Rob Tiffin, Brock University’s registrar, needs only to move down the hall to take up his new position as associate vice-president student services (AVPSS). Tiffin replaces Bonnie Neuman, who recently announced she will be moving to York University as vice-president enrolment and student affairs at the end of May.
A graduate of the University of Western Ontario and the Richard Ivey School of Business, Tiffin has been Brock’s registrar since December 1999.
“The president [David Atkinson] and vice-president academic [Terry Boak] approached me about the job after Dr. Neuman announced her resignation,” he said.
Tiffin feels that his qualifications for the job come from his involvement in expanding the role of the registrar’s office. During his tenure, he has worked in conjunction with the department of student services on programs such as Smart Start, Web-based registration and grade reporting.
“My position [has] been fairly expansive,” said Tiffin. “I’ve been very involved.”
In addition to becoming an associate vice-president, Tiffin will continue to hold the position of registrar.
“The positions have been combined, but the registrar’s office will be reorganized. We will be adding a deputy registrar,” says Tiffin, explaining how he plans to juggle both jobs. “The overall aspect of enrolment management and recruiting lies with me.”
Tiffin says he does not have any plans to make immediate or radical changes to the department of student services, but that he will be looking for new challenges to arise from the coming double cohort.
“There are a whole host of issues with the increase [in student population],” says Tiffin.
He says that with the first-year students being younger, on average, than ever before, the student services office will have a new focus on helping first-years make the transition from high school to university, as well as helping parents who will be sending their children off to university at an earlier age.
“We’re looking at what services we can offer … with more support to help with the transition,” says Tiffin. “We’re quite concerned because it is quite a transition for students and parents, who have been used to sending their children off after five years of high school.”
Tiffin says that he is interested in expanding the range of services offered by career services as well, to help the double cohort find jobs when they graduate in 2007.
Another cohort related concern is finding housing for the more than 3,000 first-years who will be coming to Brock in 2003.
“We know we will not be able to fit them all into residence … there will be issues with the community, so we’ll be working with them.”
Tiffin says what is most important to him is being accessible to students, and gaining student perspectives.
“I’m very interested in learning from students,” he said.