June 3, 2004                                       



Union College Administrator Appointed Examiner for National Quality Award


LINCOLN - Dr. Linda Wysong, vice president for student services at Union College, has been appointed to the 2004 Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The award, created by public law in 1987, is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a United States organization can receive.

     As an examiner, Wysong is responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the award. The board is composed of about 500 leading experts selected from industry, professional, trade, education and health care organizations and government.

     Only those active in quality improvement leadership are invited to apply for this distinction. Those selected meet the highest standards of qualification and peer recognition. All members of the board must participate in a preparation course based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and the scoring and evaluation processes for the Baldrige Award. Wysong completed the course and presented her paper at a conference held in Washington, D.C. last month.

     Wysong’s passion for quality improvement began when her former employer, Castle Medical Center in Kailua, Hawaii, won the WITT Award for health care excellence. Her enthusiasm for excellence grew while establishing a quality improvement process for Union College in 1993. Several years later, during work on her doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Wysong studied the impact of leadership on continuous improvement. In 1996, she moved to

Andrews University in Michigan where she developed and coordinated a human resources department. She returned to Union as vice president for student services in 2001.

     “Attending the Malcolm Baldrige preparation course in Washington, D.C. was one of the most exciting and humbling experiences of my life,” Wysong said. “To spend time with so many accomplished and motivated people was truly inspiring.”

     Baldrige Awards may be given annually in each of five categories: Manufacturing, Service, Small Business, Education and Health Care. Awards have been presented to 56 organizations, including the 2003 award recipients: Medrad, Inc., Boeing Aerospace Support, Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation (U.S.), Stoner Incorporated, Community Consolidated School District 15, Baptist Hospital, Inc., and Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City.

     Information about the Baldrige National Quality Program and the application process can be found on the program’s Web site at www.quality.nist.gov. 

     The award program is managed by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a program of the Commerce Department’s Technology Administration, in close cooperation with the private sector. The American Society for Quality (ASQ) in Milwaukee, Wis., administers the program.