A conversation with Mallori Wojcik

Mallori Wojcik is an assistant university registrar at the University of Florida and a member of COMPASS’ Student Records Team.  Her team’s work will be the foundation of COMPASS’ Release 2, set to go live November 6, which will modify and improve UF’s schedule of courses and course catalog.  She also happens to exude the qualities needed to oversee such a set of tasks: driven by productivity, mindful of detail, and conscientious of the impact on users. 

I’ve spoken with Mallori before, but only briefly, in almost-whispered morning pleasantries through the steam of freshly brewed coffee and tea. I had no idea, for example, that her entire family, husband included, works for UF, save her younger brother who, having completed a six-year Peace Corps service in the Philippines, is now a UF student.  Nor that she has spent her entire UF career, exactly 10 years, in the Office of the University Registrar, having begun on a not-so-unlucky Friday the 13th.

Originally hired as a senior clerk, a position she sheepishly admits no longer exists, Mallori tells me she’s fortunate to have quickly found her niche – records and degrees services – within the office.

 “We tend to like rules in the Registrar’s Office.  We like to know and have structure to what we’re doing.  My need to organize, need to streamline, need to have rules and exceptions, and need to document things are all a perfect cultural fit for the office.”

Within COMPASS, Mallori and the Student Records Team are working hard to streamline the Registrar’s primary business processes, which are fundamental to the everyday running of the university: course catalog and scheduling, registration, grade collection, imaging and maintenance of academic records, and providing transcripts and diplomas. Team Lead and Senior Associate University Registrar Diana Hull works with Mallori daily and stresses Mallori’s importance to the success of the student records component of COMPASS.

“I cannot imagine undertaking this program without Mallori’s dedication and support,” Hull said. “Her extensive knowledge of the university’s academic structure, awesome analytical skill and great attention to detail will help to ensure a successful transition from our current student records system to the Campus Solutions product.”

Although Mallori’s work with records, degrees, catalogs and grades denotes structure and exactitude, she says “about half” of her job involves communications.  Those skills she’s honed through a bachelor’s degree in English, coursework toward a master’s degree with a specialization in public relations, and graduation from the UF Academy.

“We’re the catalog, and the rules and the regulations, and we help interpret them and explain them to folks who need to know,” Mallori said.

Mallori credits her participation in the UF Academy, a selective nine-month leadership development program, with giving her a sense of the widely ranging goals and perspectives of UF’s units, colleges and departments, in addition to the collective mission of the university as a whole.  This sense, she says, drives her to keep the customer or end-user in mind during her COMPASS work, which involves, among other things, analyzing and refining business processes, solving problems and evaluating solutions.

“Everything I do I always sit back and say, ‘Can someone use this? Is it too complex? Does it not make sense? What is that end-user thinking?’ You have to understand what that person’s doing to be able to fit the whole puzzle together. And for something like student records and the Registrar’s Office, we serve the entire university. Getting that perspective of why it’s different from one college to another was really valuable.”

With the perspective of someone who has lived in Gainesville since the age of five, and having a father who’s a UF professor and a mother who does fiscal work for UF research, Mallori says she’s seen how progress and a mission to achieve within the university benefits the entire community.

“Gainesville is a college town, but so much more than that,” Mallori said. “The university is a big part of the community here, and I like the university aspect.  I like the academic world, the environment and the culture of always wanting to learn more, do more and get better.  That definitely has translated across to the community, too.”

Finishing our chat, I pepper Mallori with questions about her professional goals, how she spends her free time and, of course, what she would do if she won the lottery.  It turns out, even $10 million wouldn’t keep her from her work with COMPASS and the Registrar.

“Not a whole lot would change,” Mallori said.  “I wouldn’t quit my job because I like it too much.”