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Friday, November 19, 2010

Leadership Institute learns about 'lean' higher education

Dean William Balzer
BGSU Firelands Dean William Balzer addresses the Bowling Green Leadership Institute.

Keeping a "laser focus" on the end beneficiary of your work is key to effective processes, Dr. William Balzer, dean of BGSU Firelands, told administrative staff members of the Bowling Green Leadership Institute Wednesday. Anything that does not contribute to that product should be eliminated so that resources may be reinvested in things that matter more, Balzer said. In education, that beneficiary is the student.

Balzer, who has written a book on applying lean principles to higher education said the organizing philosophy involves giving employees who are part of a process the tools to make it more effective and efficient. "This is a structured way of examining what you're doing and how."

Whereas it is common to look at what one's own unit is doing for efficiency, it is extremely important to consider the entire process to ensure that the students are truly benefitting. "This gives us ownership and will help make us a true learning community," Balzer told the group.

"In these challenging times where we're being called on to do more with less and to be more accountable, there are interventions, measures and philosophies we can use to help us fulfill our mission of public higher education," he said.

For more on the leadership institute,
click here

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November 19, 2010