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June 12 , 2006
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
734.487.4400
ward.mullens@emich.edu

EMU's Nielsen appointed examiner for 2006 Baldrige Award

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University’s Sandi Nielsen has been appointed to the 2006 Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The award is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive.

The board is composed of leading experts selected from industry, professional and trade organizations, education and health care organizations and government.

"Being a Baldrige examiner and representing EMU provides significant benefits to the University and to what I do in my role as director of the Professional Education Center at the College of Business,” said Nielsen, of Canton. “The benefits of being an examiner include: networking with some of the nation’s foremost experts in the business, education, health care and nonprofit fields; learning how leading organizations achieve performance excellence; receiving valuable training and experience in understanding and applying the Performance Excellence Criteria to EMU; and developing advanced analytical and consensus-building skills, and a systems perspective that I can apply at EMU in support of the University’s continuous improvement and strategic goals.”

As an examiner, Nielsen is responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the award.

Those selected meet the highest standards of qualification and peer recognition. All members of the board must take part in a preparation course based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and the scoring and evaluation processes for the Baldrige Award.

"People have asked me in organizations I have worked with  ‘What are the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence?’” said Nielsen. “I reply that they are a  comprehensive integrated roadmap which address all basic considerations for any organization to use to create and sustain high performance. They provide a reference for knowledge (for "what" an organization should do, not the "how"), a diagnostic tool for assessment/ feedback and a common language for communicating between all sector organizations.”

Awards are given annually in each of five categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education and health care. The award, which was created by public law in 1987, has been given to 66 organizations.

The award program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a program of the Commerce Department’s Technology Administration.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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