Quality Issues Forum 2006

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On April 26, 2006, Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson and the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment hosted the annual Quality Issues Forum to recognize the 38 quality teams and improvement initiatives identified in the past year, and the approximately 280 individuals involved, for their contributions to innovation and improvement. This event speaks to the importance of continuous quality improvement at the University since 1991.  This year, in addition to recognizing the teams and initiatives, we celebrated these 15 years of sustaining the quality advantage.  Faculty, staff, students, and administrators have found opportunities for cost savings and increased efficiencies in their work.  Penn State values their contributions and continued commitment to continuous inprovement.  For a list of the 38 teams, see OPIA’s April 2006 Quality Endeavors newsletter. 

The keynote speaker at the Forum was Jim Buckman, Co-Director of the Joseph M. Juran Center for Leadership in Quality, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.   In his presentation, Mr. Buckman reviewed the core concepts and values of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award:

  • Visionary leadership that is directed toward greatness
  • Customer-focused orientation
  • Management innovation, organizational learning and personal learning
  • Valuing employees and partners
  • Agility to respond to changing environments
  • Decision making based on data
  • Social responsibility for the greater good
  • Focus on results and creating value
  • Systems perspective for the whole enterprise
He also talked about the purpose of higher education:

As people in universities, we preserve the knowledge and wisdom of the past…We help discover knowledge for a brighter future…We develop leaders for a brighter future…That’s it.  If we’re doing something that doesn’t connect to those ideas pretty directly, I think we should ask “Why?  Why are we doing it?”

Mr. Buckman pointed out that we should all be able to identify our activities as adding value.

Also at the Forum, several individuals were recognized for the value they have added to Penn State.

Pat IrwinPatricia Irwin has served Penn State for 34 years, and has chaired the University Health Services quality improvement program. Under her leadership, every department in the University Health Services every year has identified at least one improvement initiative. The impact of these efforts has resulted in high quality service to Penn State students through improved work flow, improvement in medical treatment, and more efficient use of resources.  Every year for the past 15 years, through Pat’s leadership, the University Health Services has been recognized at the Quality Expo or Quality Issues Forum for its continuous improvement achievements.

The Joseph M. Juran Center for Leadership in Quality annually selects and honors doctoral students who, upon graduation, are expected to broaden quality thinking in their chosen field.  There are five award recipients for 2006 from Penn State.

Juran Group

Penn State Juran Fellowship and Juran Doctoral Award Recipients: front row, left to right, Betty Harper and Nina Vyatkina; back row, left to right, Brad Beauvais, Tanuj Motwani, and Leidy Klotz.

Since 1991, more than 700 continuous quality improvement teams and other quality initiatives have registered in the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment’s Team Database. 

Members of teams formed between April 2006 and March 2007 will be invited to next year’s Quality Issues Forum in spring 2007.

Other links:
A Gallery of Photos

The April 2006 OPIA newsletter, “Annual Quality Issues Forum Recognizes Teamwork and Improvement Across the University,” provides a listing of teams and improvement initiatives recognized. [PDF]

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