Our History

The first conference of Western Canadian Registrars was held in January 1952 at the University of Alberta. The four western Canadian Universities were represented by G.B. Taylor (Registrar, University of Alberta), C.B. Wood (Registrar, University of Saskatchewan) and A.D. Cairns (Assistant Registrar, University of Alberta). No attempt was made at this meeting to set up a formal organization or to plan regular meetings.

It was not until the University of Alberta and The University of British Columbia jointly hosted the Second Triennial Conference of Registrars of Canadian Universities and Colleges at the Banff School of Fine Arts in January 1962, that plans were made to establish a western regional organization of registrars of degree-granting universities and colleges. Since the national group, the Association of Registrars of the Universities of Canada (ARUC), would meet every two years, it was agreed that the western group would meet in the intervening year.

The first official meeting of the Western Universities Registrars was held at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, in 1963. The Association was established as a regional component of ARUC.

Since ARUC chose to forego its regular meeting in 1966 in order to correspond with the 1967 Expo in Montreal, the University of Calgary hosted the third western conference in June 1966. This was the first conference to which delegates from non-degree granting colleges were invited. From this, a rather serious problem arose , as ARUC membership was restricted to degree-granting institutions. The issue, and some other problems closely related to it, was not settled until the ARUC Conference of 1974. At that time, the motion to extend membership to include non-university registrars was moved, subsequently carried and ARUC became the Association of the Registrars of Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC).

During the 1972 conference in Jasper, Alberta, a steering committee was formed to develop a structure and constitution for a formal organization. The committee consisted of Barry Browning (Registrar, The University of Manitoba), Jerry Della Mattia (Director of Admissions, Douglas College, Vancouver), Len Semrau (Registrar, NAIT, Edmonton) and John Dorgan (Registrar, University of Saskatchewan).

The next meeting was held the following year in Brandon, Manitoba. At this time, the constitution was approved and the name Western Canadian Association of Registrars of Institutions of Post-Secondary Education (WCARIPSE) was adopted for the newly formalized organization. Fred Bennett, Registrar of Camosun College, Victoria, BC was selected to serve as the first chair of WCARIPSE.

Institutional membership was open to all provincial and federal institutions of post-secondary education located in the four western provinces of Canada. The 1973 membership roster consisted of 42 institutional members and 94 individual members.

By 1987, membership had grown to 65 institutional members and 225 individual members. The constitution was amended to extend membership boundaries from the four western provinces to 88 degrees (W) longitude, providing for participation by Lakehead University and colleges of the Northwest Territories and Yukon.

The association said goodbye to WARUCC President, Dr. J. David McLeod, who passed away in February 2009. In his memory, the membership renamed the association's assistantship fund the J. David McLeod Assistantship Fund in honour of the outstanding contributions made by David to the development of the profession in Western Canada.

Today, WARUCC has over 500 members, made up of institutional, individual, corporate, and honorary members. 

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