The University Record, July 6, 1993

M-Quality initiative guided by Council, Steering Committee

A reorganization of the two groups that provide overall guidance for the University’s M-Quality initiative has given the Executive Officers and others an opportunity “to focus on continuous improvement within the University as a way of helping all of us infuse this principle into other settings, into our units, and into the way we approach our individual work,” say Provost Gilbert R. Whitaker Jr. and Farris W. Womack, vice president and chief financial officer.

Activities of the 43-member Council on Continuous Improvement, resulting from a realignment of the University M-Quality Council, will focus on information sharing and education.

A smaller Steering Committee, whose membership is drawn from the Council membership, “guides the M-Quality approach of continuous improvement in the University on behalf of the Council” and sets the agendas for the Council.

“We believe that continuous improvement includes the M-Quality principles of managing by fact, respect for people and ideas and satisfying those we serve,” Whitaker and Womack say. “In addition, the notion of ‘continuous improvement’ has a dynamic quality that we believe is highly appropriate in the University.”

The charge to the Council notes that its activities are intended “to foster regular interactions among the senior leadership of the University on the subject of continuous improvement.”

The group is charged to:

  • Develop an understanding of why the University is pursuing the M-Quality approach and how the principles of continuous improvement relate to the values, mission and vision of the University.

  • Develop an awareness of various views about continuous improvement and a better understanding of how it is being pursued in various settings across the University.

  • Share issues and concerns that arise during planning and implementation so that units can share information and assist each other as implementation plans are considered, developed and revised.

  • Participate in educational experiences so that collectively and individually the members can examine their current leadership and management styles in relation to the principles of continuous improvement and explore ways to translate these principles into behaviors and actions.

  • Identify broad elements in the University environment that prevent effective achievement of aspirations, enabling the Steering Committee and Council to consider ways of overcoming the obstacles with a focus on continuous improvement.

    The eight-member Steering Committee is the “think tank, the dream machine” for M-Quality, explains Paula-Allen Meares, dean of the School of Social Work and a member of the group.

    “With an overall goal of focusing attention on those being served by the University and making the University a better place for people to work, the Steering Committee provides leadership for M-Quality and seeks to model M-Quality principles in its work,” explains Robert B. Holmes, assistant vice president for academic affairs and executive adviser for M-Quality.

    The Steering Committee is responsible for the strategic plan for M-Quality, and in this role will assign work to existing M-Quality committees on training, evaluation and communication, and assign other work groups as needed.