Lean Higher Education: Increasing the Value and Performance of University Processes, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Lean Higher Education

Increasing the Value and Performance of University Processes, 1st Edition

By William K. Balzer

Productivity Press

312 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781439814659
pub: 2010-04-19
Hardback: 9781138432109
pub: 2017-11-15
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429244988
pub: 2017-11-15
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In an environment of diminishing resources, growing enrollment, and increasing expectations of accountability, Lean Higher Education: Increasing the Value and Performance of University Processes provides the understanding and the tools required to return education to the consumers it was designed to serve—the students. It supplies a unifying framework for implementing and sustaining a Lean Higher Education (LHE) transformation at any institution, regardless of size or mission.

Using straightforward language, relevant examples, and step-by-step guidelines for introducing Lean interventions, this authoritative resource explains how to involve stakeholders in the delivery of quality every step of the way. The author details a flexible series of steps to help ensure stakeholders understand all critical work processes. He presents a wealth of empirical evidence that highlights successful applications of Lean concepts at major universities and provides proven methods for uncovering and eliminating activities that overburden staff yet contribute little or no added value to stakeholders.

Complete with standardized methods for correctly diagnosing workplace problems and implementing appropriate solutions, this valuable reference arms you with the understanding and the tools to effectively balance the needs of all stakeholders. By implementing the Lean practices covered in these pages your school will be better positioned to provide higher quality education, at reduced costs, with efficient processes that instill pride, maximize value, and respect the long-term interests of your students, faculty, and staff.


"Dr. Balzer’s five-step model can help colleges and universities better align their key processes to deliver value for all constituents."

—David LaHote, President of Lean Education, Lean Enterprise Institute

"… a must read for all university administrators–it helps them build processes and services that truly serve students."

—Professor Tom Andrews, BGSU Firelands College, Former Director of Advanced Computer Technology, Eaton Corp. (Winner of the 2002 Shingo Prize for Lean Operational Excellence)

"… will benefit any institution of higher education that recognizes that traditional approaches to improvement cannot deliver what the future calls for … ."

—Professor M.L. "Bob" Emiliani, School of Engineering and Technology, Central Connecticut State University, and President of The CLBM, LLC

Table of Contents


The Case for Lean Higher Education

The Need for Change in Higher Education

Implementing Improvements and Change in Higher Education

Lean Principles and Practices: An Approach to Organization-wide Change and Improvement

Lean Higher Education: The Application of Lean Principles and Practices in Higher Education

The Potential of LHE

Lean Higher Education in Practice: An Overview and Case Study

Higher Education – Falling Short of the Mark

Lean Higher Education (LHE)

An Example of the Application of LHE: The Freshman Move-in Process

"Proof of Concept:" Examples of the Successful Application of LHE

University of Central Oklahoma

University of Iowa

University of New Orleans

Bowling Green State University

University of Scranton

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Getting Started: The Successful Launch of LHE

LHE: University-wide versus Local Implementation

Institutional Readiness for LHE: The Importance of Workplace Climate and Leadership Practices

Creating Structure to Support LHE

Selecting an LHE Initiative

Organizing LHE Project Teams

What Do They Really Want? Identifying What the Beneficiaries of Higher Education Value and Expect

The Beneficiary Defines Value; The University Delivers Value

Listening to the Beneficiaries of Higher Education: What Do They Value and Expect?

Establish Metrics for Assessing What Beneficiaries Value and Expect

Final Thoughts: Higher Education as a Monastery or Market

Preparing Visual Maps for a Comprehensive Understanding of University Processes

Preparing a Current State Visual Map

Creating a Visual Map: The Approval Process for New Courses

Eliminating Waste and Improving Flow

Identifying Waste in University Processes

Eliminating Waste from University Processes

Improving Flow in University Processes

Implementing LHE Solutions and Sustaining Improvements

Identifying and Implementing LHE Solutions

Sustaining the Gain: Institutionalizing the New Process

The Approval Process for New Courses: Identifying, Gaining, and Sustaining Support for LHE Initiatives

Realizing the Promise of LHE: Current Challenges, Future Directions, and Next Steps

Challenges to the Broader Adoption of LHE

Opportunities for the Broader Adoption of LHE

Next Steps

Each chapter concludes with a "Summary"

About the Author

William K. Balzer, Ph.D., is a Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Bowling Green State University and dean at the BGSU Firelands College. He has over 25 years of experience in the field of psychology and is an active member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

For the past five years, Professor Balzer has been involved in promoting and applying lean principles and practices in higher education. His research interests include the psychology of lean systems, performance appraisal, job attitudes, and applied decision making. Balzer has consulted with national organizations including Procter & Gamble, Owens-Illinois, and Pepsico Incorporated in the areas of performance evaluation, job satisfaction, and strategic planning.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Government & Business