chapter  Chapter 1
26 Pages

The Case for Lean Higher Education

WithWilliam K. Balzer

The university uses a standardized form and process for requests to modify and create new courses, with ultimate approval by the Office of the Provost. Many university processes are failing to meet the needs of those they serve, for example, parents, students, faculty, department chairs, campus offices, donors, employers, and alumni. Documentation is poor for many university processes, with no standardized written instructions or employee training programs that establish clear expectations for each of the steps and activities contributed by employees to each process. In an environment of plentiful resources and strong support, these shortcomings might be embarrassing but tolerable. It is not possible to design an organization so perfectly that it satisfies everyone all the time. Higher education is a labor-intensive process with faculty and staff deserving equitable compensation for the education, skills, and experiences they bring to their institutions.