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An article summarizing a step-by-step lean process improvement project at Maharishi International University (MIU) entitled, “Case Study: Application of DMAIC to Academic Assessment in Higher Education,” will be published by the peer reviewed journal, Quality Assurance for Higher Education in August 2015 (Vol. 7, No. 2).

This article, written by Dr. Andrew Bargerstock, Director of the MBA Program at MIU and Sylvia Richards, Business Department administrator, describes how the department’s academic assessment process, called the Close-the-Loop (CTL) Report, was streamlined and simplified by techniques delivered to MIU staff during an October 2014 training session.

Adjunct Professor and Six Sigma Black Belt Tom Palladino, with the assistance of Dr. Bargerstock, delivered the five session training program with main emphasis on how to conduct a kaizen (process improvement) event.  More specifically, the curriculum was structured around the classic Lean Six Sigma methodology known as DMAIC (Design-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control).

Sylvia Richards was the event facilitator for improving the CTL report, a report expected to be completed at the end of each course by faculty in the College of Business.  The CTL report is the primary vehicle for developing plans for improving academic quality of individual courses in the College of Business.  Due to lower than expected compliance rate, Dean Scott Herriott had targeted this process as a good pilot study for a kaizen event.

Richards assembled a cross-functional team of six people representing personnel from both inside and outside the business department. The project was completed within two weeks.  After the department faculty members were trained on the simplified Close-the-Loop Report process, compliance rates improved dramatically. The article is significant because there is an absence of publications on how to use DMAIC in higher education.