New Registrar Doing What She Loves

April 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Mary-David Fox, the new University of South Carolina Upstate registrar, found her career calling early on and has let nothing deter her in order to be where she knows she should be and do what she knows she’s good at doing.

“I fell in love with the registrar’s office when I worked there as a student at USC Beaufort,” noted Fox. “My supervisor then helped me see and understand how you can be tough, yet compassionate at the same time.”

Despite a few exploratory detours along the way, this USC graduate who also has a Masters of Education in Education Administration always found her way back to the job from which she gets the most satisfaction.

“I like the people connection,” she said. “I love working with students, and I also love working with faculty.”

Of course, in any people-oriented job there can seemingly be as many challenges as there are rewards, but maintaining perspective in “holding the line,” as she puts it, has helped Fox keep students, parents and faculty focused on balancing the reality of an individual’s situation.

“In a nutshell, I’m the guardian of university policies and procedures,” said Fox. “I can see both sides (students/parents and faculty), all calling about the same thing, but I have to explain the rules and regulations and that they’re there for a reason.”

Over the course of her tenure in registrar offices, this veteran “people person” has experienced many changes in how she does her job, primarily with the advances made in technology.

“One tremendous advantage has been in the class registration process,” noted Fox. “Students are able to register themselves online, which has definitely been a big boon for them.”

However, Fox does find herself reminiscing about the “good old days” of class registration, card packs and crowds.

“Believe it or not, I really miss registration; all those crowds, lines of people, everyone moving from table to table,” she said. “We got to see the students, catch up on how they were doing; all while making sure everything got done.”

Everything still gets done, and Fox is excited to bring her passion for helping students to USC Upstate.

“It is most rewarding to see a student’s satisfaction when they come into our office and see a problem solved,” added Fox. “When you have faculty willing to work with you and the students for the good of the student, it’s really gratifying.”