Scott Dittman to step down as university registrar

Dittman said he is sad to see his time at Washington and Lee come to an end


Scott Dittman will officially retire in 15 months but he will step down from his position as university registrar in June 2020. Photo by Emma Stoffel, ’21.

Emma Stoffel

After 34 years at Washington and Lee University, Scott Dittman has decided to step down from his position as university registrar.

Dittman first heard about the position at Washington and Lee from an ad in The Chronicle of Higher Education. He said he was drawn to the university’s call for someone with a “technological bent.”

Dittman explained how he has enjoyed being able to work with great people in an intellectually stimulating and technological environment.

“I love the intellectual aspect, the logical piece,” Dittman said. “I am fairly efficient because technology doesn’t bother me, threaten me. I can easily find ways to use the technology as the tool, but far and away it’s the people, it’s the relational aspect of it.”

Along with the community and intellectual pull, Dittman described how he will miss the honor system and speaking tradition at Washington and Lee.

“You don’t have to worry about forged signatures, you don’t have to worry about stolen grade change forms. You are starting with this presumption of trust in a conversation,” Dittman said. “Most administrators don’t get a chance to take advantage of [the honor system].”

Dittman said he has enjoyed his work at Washington and Lee and is sad to see its end, but he is looking forward to his retirement and spending time with his wife, Susan, and their seven grandchildren.

“If I had unlimited energy and time and everything, I would keep doing it,” he said.

However, Dittman said there are a lot of changes coming to the registrar, so he felt it was best to have someone in office who can see through the transition of WorkForce, the online platform soon to take over Self Service in the next two years.

When asked about his transition period to full retirement, Dittman said he wants to make sure his successor fully understands Washington and Lee on a cultural and relational basis. His successor must also be willing to take on the role of faculty secretary for the Registrar, which Dittman has been doing simultaneously with his current role.

Dittman will step down officially from his role as university registrar in June and his successor will step up in July. He will then be consultant to the provost for six months and will fully retire 15 months from now.

He expressed his appreciation for how the university is arranging his transition with the new registrar by having a six month overlap with the new hire. And he’s been touched by how many people in the community have expressed how they will miss him when he leaves.

When asked if Dittman had any final words or thoughts on stepping down from his position, he laughed.

“No,” he said, “that’s for 15 months from now.”