On May 4, 2005, Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson and the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment sponsored a Quality Issues Forum and Luncheon in recognition of the outstanding contributions of 56 quality improvement teams formed during the past 12 to 18 months.  These teams, representing approximately 300 individuals, some on more than one team, found numerous opportunities for cost savings and increased efficiencies in their work.  For a unit by unit list of the 56 teams, the processes they improved and their members, please click here [PDF].

Keynote speaker for the Issues Forum, Dr. Brent Ruben, Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University, spoke on "Pursuing Excellence in Higher Education: The Classroom and Beyond." (View video) Dr. Ruben identified eight challenges for higher education:

  • Broadening public appreciation for the work of the academy
  • Increasing our understanding of the needs of workplaces
  • Becoming more effective learning organizations
  • Integrating assessment, planning, and improvement
  • Enhancing collaboration and community
  • Recognizing that everyone in the institution is a teacher
  • Devoting more attention and resources to leadership
  • More broadly framing our vision of excellence

and commented, "It's most striking that everyone who works in the university is a teacher...the faculty are teaching in the classrooms. But those who are non-faculty members are teaching all the time in everything they do, in the systems they design, in the way they interact with the students, in the way they interact with one another, the kind of role models they create...the classroom, the learning environments we create, they have no walls..."

Since 1991, more than 650 continuous quality improvement teams and other quality initiatives have registered on the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment's database.  New teams may register in the OPIA database. Members of teams formed between May 2005 and April 2006 will be invited to next year's Quality Issues Forum to be held in the Nittany Lion Inn on Wednesday April 26, 2006.

Other links:
A Gallery of Photos
Video of Presentation (Windows Media Player or compatible player needed)

The March/April 2005 OPIA newsletter, "Quality Issues Forum Recognizes Teamwork Across the University," provides a sampling of the teams recognized. [PDF]

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Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment
The Pennsylvania State University
502 Rider Building
University Park, PA 16802-4819
Phone: (814) 863-8721
Fax: (814) 863-7031
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