UAF advising and paperwork systems

Question

I am a staff person and a second-time grad student, and my family member is an undergrad student. UAF’s inefficient systems of paperwork make it very difficult to work here, to go to school here, and to speak highly of the university to others. Having attended two other universities, I know that paperwork systems can be improved (lessened, digitized), but in the years I have been here, they haven’t changed at all. As a grad student, I have had to physically take paperwork around to multiple offices every semester in order to register for classes. As a staff person, onboarding paperwork was equally inefficient. Recently, my family member attempted to register for classes online, but had to meet with an advisor first. Shouldn’t the rigor of UAF’s admissions process be enough to assume students can enroll in classes by themselves online, without having to meet with an advisor every semester to approve of their courses? After calling, coming in to the Registrar’s office in person, being told to send an email, and calling twice more, my family member is still unable to register for classes, and is now being told to fill out a paper registration form, have it signed by an advisor, and bring it in to the Registrar’s office in person. If UAF wants to increase student enrollment, and keep staff happy during tough financial times, perhaps it should come into the 21st century with other universities, and stop putting up paper roadblocks.

Response

Thank you for sharing your ideas as to how we might make UAF’s processes more efficient.
As you know, at UAF, we have mandatory advising where students are required to meet with their advisor each semester. While meeting with an advisor each semester may seem like a burden for some, we believe that regular and consistent advising is to a student’s benefit. Academic planning is more than simply choosing classes — it is a comprehensive process involving time management, goal setting, problem solving and career exploration. In national studies, mandatory advising has been shown to increase student satisfaction, retention and graduation rates.
Faculty have been consulted several times over the years about the possibility of eliminating the advising requirement in order to allow for easier registration. Every time the topic has come up, UAF faculty have stood by the advising requirement for all degree-seeking students. That being said, we are looking for ways to keep the advising requirement but still streamline registration processes.  We hope to completely eliminate all paper registration forms requiring signatures before the beginning of the 2017 fall semester.
— Mike Earnest, registrar and director of enrollment services, Office of Admissions and the Registrar