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September 13, 2012
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WKU VP joining delegation to study lean higher education management in Germany

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Sept. 13, 2012) — Ann Mead, Western Kentucky University’s vice president for finance and administration, is one of 15 chief financial officers traveling to Germany next month to study lean management in higher education.

“Do More with Less — Implementing Change in Higher Education Management in Germany” is a program sponsored by the Institute of International Education and the German-American Fulbright Commission. It will enable the CFOs to compare lean management at U.S. and German universities and identify best practices in both systems.

“There are differences between American and European colleges and universities,” Mead said. “We hope to exchange ideas as to how to increase efficiency and ‘do more with less.’ I will be sharing information collected with my colleagues at other Kentucky universities and with our education doctoral students.”

Mead said her experience was one reason for her selection.

“I bring to the program a unique experience mix,” she said. “I have worked at a doctoral institution, higher education coordinating board and a comprehensive university.”

Being selected was an honor, she said.

The goal of the study visit is to introduce the U.S. administrators to the ways that German universities have responded to major financial reform pressures over the last decade and the results they have achieved, and to explore how this might be relevant to the current U.S. context.

From Oct. 7-13, the U.S. delegation will participate in workshops, expert meetings and panel discussions, and will visit a range of German universities in Berlin, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg.

With escalating financial pressures at U.S. institutions, senior administrators are facing unique challenges that are forcing them to react and restructure to maximize resources. Public higher education institutions are challenged further by state funding cuts that translate into budget crunches and force them to prioritize their programs. The study tour will address these issues by examining financial strategies and efficiencies in the German model.

This delegation is part of a series of “Higher Education Experts” seminars that IIE has implemented on behalf of the German-American Fulbright Commission and other organizations since 2002. Previous study seminars have focused on topics such as graduate education, accreditation and quality assurance, and technology transfer.

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