History of the Indiana Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

On October 26, 1939 eleven registrars representing both public and private institutions within the State of Indiana met at Butler University to discuss the possibility of organizing an Indiana registrars association. Prepared by Ruth Deming, the minutes of the planning meeting stated, “All those present felt that such an organization, if properly handled, should be helpful to all concerned.” The first meeting of the Association of Indiana College Registrars was held March 29, 1940, in the Union Building at Indiana University. Thomas A. Cookson had been elected to chair the inaugural meeting and he served as host. Later that same year the group met at the Union Building at Purdue University to complete the drafting of a constitution and by-laws.

The members of the association have met annually since 1940 to continue an interaction which results in the exchange of professional ideas and professional growth, equally mixed with camaraderie and fellowship. The pattern of having an institutional representative host the annual meeting on his or her campus continued until 1971. Since that time the annual meetings have been held in off-campus locations selected by the Executive Committee.

Among the questions submitted for discussion back in 1940-41 were such topics as evaluating credit from non-accredited institutions, dealing with name changes on permanent records, procedures for dealing with the older student, a standard for certifications to the federal government, and, of course, Selective Service. College credit for war training and service was a major topic of the next few years. Concern moved on in 1945 to population trends and enrollment expectations. In 1947, IBM made a presentation on how machines could help the registrar’s function. Perhaps it is true that, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Although topics of interest to admissions officers had been discussed from the beginning, it was 1949-50 which finally saw the changing of the name of the association to its present form and the addition of admissions personnel as a formal part of the organization.

In 1951, under the association’s auspices, the first summary report of collegiate enrollment in Indiana was prepared and established as an annual function. Population trends and enrollment projections became important topics for discussion along with the ever-popular transfer credit practices. Dealing with Selective Service, evaluating military training, veterans benefits, and credit from foreign universities, both for veterans and foreign students, were on the agenda throughout the fifties and sixties. Office management and office machines appeared as a regular topic on the programs.

In 1965, IACRAO extended its annual meeting to two days. Later, preconference workshops were added to make a three-day conference for those who wished to attend. Occasional summer workshops on special topics have been held. From the beginning the group has maintained close ties to the national association and the neighboring state and regional groups. For over forty years, IACRAO has been helping Indiana registrars and admissions officers to keep up with technology and new ideas, to cope with changing demands, and to achieve a professionalism in the performance of their duties.

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