Organizational Initiatives in Higher Education

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No. 122 September 2009

What’s New: Best of the Blog

The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment (OPIA) at Penn State has started a blog to keep you informed of new ways of thinking about quality and matters related to planning, improvement and assessment. We’ll provide weekly posts on OPIA activities and fill you in on quality, planning and improvement efforts going on around the University. We’ll include items about ways that other organizations are thinking about and implementing their planning, improvement and assessment activities.

The blog is at /blogs/qualitymatters. Take a look and let us know what you think!The blog was removed on August 5, 2010.

Some recent posts to the blog:

Framework to Foster Diversity2010-2015 plan has more strategic approach.

Higher ed news online - Three sources.

The complete feature articles series is available at /features/.

Quality Advocates: Student Success Series


Continuous Quality Improvement – Closing the Gap, Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., 508 Rider OR Friday, November 20, 2009, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Facilitating Planning, Improvement and Assessment Projects and Teams, Friday, October 23, 2009, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Applying Quality Principles in Daily Work, Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 8:30 - 11:00 a.m.

For complete information on all workshops being offered, visit /workshops/.

Innovation Insights: Creating a Culture for Innovation and Improvement: Lessons Learned

To successfully build a culture for continuous improvement and other change initiatives, people in the organization need to be engaged and a part of the process. At Penn State, working across the University and its component units, more successful innovation and improvement initiatives have shared several fundamental cultural components.

For the full document, visit /innovation/insights022.pdf. The complete Innovation Insights series is available at /innovation/.

Innovation Extracts: Peter Drucker on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Public Service Organizations

Innovation and an entrepreneurial approach are key concepts in organizational performance and sustainability. As stakeholder needs and the environment change, organizations need to keep up with the changes, and, when possible, get ahead of them. Peter Drucker notes in his classic management publication, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (Harper and Row, 1974), and later in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (HarperBusiness, 1993), that this may be more difficult for not-for-profit, public service organizations than it is for conventional profit driven organizations, but that it is possible and necessary.

The complete Innovation Extracts series is available at /extracts/.

Support for Planning, Improvement, and Assessment in Your Unit

The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment supports the University’s efforts to plan, assess, and improve programs and services. The Office is available, at no charge, to consult with units and use organizational change tools to help units assess their needs, develop strategic plans, improve key processes, and develop collaborative team environments. If you would like to discuss the planning, quality, or assessment needs of your unit with one of our consultants, please contact the Office at 814-863-8721 or e-mail

The Quality Endeavors newsletter is published several times each semester. If you have any questions or comments about what you read here, or if you would like to suggest items for future newsletters, please contact Louise Sandmeyer, Executive Director of the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment, at 814-863-8721 or read past issues, see the Office’s Web site at /newsletter/archive.htm.

To subscribe, join our mailing list or contact the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment at 814-863-8721.

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