Former registrar takes new job

After 25 years in the registrar’s office, a top official has accepted a new position in another department on campus. Michael A. James, Florida A&M University Registrar, will take on the position of director of information technology in the institutional technology office.

But James said he will still be working closely with the registrar’s office.

James began working in the office as a work-study student when he was enrolled at the university.

“He has worked his way up the ranks,” said Denise Jones, administrative assistant in the Office of the Registrar. James has been registrar since 1997.

“Personally, I am sad to see him go, but professionally, it is a good career move,” said Jones, who has worked with James for five years. “I loved it,” she said. “He was the best boss.” Students spoke highly of James’ performance in his former position.

“He represents the definition of FAMU: excellence with caring,” said Lindsey White, 26, James’s grad assistant and masters of applied social science student from Pensacola.

“I started in late July of 2006, and he has been wonderful and respectful,” White said. “He is one of the best people I have ever worked for.”

White said that although he was in a stressful position, James kept a calm demeanor.

“The registrar’s office is the backbone of the university,” she said.

James said the work was very challenging but it was also very rewarding.

“I love being able to assist students, faculty and staff with the services delivered by this office,” James said. “You get a great sense of accomplishment when you’re able to get students registered for classes, get them their grades, see them graduate and get them their transcripts.”

James’ grad assistant said the former registrar delivered exceptional customer service.

“He goes way beyond what is expected of him,” said White. “He is great with students and with returning phone calls,” she added.

Coworkers said James sometimes stayed late to see students and help them meet their needs.

“He has great work ethic,” Jones said. “He is honest and he gives everyone a fair chance.”

“If he says he’s going to look into something you can trust he’ll look into it,” White said.

White also said James has helped her grow. “He doesn’t just explain to me how to do something, he explains the process,” White said.

James had many accomplishments within the past 25 years. He helped implement Rattler Link, which has been replaced by People Soft, as an online service for students.

He was the first black president for the Florida Association of College Registrars and Admissions officers in 1995. He also served as the president of the National Association of College Deans, Registrars, and Admissions officers in 2002.

There is speculation about whether the standard of good service in the registrar’s office will continue.

White said when James transfers she will go with him, but he will truly be missed by the registrar’s office.

“Graduation won’t be the same,” White said. “I can’t imagine what things will be like when he leaves; we will see.

“The next registrar will need to know the mechanics of this office and get to know their job. Change will come.”