chapter  Chapter 2
21 Pages

Lean Higher Education in Practice: An Overview and Case Study

WithWilliam K. Balzer

Higher education is an extensive and complex enterprise, with approximately 19,000 higher education institutions in 196 countries and territories around the world conferring 4-year degrees or professional diplomas. Lean Higher Education (LHE) provides university leaders with a management system supported by a comprehensive problem-solving framework for institutional change and improvement that results in mutual gains for beneficiaries, employees, and the university. This LHE project provides a useful demonstration of the Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) to understand and improve an important process in higher education, student mental health assessment and therapy services. The RIE is one of many Lean applications that can be used in higher education. LHE provides a practical framework for improving any university process. LHE begins with developing a clear understanding of what beneficiaries want from the process. The voice of the beneficiaries served by the process must be the principal guide for any change to the process.