Ragan named registrar, happy to be at Simpson


by Peter Kaspari

After a nationwide search that spanned six months and featured interviews with a number of candidates, Simpson has announced the hiring of Jody Ragan as registrar.

Ragan began her employment with Simpson on Feb. 23 after being offered the position a week before. She first heard about Simpson’s open position after reading about it on the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) website.

“It seemed to fit with other institutions that I’ve worked with in size and in the liberal arts aspect,” Ragan said.

Her previous experience most recently includes serving eight years as registrar at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn.

Ragan’s job at Simpson is one that is very important to the academic program.

“I oversee the enforcement of policy that the faculty have put in place,” Ragan said. “I also oversee the academic records of students to make sure they are accurate.”

Ragan said she has many hopes for the future of her position.

“I’m hoping to be able to bring new ideas and new ways of looking at processes and procedures that the registrar’s office has,” Ragan said. “Making decisions that will conserve resources, yet further our use of technology in serving students.”

Steve Griffith, senior vice president and dean for academic affairs, said that Ragan had many qualities that made her stand out among the other candidates.

“She had been a sitting registrar at a place that was similar to Simpson in many ways, so she had that practical experience,” Griffith said. “We interviewed a lot of people, but her skill set and that experience was really helpful to Simpson.”

Ragan’s hiring ends a long and strenuous search that was started in August with the initial job posting, and restarted in September with another issuing of the job posting. When a registrar wasn’t found by the initial January deadline, the search was started again.

 “I think everybody is very happy the search is over,” Griffith said. “We didn’t want to settle, we wanted to keep going until we found the right person. I think the committee felt that Jody was the right person.”

Senior Blake Shultice hopes that Ragan will be able to make the registrar’s office a more welcoming place.

“I remember one thing I liked about the office is how informal it was and now it seems they’re becoming more bureaucratic,” Shultice said. “It seems like now you have to fill out more paperwork and you can’t even go inside the office anymore. I hope it doesn’t become more bureaucratic.”

Ragan praised the Simpson community for being welcoming to her.

“Simpson just seems to be a very welcoming and inviting place to be,” Ragan said. “There’s an excitement on campus that you can feel that I’ve very much enjoyed.”

She added that there is much she is looking forward to doing with her new position.

“I’m looking forward to working with all the new changes they have been implementing with the new curriculum, and working with the change from the three-credit to the four-credit course standard.”

In addition, Ragan said right now is a great time for Simpson College.

“I think Simpson is at a very exciting time in its history, being 150 years old and embarking on the new curriculum and the changes that are happening on campus,” Ragan said.