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts.

In 1878/79, a four-year program called the "English Course" was added to the curriculum. It was at this time that the credit system was substituted for a set schedule of four prescribed years of study. Additionally, the number of required courses in the programs were reduced to allow for electives.

In 1882, the "University System" was introduced as an option in the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts. The University System did not require a student to complete a fixed number of required courses, but rather, allowed the student, under the direction of a faculty committee, to focus his studies. Upon the completion of four years and a satisfactory written examination, a bachelor of arts degree was conferred. "A master of arts degree was granted to the writer of a brilliant examination and a meritorious thesis." (The University of Michigan Encyclopedic Survey) The University System program led to both undergraduate and higher degrees; there was not yet a separate graduate school. Consequently, the University System and the work for advanced degrees became inextricably bound together. Records of the students of the University System were kept by faculty committees, separate from "regular" students.

The Board of Regents authorized a plan in 1871 to admit graduates of accredited high schools by diploma. Michigan high schools were visited by a university faculty committee that appraised the schools for their work in science, philosophy, and the arts. A school had to pass the university's criteria in all three of the above areas to become accredited. Accreditation specifications were changed in 1876 to accommodate schools strong in only one or two of the subject areas. This new partial accreditation system allowed students entrance to select university programs depending on the accreditation status of the secondary school from where they graduated. The Department of Literature, Science and the Arts maintained four separate sets of entrance requirements throughout the 1890s. Admission by diploma was extended to high schools outside of Michigan in 1884. In May of 1900, a single system of entrance requirements went into effect. School visits were taken over by the Bureau of Co-operation with Educational Institutions in 1932.

Incoming students in the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts took their credentials directly to the dean, rather than the president, as of the 1895/96 school year. Checking of admission credits was a task divided between the dean and the registrar, with the registrar administering the admissions of freshmen who had the customary preparation, and those with a very small amount of advanced credit or with extra high school credit. Besides reviewing freshman admissions, the registrar's responsibilities included interviewing students and acting as an intermediary between students and faculty in all matters involving study loads and student records.

Registration for the professional academic units of pharmacy, engineering, and the School of Graduate Studies was originally under literary faculty control. The pharmacy admission records were under the auspices of the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts registrar until approximately 1875, the Department of Engineering until 1903, and the School of Graduate Studies until 1912.

In 1907, at the time of the appointment of Dean John O. Reed, administrative work by the president was almost entirely relinquished. Administrative affairs of the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts were put into the hands of its own officers, the dean, and the registrar. A new title, University Registrar, was created in July 1915. It was at this time that the Office of the Registrar became an office of the university's central administration, completely independent of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. (It was also in 1915 that the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts was renamed College of Literature, Science and the Arts.) In May 1925, regental by-laws made the Office of the Registrar directly responsible to the regents through the president. The office became more specialized in 1929 with the creation of four divisions: Admissions, Records, Statistics, and Editorial. In 1949 the Office of the Director of Admissions, a separate administrative unit, was created due to the increase in the number of admissions after World

War II. In 1954 the name of the Office of the Registrar was changed to the Office of Registration and Records. At the same time, the responsibility of orientation of new students was added to this office. The Time Schedule (course catalog) responsibilities were added to the office during the 1963/64 academic school year. Orientation and Scheduling were made independent units in 1967.

During the winter term of 1972, the concept of Computer Registration Involving Student Participation (CRISP) grew out of a class project in a computer class taught by Professor Bernard E. Galler. CRISP was instituted in 1975 as an on-line registration program.

Touch-tone CRISP was first introduced in November 1994. Beginning in March 1995, it was the mandatory form of registration for most students. In addition to helping students with registration needs, other CRISP services include transcripts requests, certification for loans and placement, academic record information, class schedules, term grade reports, and student directory changes.

Wolverine Access, developed by the registrar's office in the summer of 1994, is an on-line service that enables students to access current student data. Students can access their own grades, class schedule, and academic report. They can also check on availability of classes and look at their account statement. This service was first made available through a client server with Macintosh machines at campus computing sites. Wolverine Access is now available on the World Wide Web.

First Registrars

1843-1846 Unofficial secretary to faculty of LS&A
1846-1863 Secretary to faculty of LS&A

Registrar of faculty of LS&A - 1863-1872

1863/64 Edward P. Evans
1864/65-1866/67 Edward Olney
1867/68 Stillman Williams Robinson
1870/71 Albert Henderson Pattengill
1871/72 Edward Lorraine Walter
1871/72 Jules Frederick Billard

Registrar of LS&A

1888-1906 Paul R. B. dePont

Registrar of LS&A and Secretary of Administrative Board

1906-1908 John William Bradshaw

Registrar of LS&A and Editor of University Publications

1908-1915 Arthur Graham Hall


1925-1954 Ira Melville Smith

Registrar of the University

1954-1964 Edward G. Groesbeck


1967-1985 Harris D. Olson (Associate Registrar)
1967-1985 Douglas Wooley (Associate Registrar)
1985-1991 A.A. Stuart
1992-1993 Douglas Wooley (interim)
1993-1996 Laura McCain Patterson
1996-2001 Thomas McElvain
2001- Paul Robinson