Dr. Ruth Johnston, Vice Chancellor for Planning & Administration at University of Washington Bothell, and Dr. Harry Hertz, former Director of the Malcolm Baldridge Quality Program have been named 2019 recipients of the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation’s (NCCI) highest honor, the Brent D. Ruben Award.

Dr. Ruth Johnston has been a leader in higher education for 40 years holding various administration positions including Associate Vice President, Chief of Staff and Associate Controller at the University of Washington Seattle prior to taking on her current role as Vice Chancellor for Planning & Administration at UW Bothell. “Through the years, I have been so impressed by the leadership Dr. Johnston has displayed in her various higher education positions,” stated Dr. Paula Gill, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness at Belmont University. “Her insight, guidance, and talent for identifying areas where small changes can lead to major improvements helps her colleagues take advantage of these opportunities for change to reimagine their daily work and to achieve their long term goals.”

Johnston has led strategic planning with a balanced scorecard approach to create a framework for measuring success. She helps her institution and Schools/Units define what they want to be and the steps needed to achieve the vision, and does so in a meaningful way that changes the culture around planning on their campuses. She focuses on building capacity by identifying staff or faculty to champion improvement efforts and providing them the tools and training they need to achieve strategic goals. Fundamentally, she drives culture change by communicating how everyone is doing their best work for the University. She strives to show how faculty, staff, and upper administration are all on the same team and are all well-intentioned, even if functioning in virtual silos.

“Ruth’s keen awareness of the issues that face higher education in the 21st century, ability to collaborate with national higher education professionals who are equally as passionate, and willingness to make unselfish contributions to change and continuous improvement make her an ideal candidate for the Dr. Brent D. Ruben Award,” submitted Gill.

The nomination for Harry Hertz was submitted by Dr. Brent Ruben himself. Ruben writes, “For many years Harry has been a steadfast and influential champion of quality values and their application in business, government, healthcare and education. Dr. Hertz has also been a long-time friend and supporter of NCCI, its values, and its aspirations, and has attended and spoken at a number of our events. Recognizing Harry with this award would be a wonderful and well-deserved honor for a distinguished career, and it would appropriately recognize an individual who has done much to advance the core values of NCCI and our collective efforts to apply quality concepts within higher education institutions.”

Dr. Harry Hertz has had extensive experience in analyzing organizational performance and strategy. He has been responsible for interpreting “the leading edge of validated management practice” from 1995-2013 as the Director, and since 2013 as Director Emeritus, of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. For that period he has been the primary architect and author of the evolving Criteria for Performance Excellence. He has overseen and been involved in analyzing more than 1,000 organizations from business, education, health care, and the nonprofit sectors. He currently serves as co-facilitator of the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program.

NCCI is a community of academic and administrative change leaders who collaborate to share ideas, innovations and best practices. Membership is institution based and includes representation from higher education leaders across the world. NCCI has over 100 institutional members and more than 1,000 individual members worldwide. The association celebrates its 20th Anniversary this summer.

The Dr. Brent D. Ruben Award is named after one of NCCI’s Founders. Ruben is the Executive Director of the Center for Organizational Development & Leadership at Rutgers University. The award recipient is nominated by the NCCI Advisory Council in recognition of an individual’s leadership in shaping and sustaining NCCI to advance excellence in higher education.

The awards will be presented at NCCI’s annual conference, to be held in Denver, July 10-12.