A student’s college life starts with and ends with the registrar’s office, where applications for admission, and later graduation, are received and processed.
Sampler, on the job for about a month, comes to LSUE from the assistant registrar’s post at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
He’s a graduate of that institution’s master’s degree in theology administration and is working on his Ph.D.
As he talks about his new job and LSUE his sky-blue eyes sparkle. When conversation shifts to his wife Terah and two-year-old son, they become ever brighter. She will finish her degree study at NOBTS before locating here next summer.
Consequently, Sampler is on the road every Friday evening, headed to the Crescent City, and every Sunday evening or early Monday for the three-hour return trip to Eunice.
The separation requires adjustments, and the willingness to make them reflects the enthusiasm for the job.
Sampler, in his mid 30’s, applied for the post in March. It had been vacant since Ron Ryder retired, with Vice Chancellor Stephen Guemple taking on the duties in the interim.
The selection process ran through late June. When first contacted by the LSUE search committee regarding an interview, Sampler was in North Alabama, helping with recovering from the devastating tornado which ripped that region in April.
College administration wasn’t where he planned to be when he graduated high school in Blair, Okla. He thought he would be coaching baseball and/or teaching history after earning a BA in secondary education at Southwest Oklahoma State (he admits, incidentally, to being a Sooner fan).
In the period between finishing college and starting a teaching/coaching career, he felt a calling to the ministry and followed it to the New Orleans seminary where he earned his M.A. in 2003.
He was on the adjunct teaching staff at the seminary and pursuing his doctorate when Katrina ravaged the school and city, including his apartment.
After returning from evacuation and beginning to take part in the recovery effort, he “started to love the city and its people. Before, I had just been a visitor.” He stayed while others left, bought a house, became a Saints fan, met a girl (whose from South Carolina), got married, started a family and began a career path.
A student’s record is the registrar’s Holy Grail. While many, if not most, student undervalue official transcripts, registrars don’t.
“They are kept here in perpetuity. At any time, if you need a record of how you did in a course or courses, we have the record. Copies don’t count,” he said.
Typically, registrars and their staffs register students, record grades, prepare student transcripts, evaluate academic records, assess and collect tuition and fees, plan and implement commencement, oversee the preparation of college catalogs and schedules of classes, and analyze enrollment and demographic statistics. Directors of admissions manage the process of recruiting, evaluating, and admitting students, and work closely with financial aid directors, who oversee scholarship, fellowship, and loan programs.
Sampler arrived at LSUE at the busiest time of the year for the registrar, and is learning on the go differences between student admissions at public, open-door universities and selective-admissions private ones.
But there are constants. “Every student gets as much assistance as possible in applying and making sure every thing is complete and in enrolling when accepted. And each expects and gets accurate and efficient academic record keeping,” Sampler said.