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Instituting Continuous Improvement Within A Tenure/Promotion Culture (And Taking Advantage Of It)

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.364.1 - 5.364.8



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Paper Authors

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Mohammad A. Zahraee

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Lash Mapa

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Gregory Neff

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Susan Scachitti

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3575

Instituting Continuous Improvement within a Tenure/Promotion Culture (and taking advantage of it) Susan Scachitti, Gregory Neff, Lash Mapa, Mohammad Zahraee Purdue University Calumet


Institutions of higher education have, in recent years, begun to formally instill principles of Total Quality Management into their existing cultures. Examples of these culture changes are numerous regarding administrative aspects of institutions; however, not as many examples are available in respect to introducing TQM concepts into the academic side of institutions. This may be due to the greater similarities that can be drawn between traditional corporations (that have been using TQM concepts for decades) and the administrative aspects of an institution of higher education as compared to those on the academic side. The administrative side has an ultimate goal of increasing student enrollments, retaining those that have been recruited and addressing concerns of overall satisfaction with various university services. The academic side, on the other hand, bears the greater part of any university’s chief mission “to create and transfer knowledge.”1

Traditionally the academic side of an institution is guided by a tenure and promotion system. This system is, in many respects, vastly different from a basic corporation’s approach to doing business. The tenure and promotion system helps faculty members to shape their ideas, priorities, and the general way they approach their job. The system generally revolves around faculty providing evidence of achievement in three areas: teaching; scholarly activity; and service in a professional capacity.

A faculty member’s main goal therefore, is to understand what is expected in these three areas and to achieve what is expected so that tenure and promotions may be obtained. If basic TQM concepts are not tied to these three areas of achievement, then TQM will have difficulty taking root within the academic side of an institution. In other words, the tenure and promotion system of higher education plays a large role in defining the culture under which the academic side of higher education functions. Furthermore, once a culture is established it is very difficult to change within an organization.

Therefore, rather than changing this academic culture outright, TQM concepts (such as continuous improvement and assessment) should be implemented within the context of the existing culture as shaped by requirements of tenure and promotion. By tying these TQM concepts to the existing tenure and promotion requirements of teaching, research and service, faculty will be able to focus on them as a routine function and expectation for tenure and promotion.

Zahraee, M. A., & Mapa, L., & Neff, G., & Scachitti, S. (2000, June), Instituting Continuous Improvement Within A Tenure/Promotion Culture (And Taking Advantage Of It) Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8464

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