No. 108 March 2008

What’s New

2008 Quality Issues Forum: Each year, at the Quality Issues Forum, the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment recognize improvement and innovation teams formed during the past year. This year, 509 members of 63 teams are being invited to the Forum. Team accomplishments and Forum highlights will be featured in future issues of Quality Endeavors. Information about over 800 innovation and improvement teams at Penn State can be found at

The Leveraging Excellence Award Program of the National Consortium for Continuous Improvement in Higher Education (NCCI) recognizes initiatives where effective academic and administrative practices have been successfully implemented beyond one department, campus, or institution. Innovative projects from the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and Brigham Young University won the 2008 Leveraging Excellence Award of the NCCI.

Feature Article: Using Teams More Effectively
Why is teamwork often at the forefront of a successful workplace? How do individuals create a successful team environment? Three recently published books provide some answers to these questions, and some approaches you can use to enhance your team’s progress toward its goal.
For the full article, visit
The complete feature articles series is available at


Facilitating Planning, Improvement, and Assessment Projects and Teams
Wednesday, April 2, 2008, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., 302C University Conference Center, Penn State College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center - This full-day workshop provides hands-on experience in the role of a facilitator working with a team addressing a planning, improvement, or assessment initiative.

Applying Quality Principles
Friday, April 4, 2008, 8:30 - 11:00 a.m., 508 Rider (formerly Rider II) - By applying quality principles, you can identify ways to help you work more efficiently and more effectively.

Off the Shelf: From Ideas to Results
Thursday, May 1, 2008, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., Nittany Lion Inn - Ballroom DE, Presenter: Maury Cotter, Director, Office of Quality Improvement, University of Wisconsin, Madison - Too often, strategic plans are shiny documents left on the shelf. This session will feature approaches for going from plan to action to results.

For complete information on all workshops being offered, visit

Spotlight on Quality Improvement: SIMSreports

Penn State’s Strategic Information Management System Reports (SIMSreports) is used by research executives, administrators, researchers, and staff at all Penn State locations to track, manage and report upon proposals and awards.

For the full article, visit
The complete Spotlight on Quality Improvement series is available at

Innovation Extracts: “The Increasing Dominance of Teams in Production of Knowledge”

In their article in Science (Vol. 316, 18 May 2007, pp. 1036-1039, abstract at, Stefan Wuchty, Benjamin F. Jones, and Brian Uzzi detail how their analysis of nearly 20 million research papers from the past 50 years and 2.1 million patents shows that, regardless of the field, more and more research is being done by teams.
The complete Innovation Extracts series is available at

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 To read past issues, see the Office's Web site at

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

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