No. 136 February 2011

Reminder: Request for New Innovation and Improvement Teams

Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson and the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment (OPIA) would like to recognize the work of new improvement teams and other quality initiatives at the annual Quality Issues Forum and Luncheon. As noted in Goal 7 of the University’s strategic plan, in this time of economic constraints it is even more important that we look for ways to use our resources more efficiently and effectively, and recognize those who have contributed to this effort. This year’s event will be held on Thursday, April 14, 2011 at The Nittany Lion Inn. The speaker will be Tim Curley, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Any work unit or department that has improved a process which has resulted in cost savings, better service, or increased efficiencies in the past 12 months is invited to submit this information to the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment's database.

Feature:  eLearning: Guiding Your Quality Journey: Penn State’s IMPROVE Model

OPIA continues to look for ways to make information about planning, improvement, and assessment available to members of the Penn State community 24/7 wherever they are. In our latest initiative, OPIA introduces its first Webinar, providing an overview of the IMPROVE model.

View the Webinar.

Quality Advocates: Demystifying Enrollment Management and Admissions Timelines

How does Penn State set enrollment targets and manage admissions for first-year students across twenty campuses? How do the Undergraduate Admissions office, campus admissions staff, the Office of Student Aid, academic units, and the Central Enrollment Management Group work together? This session will provide an overview of the enrollment management process and timeline through which a new class of close to 16,000 first-year Penn State students is admitted each year.

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Quality Advocates: Benchmarking Best Diversity Practices

Penn State is a leader in diversity strategic planning, and we are frequently benchmarked for our robust review process and emphasis on accountability. With A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State: 2010-15, Penn State begins the next phase of achieving our diversity potential. Since the implementation of the initial Framework in 1998, Penn State has made considerable strides toward building a truly diverse, inclusive, and equitable institution. Find out about the 2010 review process and what have been identified as best practices, and hear from representatives of units that are doing an exemplary job on implementation in several Challenges of the Framework.

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Quality Advocates: The Political and Economic Landscape for Higher Education in Pennsylvania

Since 2008, state budgets across the U.S. have had to cope with about $400 billion in deficits. In Pennsylvania the current, annual structural deficit is estimated at over $4 billion on a total Commonwealth budget of about $28 billion. Nationally and in Pennsylvania, the coming fiscal year may be especially difficult because $54 billion in federal stimulus funds directed to education spending will likely be gone. How are these and related factors – including the pace of economic recovery, and political change nationally and in Pennsylvania -- likely to impact Penn State?

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Workshop: Applying Quality Principles in Daily Work

Are you looking for ways to reduce the time you spend doing things over or correcting mistakes? By applying quality principles, you can identify ways to help you work more efficiently and more effectively. Activities in this program use sample applications and participant work situations to help reinforce basic quality principles.

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Workshop: Facilitating Quality Planning, Improvement, and Assessment in Projects and Teams

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. It also identifies the parallels between any of these approaches and classic project management, and the further considerations for the individual serving as both the group leader and facilitator.

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Do You Know? What’s the total number of innovation and improvement teams in the Team Database?

Cost Saving Ideas:  Suggestions that have been received at OPIA’s Effectiveness and Efficiency Ideas

  • Identify duplicate services offered in more than one unit, such as machine shops, services for international faculty and students, and similar courses such as statistics offered by more than one department, and reduce or eliminate the duplication.
  • Reduce the size of signature blocks on e-mail, and set options so they do not print on replies in extended exchanges.

Submit your ideas for increased efficiency and effectiveness at Penn State.

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 psupia@psu.edu.

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 psupia@psu.edu. To read past issues, see the Office's Web site at http://www.psu.edu/president/pia/s/5ztbIb.

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

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The Pennsylvania State University
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Phone: (814) 863-8721
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