UW-Stout Baldrige Award News Release

UW-Stout first in higher education to receive Baldrige Award
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Dec. 4, 2001

UW-Stout first in higher education to receive Baldrige Award

Menomonie, Wis. --- University of Wisconsin-Stout has become the first university to receive the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, White House and U.S. Department of Commerce officials announced Tuesday from Washington D.C.

"This award is among the highest levels of recognition any university in the country can achieve," said UW-Stout Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen. "This is a marvelous tribute to our university; and to our students, faculty and staff. It is truly one of the greatest events in the history of this institution."

"President Bush and I congratulate the men and women who have won the 2001 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award," said Commerce Secretary Don Evans. "Through their passion for excellence and their commitment to employees, customers, students, stakeholders and their communities, they have achieved extraordinary results. They represent the proud spirit of America and our strong resolve to excel."

"We are especially pleased to announce the first Baldrige Award winners in the education category," continued Evans. "They will be outstanding role models for 21st Century education organizations. As President Bush has so often said, if we succeed in educating our youth, many other successes will follow."

This is the third year UW-Stout applied for the award and the second year the university received a site visit. To apply for the award, organizations must submit a report detailing their achievements and improvements in seven key areas.

The following are the categories for academic organizations and examples of UW-Stout's achievements in each area:

  • Leadership -- UW-Stout's Chancellor's Advisory Council was formed to guide the organization. This 19-member group includes representation from students, faculty, academic staff, classified staff and administration.
  • Strategic planning -- UW-Stout implemented a comprehensive annual planning process that aligns campus priorities with the allocation of resources.
  • Student, stakeholder and market focus -- UW-Stout conducts numerous surveys to determine the expectations and satisfaction levels of students and key stakeholders, including the ACT Student Opinion Survey, the National Survey of Student Engagement as well as annual surveys of alumni, employers and the Board of Regents.
  • Information and analysis -- UW-Stout implemented Datatel, an integrated information system that provides faculty and staff with widespread access to data. Committees, councils and taskforces base their decisions on this information.
  • Faculty and staff focus -- All UW-Stout faculty and staff are involved in committees, councils and taskforces that cut across departments, colleges and divisions. These may be standing committees, such as the Curriculum and Instruction Committee or Personnel Policies Committee, or they may be special taskforces, such as the Women's Equity Initiative Steering Committee.
  • Process management -- UW-Stout has implemented systematic processes for the design, implementation and review of academic programs and support services.
  • Organizational performance results -- UW-Stout tracks progress on all key student indicators, such as retention rates, placement rates and student satisfaction with programs and services. Financial results and employee information is also maintained to determine trends and patterns. Comparisons are made to peer institutions, other UW comprehensives and external agencies whenever appropriate.

"The application and review process for the award is the best, most cost-effective and comprehensive business health audit you can get," said Arnold Weimerskirch, former Baldrige judge and vice president of quality for Honeywell.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established by Congress in 1987, jump-starting a small, slowly growing U.S. movement. It was designed to promote quality awareness, to recognize quality and business achievements of U.S. organizations, and to publicize these organizations' successful performance strategies. In conjunction with the private sector, the National Institute of Standards and Technology designed and manages the program and the award process. Award categories include manufacturing, service, small business and, added in 1999, education and health care.

Now considered America's highest honor for performance excellence and quality achievement, the Baldrige Award is presented annually to U.S. organizations by the President of the United States. The program, the award criteria and the award recipients are imitated and admired worldwide. Award-winning organizations become quality advocates and have given approximately 30,000 presentations to inform thousands of organizations about the benefits of using the Baldrige criteria.

For many organizations, using the Baldrige criteria results in better employee relations, higher productivity and greater customer satisfaction.

Additional information about the Baldrige National Quality Program is available at https://www.nist.gov/baldrige.