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The Official Baldrige Blog

11 Examples of How the Baldrige Excellence Framework Strengthens Colleges and Universities

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Did you know that the first post-secondary education organization to earn a Baldrige Award—the nation’s highest honor for U.S. organizations that achieve excellence—is a four-year state university in the Midwest? The University of Wisconsin–Stout (see profile in this PDF) won the Baldrige Award in 2001.

The second and third Baldrige Award recipients in post-secondary education further represent the variety of institutions in the sector. Those 2004 and 2005 Baldrige Award recipients, respectively, are Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business (see profile in this PDF), an undergraduate-only business school within the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley; and Richland College (see profile in this PDF), a two-year community college in Dallas, Texas.

Below you can find links to blogs about how leaders in those and other post-secondary education organizations have used the Education Criteria for Performance Excellence (part of the Baldrige Excellence Framework) to help them effectively and efficiently provide a high-quality education to students today.

Listed in order of publication date, the following blogs describe merely a sampling of ways that such education organizations have benefitted from adopting a systems perspective and other core concepts of the Baldrige framework’s approach to managing for excellent performance.

  1. Customer Focus at “Colleges That Change Lives” (September 2010)
  2. Intelligent Risk at Richland College (April 2011)
  3. Higher Education Interacting and Engaging, Not Just for Students Anymore (May 2011)
  4. Measuring Performance: Best Practices of a 2005 Baldrige Award Winner (March 2014)
  5. A University That Uses Baldrige Approaches to Excel (September 2014)
  6. Focus on the 2015 Judges’ Panel: Judge Fonda Vera (July 2015)
  7. A Strong Performance Measurement System: Tips from a Baldrige Award-Winning College (March 2016)
  8. The “Great Value” of the Baldrige Framework to a University (June 2016)
  9.  The Impact of the Baldrige Award … 15+ Years Later (January 2017)
  10.  A Baldrige Fellow’s Plan to Make University Degrees More Valuable (June 2017)
  11. Where Business Students Use the Baldrige Framework to Solve Real-World Problems (July 2017)

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program provides resources and services that support high performance by organizations involved in U.S. education at every level.

About the author

Christine Schaefer

Christine Schaefer is a longtime staff member of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP). Her work has focused on producing BPEP publications and communications. She also has been highly involved in the Baldrige Award process, Baldrige examiner training, and other offerings of the program.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was an Echols Scholar and a double major, receiving highest distinction for her thesis in the interdisciplinary Political & Social Thought Program. She also has a master's degree from Georgetown University, where her studies and thesis focused on social and public policy issues. 

When not working, she sits in traffic in one of the most congested regions of the country, receives consolation from her rescued beagles, writes poetry, practices hot yoga, and tries to cultivate a foundation for three kids to direct their own lifelong learning (and to PLEASE STOP YELLING at each other—after all, we'll never end wars if we can't even make peace at home!).

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