No. 149 May 2012

Quality Team Highlights 2012

In January 2012, as a more effective and efficient approach to recognize all of those who contribute to Penn State’s innovation and improvement initiatives, Penn State implemented its third generation of recognition. Recognition takes place through the year, in each issue of Quality Endeavors, as well as a spring summary of the teams. This year’s 33 teams have worked on a wide range of projects and issues.


Read the complete feature articles series…

Innovation Extract: Better Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a commonly used tool to generate ideas, and there are several approaches, including round robin, silent, and spontaneous. In “Idea Generation and the Quality of the Best Ideas” (Management Science  Vol. 56, No. 4, April 2010, pp. 591-605), authors Karan Girotra, Christian Terwiesch, and Karl T. Ulrich detail their research to determine whether there are more effective ways to generate more, and higher quality ideas.


Quality Advocates: Toward a Better Understanding of Division of Undergraduate Studies Students Dropped for Poor Scholarship

On Monday, April 16, 2012, Eric White, Executive Director, Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) and Nick Warcholak and Alexander Yin, both Senior Planning and Research Associates in the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment, spoke with more than 100 attendees at multiple campuses about their findings regarding patterns of actions that lead to a student ultimately being dropped from the University for poor scholarship.


Quality Team Highlights: New Teams

The teams highlighted this month are:


Cost Saving Idea:

Before sending out paper copies of meeting notes, or printed announcements of events, consider whether posting the information on the Internet and just sending an e-mail giving the location of the information is a reasonable alternative.

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 Mike Dooris 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 Barbara Sherlock, Senior Planning and Improvement Associate, Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment, at 814-863-8721 or Read past issues on the Office's Web site.

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