NCCI History

The Network for Change and Continuous Innovation (NCCI) was originally formed as the National Consortium for Continuous Improvement in 1999 by national leaders in continuous improvement, organizational development, planning, quality, institutional effectiveness and related areas. Read more.

NCCI’s Mission

To advance change and innovation in higher education.

NCCI’s Vision

NCCI positions higher education institutions to be agile, lifelong learning models to transform lives and communities around the world.

NCCI’s Values

We value integrity, respect, and diversity in all its forms. We share generously and celebrate excellence. We aspire to be innovative and agile and are dedicated to continuous improvement and lifelong learning.

NCCI Strategic Plan

The Board of Directors established the 2022-2023 Strategic Plan for the Association. The process included an assessment of the current situation, a scan of the internal and external factors that affect NCCI, and discussions about the future in higher education and the appropriate role for NCCI to play.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Emphasize diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging values throughout into NCCI’s culture ​
  • Diversify membership ​
  • Award and celebrate JEDI change-maker leaders in higher education in relation to change, continuous innovation, and organizational climate 
Financial & Internal Processes Optimization
  • Identify additional new revenue streams​
  • Maintain low operating costs
  • Increase membership and conference revenue​
  • Monitor key metrics and processes to ensure NCCI’s overall health and relevancy
  • Build strong networking opportunities, including Communities of Practice and Discovery ​
  • Pursue mutually beneficial partnerships, sponsorships and alliances 
  • Encourage membership engagement at all levels ​
  • Provide members access to network research and resources  
Higher Education Thought Leadership
  • Engage senior leaders in higher education to define current and next generation challenges as well as the competencies needed to address them ​
  • Partner with leaders representing other parts of higher education, including academic leaders and financial leaders, to explore areas for collaboration and joint programming​
  • Promote and recognize leaders of change and continuous innovation 
  • Facilitate the sharing of leadership development trends and best practices in higher education ​
  • Demonstrate and communicate the positive impacts of continuous innovation and effective leadership in responding to contemporary challenges facing higher education​
  • Provide expertise, tools, and approaches to support financial stability and share best practices in higher education ​
Member Learning & Growth
  • Adopt recruitment and retention practices that increase diversity ​
  • Clarify and promote a modified professional development framework to provide coherence regarding offerings for members 
  • Provide diverse and value-added Power60 programming through virtual platform ​
  • Continue to sponsor thought leadership roundtables ​
  • Utilize a data-informed approach to developing Professional Development programming 

NCCI Anti-Racism Statement & Action Plan

August 10, 2020

The tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and too many others, and outrage in the U.S. and globally related to issues of racial injustice compel us to take positive action as an organization. We must determine how we might best support our members as they do similar work within their institutions.

At this inflection point in the United States’ collective experience and history, as change and innovation leaders in the higher education community, we must take decisive action to change the future for the betterment of our students, faculty, staff, and humanity’s greater good.  Building on our vision of ‘positioning higher education institutions to be agile, lifelong learning models to transform lives and communities around the world’, we offer this statement of beliefs and actions.

Accordingly, we believe:

  • Our values of integrity, respect, diversity, generosity, and excellence underpin all our work.
  • If humanity is to survive and thrive, we must confront difficult and painful truths about our shared current reality and racial injustice. The most effective way to tackle issues of white privilege and systemic racism is to name them, talk about them, and take personal and collective responsibility to change them.
  • Higher education has a responsibility to actively dismantle systemic racism. Doing nothing to address inequality is supporting inequality. There are oppressive systems in place and our words and actions either support those existing systems or dismantle them.

We will:

  • Provide an opportunity for members throughout NCCI an opportunity to share and provide input as we shape our plans. (Ongoing)
  • Develop and implement a plan to increase diversity among those serving in NCCI leadership positions. (Ongoing)
  • Explore the establishment of a Board committee to undertake this ongoing work entitled the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging committee. (Complete)
  • Provide resources for our members to educate themselves on racism and the history of racism and the implications of racism on our work in higher education. (Ongoing)
  • Require board members to attend an implicit bias and anti-racism workshop. (Complete)
Anti-Racism Resources


Anti-racist:  “To be antiracist is to think nothing is behaviorally wrong or right — inferior or superior — with any of the racial groups. Whenever the antiracist sees individuals behaving positively or negatively, the antiracist sees exactly that: individuals behaving positively or negatively, not representatives of whole races. To be antiracist is to deracialize behavior, to remove the tattooed stereotype from every racialized body. Behavior is something humans do, not races do.” Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, How to be an Antiracist 

Implicit bias: “Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These are mental shortcuts that help us more easily make sense of our incredibly complex world. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control. These associations develop over the course of a lifetime beginning at a very early age through exposure to direct and indirect messages.” Victoria Lynn Alexander, MEd, Antiracist resource guide 

Articles and Podcasts 

Dr Kimberle Crenshaw, Intersectionality Matters! 

Robin DiAngelo, 2016, Anti-Racist Checklist for Whites 

Simon Sinek, Simon Sinek’s Advice to Leaders: Check In. And Truly Listen 

Mindshift, How Ibram X Kendi’s Definition of Anti-racism Applies to Schools 

Inside Higher Ed, Envisioning Higher Education as Anti-Racist 

Mindshift, 6 Things Anti-Racist Educators Want Grown-ups to Know about Teaching and Raising Kids, Teaching Hard History Podcast 

Robert Glazer, Changing Minds 

Jack Kornfield, Racism and Independence 

The Chronicle, Colleges Must Confront Structural Racism 

The Atlantic, The Difference Between First Degree Racism and Third Degree Racism 

Harvard Business Review, How Organizations Can Support the Mental Health of Black Employees 

LinkedIn Learning, Communicating Clearly About Culturally Sensitive Issues 

Book List 

Applebaum, Barbara. Being White, Being Good: White Complicity, White Moral Responsibility, and Social Justice Pedagogy. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2010 

Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race, & Class. New York: Random House, 1981  

Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.  New York: The New Press, 2010. 

Blackmon, Douglas A. Slavery by Another Name. New York: Doubleday Books, 2008 

DiAngelo, Robin. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Boston: Beacon Press, 2018 

Kendi, Ibram X.  How to be an Antiracist. New York, Random House, 2019. 

Oluo, IjeomaSo You Want to Talk About Race. New York: Seal Press, 2018. 

Leveraging Excellence

NCCI has a legacy of innovative educational leadership. We have observed, studied, shared and advocated for institutional improvement through initiatives such as the Leaders of Change Awards Program, the Annual Conference, and online learning and networking opportunities. Together, NCCI members maximize the benefits of innovation.


NCCI provides numerous online and in-person opportunities to share best practices in academic and administrative processes from nearly 100 colleges and universities. These opportunities provide proven approaches that can help you continuously improve services, communications, partnerships, leadership and learning at your institution.


NCCI membership provides you with the opportunity to meet many other professionals involved in continuous improvement at the Annual Conference and at other educational events held throughout the year. An online membership directory is also available on the website. Invest in fostering change and continuous improvement for your institution and yourself!

All efforts of NCCI trace back to the goal of advancing sustainable excellence in higher education by promoting successful practices and approaches used to drive change, innovation, and continuous improvement across academic and administrative functions.


Our member institutions lead the way in areas such as process improvement, administrative excellence, shared services, Lean/Six Sigma, strategic planning, assessment and leadership.