Mystery at the Monfort College of Business

27 Jan

Comments on one more reading, about a 2004 Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award winner, the Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado. There was something missing in this interesting tale for me: More about WHY the college eliminated its graduate business programs. There was a lot of good-to-great here: a school focus on defining guiding principles and values, implementing programs to uphold those values and then measuring them. Its scores on just about every objective data measure improved, including student performance, satisfaction, and job placement. And of course it went on to win the Baldridge Award.

But I was fascinated about the management story that wasn’t told in the brief: How did it come to decision to eliminate grad programs? What sort of data did they gather? Did they hold discussion groups with the business community? How did the faculty respond? How did alumni respond? How did it structure the communication process to allow for communication among the parties? Those were the things I wanted to know: How did the college’s leadership structure a potentially difficult process?

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