CSUN Joins Deming Institute Conference: Innovation for Success

Deborah Cours

Deborah Cours

California State University, Northridge is collaborating with the world-renowned W. Edwards Deming Institute to present an “Innovation for Success” conference Oct. 17 through Oct. 19 in Van Nuys.

The conference will examine ways to bring creative solutions for success in business and educational structures based on the teachings of visionary scholar W. Edwards Deming. The event is organized by faculty from the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics.

Provost and vice president for academic affairs Harry Hellenbrand will be a keynote speaker at the event. His talk will explore how to fix higher education in California. He contends the real problems with higher-education institutions are leadership and creativity based, not monetary based.

Former chair of CSUN’s Department of Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management, Ileana Costea, will also contribute to the conference by mediating a panel on education.

Deborah Cours, director of CSUN’s MBA program and one of the organizers for the conference, explained that the conference will be an opportunity for students and members of the community to explore how Deming’s teachings of innovation can be helpful in creating more efficiency in institutions.

“It’s an intimate conference that has really powerful speakers and real-world examples of people using these academic theories. I think that’s fabulous,” she said.

Deming’s teachings include appreciation for an institution as a system with “interdependent components that work together toward a goal,” and building relationships with people in a system by understanding that they are “motivated by intrinsic needs,” according to the institute’s website.

Cours said CSUN applies these teachings by viewing incentives in student success and looking at the university as an organic organization.

“I think our focus on student success, and the debate about how we measure that and what that means, really ties in well to Deming’s theories,” she said.

The conference will be held at the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys. To register for the conference, visit www.deming.org and go to the “Events” section.