The University Record, October 9, 1995

M-Quality Expo features workshops, displays of 58 groups

Editor’s Note: This issue of the Record contains the program for the M-Quality Expo as a centerfold insert.

By Jared Blank

The 1995 M-Quality Expo, to be held Oct. 20–21 in the Michigan Union, is a chance for faculty and staff from across the University to better understand how different units within the University operate, and to get to know the people and personalities who comprise the units, according to Robert B. Holmes, director of Human Resource Development and assistant vice president for academic affairs.

“This is really a community-building event,” says Holmes. “It brings exhibitors from all over campus together—units who don’t often do business with each other have a chance to interact and learn. We find that we often have more in common in our day-to-day work than we realize.

“The Expo has allowed different units to establish a new environment of teamwork between the offices in ways we have not thought about in the past,” he adds.

More than 2,000 people are expected to view exhibits presented by 58 groups. Exhibits will focus on methods used by the groups to problem-solve and other endeavors undertaken by the teams.

“The purpose of the Expo is to give all of us a better sense of the many ways that groups across campus are using M-Quality to continuously improve the University,” note J. Bernard Machen, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Farris W. Womack, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Holmes says the Expo also presents an opportunity for faculty and staff to highlight their leadership skills to a wide audience. “This is really a time to recognize the many leaders who are working to improve the University on all levels,” he notes. “Groups can show off the tremendous expertise and creativity that their members bring to their work.”

M-Quality has been an incredibly useful tool in the Business and Finance divisions, says Pamela Hamblin, leader of the 1995 M-Quality Expo planning team.

“Because M-Quality is so process-oriented, there is lots of fertile ground for its use in any business-oriented part of the university,” she says. Because business units deal with so many different areas across the university, streamlining paperwork makes it easier for business units to work with so many different areas. “Using M-Quality tools has helped facilitate cross-department communication,” she adds.

Hamblin notes that M-Quality also has allowed her to see problems in a positive light. “When a problem arises, I see it as an opportunity to change a process so I can do something better the next time,” she says.

Machen and Womack ask that staff members be given release time to attend some portion of the Expo, without loss of time or pay, wherever this is possible. They encourage everyone to “take advantage of this rich resource of information and ideas.”

This year’s Expo features four speakers who will lecture on topics related to M-Quality and leadership skills.

  • Ed Rothman, professor of statistics and director of the Center for Statistical Consultation and Research, will speak about the barriers to improvement at 10 a.m. Oct. 17 in Wolverine Tower, Suite 16. Excellent ideas for improvement are of little value when they aren’t used. Rothman will discuss what we can do to improve an environment to allow and promote change.

  • John Tropman, professor of social work and of business administration will discuss meetings as a work process and will provide helpful tips for making them more efficient and more effective noon-1:30 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Kalamazoo Room, Michigan League.

  • Ellen Gaucher, senior associate director of U-M Hospitals, will discuss the process for creating a culture of quality, barriers to effective integration and strategies to overcome those barriers at 9 a.m. Oct. 19 in the Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union.

  • Nathan Norman, director of Plant Building Services, will discuss change at 10 a.m. Oct.20 in the Kuenzel Room. Since change is inevitable, the question is how we confront change and what effect it has on us as individuals and as a society.