Faust to lead campus quality and process improvement efforts

July 25, 2017 By Doug Erickson

Jenny Faust, a nationally recognized expert in developing academic leadership, has been named director of the new office that will be created by the merger of the Office of Quality Improvement (OQI) and Administrative Process Redesign (APR).

Faust, with her colleagues, will manage the merger of the two units, which takes effect Aug. 1. Her tenure as director of the combined office and as associate vice provost for strategic initiatives begins the same day. She has been on staff at OQI since October as an internal consultant.

Photo: Jenny Faust

Jenny Faust will direct the new office that will be created by the merger of the Office of Quality Improvement (OQI) and Administrative Process Redesign (APR). Doug Erickson

“Jenny has a great deal of experience in higher education, including significant work in leadership development and organizational improvement, as well as experience leading student success initiatives,” says Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf. “We are pleased that she agreed to take on this essential leadership role.”

Her hiring follows an earlier announcement that founding APR director Alice Gustafson would be retiring July 31. Maury Cotter, who was instrumental in forming OQI, retired in January. Because the two units provide complementary services, university officials decided the timing was right to merge them.

OQI reports to the provost and provides a set of services including strategic planning, process improvement and organizational design to a broad array of campus stakeholders. APR has been more focused on improving complex processes at cross-campus and departmental levels, working closely, but not exclusively, with units under Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller. Both units provide project management and other associated services.

For now, both entities will keep their names, though a new name for the combined office is anticipated by the end of the calendar year. Both units are housed at Bascom Hall but will move to newly redesigned space at 445 Henry Mall in early 2018.

OQI provides strategic planning, process improvement and organizational design to campus stakeholders. APR has been more focused on improving complex processes at cross-campus and departmental levels.

“During these challenging times in higher education, the Office of Quality Improvement and Administrative Process Redesign are important resources for helping the campus become more efficient and address challenges more strategically,” Mangelsdorf says.

To remain strong, UW–Madison must be able to quickly and effectively adapt to challenges, Faust says. She sees the soon-to-merge offices as playing a critical role in managing change so that the university continues to be a leader among public institutions of higher education.

“For me, change and innovation must ultimately be grounded in a commitment to student, faculty and staff success, a clear sense of what this means in a particular context, and constant assessment of progress to determine whether our strategies are effective,” she says.

Faust earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and philosophy from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Her prior positions include director of the Office of the First-Year Experience and assistant to the president for student success, both at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; associate vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Fullerton; and assistant vice president for academic affairs–academic personnel at California State University, Los Angeles.