It’s good to be first.
Davenport University found that out recently after being selected as a 2020 Michigan Performance Excellence Award recipient by Michigan Performance Excellence.
This is the highest honor given to organizations in Michigan that demonstrate outstanding performance, leadership and operational excellence. Davenport is the first university to earn this distinction in Michigan.
MIPEx is one of more than 30 state and regional Baldrige-based performance excellence award programs. It serves all organizations and industries including healthcare, nonprofit, education and others across Michigan. Using the Baldrige criteria as its framework, MIPEx utilizes an extensive business review process to determine top recipients. This rigorous evaluation process takes months to complete. There have not been any other recipients between 2012 and 2019.
“This recognition represents the culmination of a lot of hard work by Davenport’s faculty and staff,” said Dr. Richard J. Pappas, president of Davenport University. “But more than that, it is tangible proof of our commitment to Davenport’s mission to achieve the highest level of education and business outcomes for our students.”
Davenport University completed a 50-page application before MIPEx examiners spent 12-15 weeks evaluating the organization. Nearly half of Davenport’s full-time employees were part of the interview process prior to selection.
Organizations recognized at this level demonstrate effective, systematic and well-deployed approaches to process evaluation and improvement, organizational learning and innovation. As a result, these organizations see improved effectiveness and efficiency of key processes.
“Davenport has exhibited well-deployed processes that answer the questions of the criteria,” said Geri Markley, executive director for MIPEx. “The leadership team uses a systematic strategic planning process to deploy an intense focus on students — first understanding student needs and then addressing them systematically.”
Using the Baldrige Framework, Davenport has deployed effective management programs that have improved several key initiatives for the university. For example, its student graduation rates have substantially improved over the last 10 years. The university has seen a 158% increase in student graduation rates — achieving both regional and national industry standards.
“Formed in 1994 as the Michigan Quality Council, MIPEx exists to improve the competitiveness of Michigan organizations that will, in turn, enhance the quality of life in the state,” Markley said. “The organization is not funded by the state and all award evaluations are performed by volunteer examiners, with award decisions made by an independent panel of judges.”