Published: Aug. 2, 2013

The University of Colorado Boulder today announced the opening of an Office for Performance Improvement (OPI) and the naming of Jeffrey Luftig as associate vice chancellor for process innovation to head the office.

“Our future demands a permanent culture of innovation in how we do business – fundamentally approaching our processes in new and dynamic ways that preserve quality, and step up our service levels to our students and faculty,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “We unveiled this concept last year in my State of the Campus address, and I’m very pleased that it has moved from concept to reality.”

Kelly Fox, senior vice chancellor and chief financial officer at CU-Boulder, agreed.  

“The OPI is a vital step in furthering this culture at CU-Boulder, and we are delighted to welcome Jeff to his new role to lead these efforts,” Fox said. “This office will help improve the effectiveness of work units throughout the university based on actual data showing how effectively we are doing the work and developing improvements from that. We want to empower our employees with this process to help them improve their own jobs.”  

The OPI will provide academic and nonacademic units across campus with the tools, methods and resources necessary to develop process innovations that will improve quality and performance. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) at CU-Boulder engaged in this process over the past year as a pilot and has found significant, positive improvements in how it serves the campus.

Luftig said the formation of the office is a tribute to the foresight of DiStefano, Fox and the senior leadership of the campus given the “competitive challenges that institutions of higher education, and the University of Colorado Boulder in particular, will be facing over the next five to 10 years.”

“I look forward with great anticipation to harnessing the exceptional skills and enthusiasm of faculty and staff at CU-Boulder to achieve the goals of this new office,” Luftig said.

Luftig served as the Lockheed Martin Professor of Management and director of the Engineering Management Program (EMP) from May 2012 to the present. He joined the EMP as the W. Edwards Deming Professor of Management in CU-Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science in July 2005. From July 1998 to July 2005 he taught operations management courses in the Leeds School of Business.

Prior to working at CU, Luftig was founder and president of a consulting firm that specialized in the quality sciences, applied research and business performance improvement and served a number of Fortune 100 and 500 firms in North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Australia.

As part of his new duties, Luftig will continue to teach courses in the Engineering Management Program. He also will support the new Leadership and Management Graduate Certificate for university employees.

Luftig has authored more than 70 publications, including three books and a number of journal articles. His texts include the recently published Business Performance Excellence (Bloomsbury Publishing). He received his bachelor’s degree in science education from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a master’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and a doctorate in education with an emphasis in research and evaluation from the University of Minnesota.

Malinda Miller-Huey, director of media relations, 303-492-3115
Jeffrey Luftig, associate vice chancellor for process innovation, 303-492-1591

Jeffrey Luftig (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)