Helping students sign up for courses is just one function of UWRF registrar

Posted March 22, 2017

With advising for fall semester starting soon, UW-River Falls students may wonder if there will be enough room for them in the courses they need to graduate. Behind the scenes, Kelly Browning and her staff in the Registrar’s Office play a big part in helping students sign up for classes.

As the registrar, Browning oversees work that involves figuring out class schedules, availability of classes, the number of students in each course and what each student has left to take before graduation.

She also deals with her office’s budget and collecting data about enrollment, as well as educating students about their rights, such as those covered by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.

“We don’t release grades. We don’t talk about their class schedules to anybody,” Browning stressed.

Browning is an alumna of UW-River Falls. For all four years as an undergraduate, she was a student worker in the Registrar’s Office.

“I truly fell in love with working with students and helping student develop,” Browning said. She was a very active student, involved in all types of student organizations and was a resident assistant at one point. While at River Falls she studied to be a therapist, but as graduation grew close she realized that she enjoyed working in the college setting.

After graduation, Browning pursued her master’s degree at Minnesota State University Mankato. During her time at Mankato she took a graduate assistant job in the registrar’s office. After years of being in a registrar’s office, Browning said, she was finding her “home.”

With all that Browning has to maintain and manage, she said she still loves her job. After a long sigh from explaining all her duties, she added, “…but it is a lot of fun. I have a great team in place right now.”

Before fall semester and spring semester would seem to be the busiest times for the Registrar’s Office, but Browning said there is no down time. Once one semester is coming to a close, Browning said, the office needs to start preparing for the next term.

“We are constantly busy with something and moving within all the terms,” Browning said. “Like right now we are in spring term and we already have enrollment for summer, and are going to be starting enrollment for fall, and we are building a class schedule for J-Term. So we are always constantly moving throughout the whole academic year.”

With everything that is done to run the Registrar’s Office efficiently, Browning joked that “we don’t really want to see students come into our office, because then we know that there is a challenge or something.”

The Registrar’s Office is located in 105 North Hall.