Higher education (HE) is facing a major dilemma: continuously improve or perish. The challenges for colleges and universities are to become more efficient, to be flexible with academic offerings, and to evolve and sustain utilizing internal revenue. Continuous improvement (CI) is a tool that colleges and universities use to enhance systems, processes, procedures, and protocols. This qualitative single case study explored the CI principles utilized to impact HE at a public university. This qualitative research examined the practices and implementation processes of the leadership and staff working in the Program Management Office (PMO) and across a variety of student service areas within the university that utilizes CI. A descriptive examination of how HE transforms utilizing CI tools and principles are evident, and the first step to streamlining the implementation of CI in HE.
Keywords: lean, lean manufacturing, lean management, lean thinking, continuous improvement, kaizen, leadership, culture, higher education