IVCCD looks ahead with an expectation of excellence

In May 2010, I wrote an Inside Education editorial explaining how Iowa Valley would chart the course for the next three years with a new strategic agenda for the college. I noted that the faculty, staff and administration would focus on improving our accountability of how the institution’s work systems and processes related to our vision, mission, core values and strategic planning.

Fast forward to the present and I can report that on May 2, 2013, Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) was recognized at the Governor’s Recognition for Performance Excellence Ceremony as a Leadership Tier organization. After going through a rigorous examination by the state-level Baldrige examiners from the Iowa Quality Center, our institution received a summary report noting:

Senior leaders have a systematic approach to defining and deploying the organization’s mission, vision and values to the workforce and all key stakeholders. The organization’s use of continuous quality improvement tools connected to the strategic plan is well-deployed. With this culture of quality and the organization’s focus on the strategic plan, there is an environment to support the organization in its quest for excellence.

May 2013 will mark the end of IVCCD’s three-year cycle that defined its strategic agenda. We can look back and acknowledge that we have come a long way in our quest for excellence and continuous quality improvement. So where do we go from here?

On May 29-31 the district will hold a three-day retreat to build a new five-year strategic agenda that will incorporate all that we have learned about ourselves and the customers we serve. We will attempt to keep a keen focus on the alignment of our key objectives and strategic targets with our vision, values, mission and core competencies, which will once again serve as the bedrock from where we begin our journey for the next five years. Additionally, an improved system of measurements and tracking of our performance metrics will be developed to better support our framework of accountability.

As one staff member said, “We are getting better at getting better.” I agree; however, we have much more to accomplish. The foundation built over the last three years will now give us the ability to take IVCCD to a new level, and we will accomplish this with the expectation of excellence that is taking hold throughout our organization. To steal a line from an old Carpenters’ song, “We’ve only just begun.”

Chris Duree is the IVCCD Chancellor; he can be reached 641-844-5720 or by email chris.duree@iavalley.edu.