long ago, all Wesleyan students returning to campus each semester had to
participate in Enrollment Day. This meant hours of waiting in lengthy lines
snaking through the lobby of the Exley Science Center. If
they wanted to
drop or add a class, students would have to chase down professors and their
advisor to sign the drop/add slip. Students would carry this slip over to
the registrar’s office, again waiting in long lines for a staff member to
type the course selections into the computer system.
how it was five years ago.
students can enroll in the university and drop or add classes via the
Internet, 24 hours a day thanks in part to Anna van der Burg and the Office
of the Registrar.
automating these processes, we are saving the students, staff and faculty
time and money, and since it’s all done on computers, we might be saving
some trees too,” Registrar van der Burg says. “What used to be done on paper
and in person, and had the chance for errors, can now be done quickly and
accurately and any time of the day.”
Burg, who came to Wesleyan in 2000, has facilitated meetings with her staff,
academic deans, class deans, the staff in Information Technology Services
and other members of the Wesleyan community to implement these changes. In
some cases she’s held open forums to come up with final solutions for
Students favor the online technologies in lieu of standing in long lines.
moving into an age where students expect to do things online,” van der Burg
says. “They’ve been dealing with technology practically since their
drop/add system allow students and faculty to view class enrollments online
in real-time. That way, students who want to add a class can see if a
particular class is still open. Meanwhile, faculty can see how their classes
are filling up.
“Students and faculty operate at different times of the day, so this system
is convenient to them both,” she says. “This saves students a lot of time
and running around tracking down their professors for signatures.”
the new system has been “incredibly successful,” says Karen Anderson,
assistant dean of the Graduate Liberal Studies Program.
has been very instrumental in developing and streamlining these new systems,
and the new technologies are very effective,” Anderson says. “She has a
vision, and she is always working toward the next innovation.
Technology changes are only one aspect of van der Burg’s job. The Office of
the Registrar is also the official recording agency for the University and
therefore is the keeper of historical information such as class lists,
transcripts, other student and enrollment data.
In addition, the Honors Program is
coordinated by the office, located on the first floor of North College.
her staff of 10, van der Burg also oversees the publication of the annual
University Course Catalog and the administrative applications in the student
and faculty portfolios. The catalog includes academic regulations, degree
requirements, academic standing, general regulations and advanced degrees in
addition to major requirements and course offerings and descriptions.
with legal issues, such as keeping students record confidential, are also on
her slate. Anderson says she’ll call van der Burg with any questions
relating to student records or policies.
we ever have a question about any issues regarding student records, we just
ask Anna, and she can rattle off the answer immediately,” she says. “She is
very attentive to university policies. She knows them like the back of her
her day is spent answering questions via e-mail, phone or in person. She
also meets with class deans on a weekly basis.
“Sometimes I have to interact with some very upset students,” she says.
“Some of them don’t understand that I don’t have the power to put someone in
a class, but by the time they leave my office, usually I have helped them to
understand this and I direct them to their class dean or advisor who can
help work out an alternative.”
she also doesn’t have the power to alter transcripts.
been asked that before,” she says, smiling.
Burg, a native of Oostvoorne, The Netherlands, first came to America at the
age of 6 weeks old. Her father took up a job with Uniroyal in Patterson,
N.J. and later Detroit, Mich. When Anna was 10, the family moved back to
Europe and Anna attended schools in Germany and Luxemburg before graduating
high school back in her native country. She returned to the America for
college, earning her bachelor’s of art in art history from the College of
Wooster in Ohio. There, she met her husband-to-be, Andrew Saslow, and moved
to Connecticut where his family lived.
I’ve been here ever since,” she says.
Burg started at Yale University in the library system. That got her working
on computers, and later she started programming. This skill led her onwards
into the Registrar’s Office, in total she spent 22 years at Yale. Then in
2000, she got a call from her friend, Steve Machuga, director of
administrative systems in Information Technology Services.
told me Wesleyan had a registrar’s position open, but I was already very
happy doing what I was doing at Yale,” van der Burg says. “Then I got this
call from the associate provost, Billy Weitzer, and, well, by the time of
interview, I was already convinced that Wesleyan would be a good move, and
it sure has been.”
Burg lives in Cheshire with her husband and boys Nate, 17, and Jake, 15. The
boys are members of the Cheshire Football team so the family spends ample
time at games. In her spare time, she enjoys working out at the Freeman
Athletic Center, reading, listening to “all kinds” of music, gardening,
playing with her cat and dog, and rooting for the New York Giants. And
bashfully, van der Burg admits that she’s a “huge fan” of pop-TV show
think it’s going to be Bo, the rocker, who wins this season,” she predicts.