The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand how operating models and organizational structure impact the effectiveness of higher education institutions for students, faculty, administrators and the broader community. In this case study, the researcher uses the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria (MBNQAC) to understand core values and the concepts of those seven criteria which are: 1) leadership 2) strategic planning 3) student, stakeholder and market focus 4) measurement, analysis, and knowledge management 5) faculty and staff focus 6) process management and 7) organizational performance results. These criteria are analyzed with visionary leadership and a comparison of the strategic plans of Alvernia University and Kutztown University. The changes imperatives for higher education institutions include the redesign of education, more flexible faculty, increased efficiency, removal of boundaries, and entry into new markets. In addition, challenges and conflicts facing the change process are also discussed in the context of Kotter’s Change Theory. This paper advocates a pragmatic approach to analyze what works and also what are the viable solutions to known problems.
Key words: Leadership, educational leadership, higher education, business models, academic excellence, strategic plan.
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