About the Blog

This blog is for college and university professors who are interested in learning Lean principles and practices and applying them to the design and delivery of courses, academic programs, and academic processes for the purpose of improving:

  • Teaching
  • Student engagement
  • Student learning outcomes
  • Value of higher education

It reflects a shared interest in a new line of creative thinking as applied to teaching, and research. We believe that using the innovative Lean teaching pedagogy in higher education will also result in improved:

  • Quality
  • Access
  • Affordability
  • Attainment
  • Graduation rates
  • Post-graduation student success

and that these can be achieved in non-zero-sum (win-win) ways, consistent with the Lean principles, “Continuous Improvement” and “Respect for People,” and the mission of higher education to learn and to educate.

Contrary to popular opinion, the raison d‘etre of Lean is NOT short-term cost cutting or layoffs. Instead, it is to develop human resources by teaching people to identify and correct problems at the source. The focus of Lean is learning and improving, thus elevating the human condition over the long-term.

Blog posts will feature critiques of ongoing changes in higher education by comparing and contrasting non-Lean thinking to Lean thinking.

The views and opinions expressed in The Lean Professor blog are those of the author and do not reflect the views or opinions of any employer or other party. I reserve the right to edit responses to blog posts for brevity and/or clarity.

2 thoughts on “About the Blog

  1. Jack Bradford

    Thank you for creating this blog. While I am not an academic, I am a Lean/Six Sigma practitioner and have implemented these strategies in enrollment services and financial aid offices for some college campuses. I also managed a project to centralize financial aid processing for a multi-campus college system using Six Sigma’s DMADV methodology, followed by DMAIC methodology to improve the new process over time. It is amazing to see how outcomes can dramatically improve through the application of Lean/Six Sigma principles.

    As a parent of soon-to-be college students , I am quite interested to see how higher education responds to the introduction of Lean thinking in program design and delivery, and perhaps more importantly, how students respond to the new product. I look forward to reading and participating in future discussions.

    1. Bob Emiliani Post author

      Welcome to the conversation and thanks for joining in! The Lean Professor e-book documents what I have done over the years to apply Lean principles and practices to my courses, and it includes students’ reactions. I’m sure you would find it interesting, particularly in relation to your own experiences in higher education.


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