Larry Lockwood helps students succeed. In fact, his job is based on it.
Lockwood has served as The University of Iowa’s assistant provost for enrollment services in the Office of the Registrar for the past seven years. He obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees, taught for a few years, and worked at the University of Wisconsin for 29 years in various capacities. A Vietnam War veteran, he has especially reached out to veterans over the years, ensuring they have what they need to succeed in higher education.
Parent Times recently chatted with Lockwood to learn more about what his office does, how the University is supporting an increasing number of enrolled veterans, and what parents need to know about commencement.
Our office provides records such as student rosters and grade lists to the faculty, and helps students maintain academic records and send transcripts to employers or to graduate and professional schools. I probably see a dozen students a day with different concerns.
One thing I like about my position is it’s not routine. Every day is different, and here at Iowa, you can provide input to administration for decisions to be made quickly—that’s not true at other large institutions where you have committees upon committees to look at a problem before it even gets to administration. We’re also becoming a benchmark institution for registrar services.
What do parents inquire about the most?
Fees, tuition, and concerns about their student’s transition to college life. Most of the calls we receive are for students in their first two years of school. We’ll try to answer any concern a parent has or get them in touch with the appropriate advisor or administrator. The transition to college is a partnership with parents to ensure their student’s academic success.
Spring commencement ceremonies are coming up. What’s important for parents to know regarding the ceremonies?
Nearly 3,500 students will participate in their college’s commencement ceremony between May 13 and 16. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ceremony on May 15 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena is the largest. Parents should allow adequate time for their commute. Traffic is very heavy, and graduates and their guests may end up having to park a distance away from the venue. Doors open one hour prior to the beginning of the ceremony. Make sure to make travel arrangements and reservations early. Disabled guests needing special accommodations should call 319-335-0296 or 319-335-0228 no later than May 1.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences students who will be graduating in July may be able to participate early, or “walk,” in the May ceremony, or opt to attend the December ceremony. Interested students should check with Graduation Analysis in Jessup Hall to see if they qualify. Students attending other colleges should check with that college’s student services area or dean’s office.
Graduating students should purchase their cap and gown at University Bookstore between April 26 and May 7. Bookstore hours and apparel pricing—and more detailed information regarding commencements—is available on our web site.
What drew you to The University of Iowa and your career as a registrar?
I was substitute teaching and working at General Motors, and I couldn’t get a teaching job because there were just too many social studies teachers who graduated that year. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs called me and asked me if I wanted to be a counselor, and I thought that would be an interesting area. Had I not gone into veterans work, I wouldn’t have been in a registrar’s office, and with all the varied work in the registrar’s office, I would have never gone up through the ranks and drawn Iowa’s attention. Coming to Iowa was an opportunity to lead my own office and take my experience and knowledge to help expand services to UI staff and students.
What is the University doing to help veterans make a successful transition from soldier to student?
In 2008 the University created a Veterans Task Force, of which I’m an active member, to look holistically at the best way to help student veterans. The UI Veterans Center, created in 2006, is part of the Office of the Registrar and it provides a lot of services and resources.
Plus, we’ve got all kinds of disability services on campus—the hearing clinic, UI Health Care, the VA Hospital, an accessible campus, the Bionic Bus system, as well as a student support group at the UI Veterans Center.
by Lois J. Gray