University Registrar Plans Retirement

Photo of Jean Irving

Jean Irving has been a mainstay at Chico State longer than most of us realize. She obtained her business administration degree here and went on to complete her master’s in physical education administration while working full-time and raising a family with her husband Steve.

Irving’s first staff position at Chico State in 1980 was in the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office providing clerical support. She then moved to the admissions and records office in 1983 where she was an evaluator for several years. The records area became Irving’s home away from home, and there she has remained.

During her time as an evaluator, Irving took on certifying athlete eligibility, which transitioned into a full-time role as the first athletic compliance coordinator for Chico State. In that role, she worked to assist student-athletes and coaches with understanding the complex NCAA rules. Irving became very proficient in her position and thoroughly enjoyed working with student-athletes for over 15 years.

In 2003, Irving was appointed as assistant registrar when her colleagues and supervisors were tapped to assist with the testing and implementation of PeopleSoft. Irving handled the new responsibilities well and was eventually made interim registrar when Bruce Rowen stepped down in 2006. A search for a new university registrar concluded with Irving’s appointment in July 2007. She has been the university registrar for the past 10 years.

“Jean’s technical expertise and institutional knowledge have been critical to her success in developing student-and faculty-centered services,” said Barbara Fortin, associate vice president for Enrollment Management Services.

IPhoto of Irving familyrving is married to Steve Irving, former director of the Student Employment Office. The couple met while Steve was working on his master’s degree at Chico State and Irving was working in Financial Aid. May 1 will be their 34-year anniversary. Congratulations are definitely in order.

The couple have two adult children, Tyler and Carissa. Tyler is living and working in Phoenix and Carissa has stayed in Chico and is a teacher at Chapman Elementary School.

Following Steve’s retirement in 2015, campus members wondered if Irving herself would consider stepping down. In January, she confirmed she will indeed be retiring this coming June. A search was kicked off in April to find a new university registrar. But Irving is leaving behind big shoes to fill.

Irving is excited about having more time for the things she loves but has not had adequate time to do. She plans on getting back on her bike, working on her yard, finishing a number of home-improvement projects, traveling, and is looking forward to volunteer opportunities in the community.

Photo of Irving and Registrar staffIrving will be missed by her staff for a variety of reasons. Michelle Holmes, the registration and public contact supervisor in the Office of the Registrar, has worked with Irving for 20 years and has benefitted from her willingness to mentor staff.

“She (Irving) inspires us all to work hard and she shows her appreciation of her staff,” Holmes said. “We have all learned a lot by her example and my hope is we can continue serving the students at this University with the same high standards Jean has demonstrated for the past 35 years.”

Photo of Irving with childHer love of helping others runs deep and is matched by her daughter Carissa’s passion. The two have traveled to Haiti and participated in the United States Foundation for the Children of Haiti (USFCH) for numerous years. USFCH is a volunteer organization that provides services to orphans in Haiti through education, medical care, and homes.

The Irving family has sponsored a Haitian child, Kenley, since 2011. They also contribute regularly to the Fondation Pour Les Enfants D’Haiti through USFCH. Carissa has done volunteer work in Haiti every year since 2010, including 3 months in the summer of 2013 at the Hope Home for children with disabilities.

Photo of Irvings with Haitian boyIrving herself has been to Haiti to volunteer and would appreciate any consideration of retirement “gifts” for her be in the form of donations to USFCH. You can sponsor a child, like the Irving family does, or simply make a donation at Either way, you can make a difference.

“The staff in Office of the Registrar are amazing, always ready to help others, support each other, and continue to grow,” Irving said. “As registrar, I have worked to develop a positive work environment and to foster supportive working relationships with the faculty, staff, and students we serve.”

Irving is finding it hard to leave her staff and the University behind, but after 36 years on the Chico State campus, she is ready to discover new passions and find new ways to contribute to the community and beyond.