Contemporary Challenges Confronting Colleges and Universities:
The Baldrige and Excellence in Higher Education Approach to Institutional Renewal
Brent D. Ruben
Contemporary Challenges Confronting Colleges and Universities: The Baldrige and Excellence in Higher Education Approach to Institutional Renewal by Brent D. Ruben focuses on how Baldrige-oriented thinking can be helpful to colleges and universities in their efforts to address the contemporary challenges they confront in the wake of COVID-19, recognizing that this difficult moment in time may also offer opportunities for constructive transformational change.
The article introduces the Excellence in Higher Education-Renewal (EHE-R) framework, developed to assist colleges and universities in post-crisis review, strategy formulation, and renewal planning. The EHE-R framework represents an extension of the general Excellence in Higher Education (EHE) model developed to adapt the Baldrige framework to align with the language and culture of higher education. Key questions in each of the following categories of the EHE-R framework are presented and discussed: (1) Leadership, (2) Purposes and Plans, (3) Beneficiary and Constituency Relationships, (4) Programs and Services, (5) Faculty/Staff and Workplace Issues, (6) Metrics, Assessment, and Analysis, and (7) Outcomes and Achievements.
The article also describes processes for using the EHE-R framework to guide leaders and colleagues in thoughtful and systematic review and forward planning at the institutional level, and within academic and professional schools or departments, as well as in administrative, student life, facilities, IT, human resources, athletics, and other functional areas. Finally, potential research needs and opportunities related to the application of Baldrige-oriented thinking in crisis settings within higher education are discussed, which may also be applicable to other economic sectors.
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