by Emily Roth
Five years ago, Bev Kleeman packed all her belongings and two cats into the back of a jeep. She was ready for a change after spending her entire life in Indiana. She made a decision and drove with her daughter across the country to take the position of Whitworth registrar.
Kleeman was the Assistant Dean Director of Advising for the Louisville and Radcliffe campuses in Kentucky for McKendree College. She worked at McKendree 15 years before deciding it was time for something different and applied to Whitworth.
“I sold my home in a couple weeks back there, flew out here and found a home within four days,” Kleeman said.
Since then, Kleeman has settled into Spokane well and enjoys her new position.
“I like being able to make things happen that need to happen, sometimes being able to have that influence to get a policy changed,” Kleeman said. “I love working with the students, although that’s something I don’t get to do as much as I’d like.”
Kleeman misses the student interaction she had while working in Kentucky. She prefers to stay upbeat and positive but her work as registrar often means denying student requests.
“Sometimes I have to say, ‘I’m sorry you missed the deadline, but I have to treat everyone fairly,’” Kleeman said. “It’s walking a fine line sometimes between trying to treat everyone fairly and really evaluate the special circumstances and give them the consideration they deserve.”
Whitworth has impressed Kleeman with its effort to serve students.
“One thing I’ve seen here is a tremendous dedication to the students,” Kleeman said. “They really care about making it work for the students. It’s not about come in, get your job done, and go home at night. It’s about what can we do to make things better for them.”
Kleeman reminds students to seek help from the registrar’s office. She suggests visiting the office with any questions and taking advantage of the registrar’s web page to find deadlines and forms.
“Use us as a resource if they have any questions or problems. We may not be able to solve the issue they may have but we often know who to refer them to,” Kleeman said.
Even when she’s not helping students, Kleeman finds ways to enjoy her days in the office and have fun with her co-workers. They take walks in nice weather, celebrate employee birthdays, share funny emails on Fridays, and keep Nerf guns in the office to add excitement to slow days.
The only downside to Kleeman’s life here is missing her daughter who still lives in Indiana. They now see each other only four times a year, but Kleeman says she holds no regrets.
“Everything fell into perfect place so I just felt like this was what God wanted me to do,” said Kleeman.