What is Process Improvement in the University?

A University is a complex system of varied but interrelated processes designed to serve a broad array of stakeholders. As higher education increasingly faces challenges like rising costs, diminishing resources, and higher expectations for service excellence and accountability, leaders around the world are looking for ways to improve, and sometimes transform, their institutions. Opportunities for process improvement abound on both the academic and administrative fronts.

Examples of academic processes include course development, curriculum revision, and advising. Administrative processes run the gamut from hiring new employees to processing travel reimbursements to certifying research laboratories. Bringing together new, fresh ideas from different perspectives and unique angles is the surest path to efficiency and effectiveness in a decentralized university environment.