Here is a very interesting article that describes how the department chair's job has evolved over the years from something desirable, which many faculty aspired to, to a thankless and burdensome job that few faculty want: "For Chairs, the Seat's Gotten Hotter: With new demands for fund raising and … [Read more...] about The Department Chair’s Job
Archives for December 2013
How do you know when the leaders of a company understand Lean management? It is when they begin to treat their suppliers as valuable resources instead of entities to bargain with for lower prices. Executives start to see the key stakeholders - employees, suppliers, customers, investor, and … [Read more...] about Still Beating Up Suppliers?
The article "Dying on Our Swords" (IHE, 11 December 2013) presents a problem that has long concerned me. That is, adding marketing responsibilities to professors as enrollments decline. The article addresses the debate on whether faculty should engage in marketing to help their academic programs … [Read more...] about Professors Marketing Programs
A reader of my books recently asked me the following questions: Why is Lean important to an organization? Why should we introduce Lean to an organization with good performance? These are good questions. Most of the writing about Lean focuses on organizations that perform poorly and need to … [Read more...] about Why Is Lean Important?
The Financial Times recently ran an story in the print edition titled: "UK students cut back on boozing as study costs help focus minds" (FT, 21 November 2013). It is part of an in-depth series on higher education in the UK. Public university tuition used to cost £1000 per year in the UK (it is … [Read more...] about Tuition Prices Too Low
Progressive Lean management has long been misunderstood and, as a result, misapplied by managers, resulting in bad outcomes for key stakeholders such as employees. Two main points of misunderstanding are: 1) to recognize only the "Continuous Improvement" principle and ignore the "Respect for People … [Read more...] about Lean Must Do No Harm
Many institutions of higher education, especially the small privates and regional comprehensive public universities, are experiencing double-digit declines in enrollment. This is leading to a variety of actions by administrators, from layoffs of faculty and staff to efforts to increase … [Read more...] about Enrollment Recovery Plan
Let's get rid of value stream maps. I can hear it now: "Why would you say such a thing? Value stream maps are great. We can't see waste without them." Precisely. Value stream maps have developed an outsized importance in relation to other types of basic information that one gathers when trying to … [Read more...] about Lean Heresy
Higher education accreditation organizations have come under much criticism lately. A recent article, "Accreditors Now Find Themselves Under Critical Review" (CHE, 2 December 2013, subscription required) highlights some of their problems. A few excerpts: "Accreditation focuses heavily on process... … [Read more...] about Criticism of Accreditors