Business dean invited to Mauritius as Quality Award judge

The impact of Tennessee Technological University's College of Business Administration can be felt around the world in the person of the college's dean, Robert Bell.

Bell recently traveled to Mauritius, a democratic island nation in the Indian Ocean, to serve on the panel of judges for the Mauritius National Quality Award, which is based on the United States' Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Bell serves on the Board of Examiners for the Baldrige Award.

The Baldrige Award recognizes U.S. companies that excel in increasing quality and performance and improving competitiveness. Award winners are nominated by a select group of business and quality experts from around the country who rigorously evaluate the nominees' performance.

Bell is also a charter member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Quality Award, which was established in 1992 and modeled after the Baldrige Award.

The Mauritian government, in an attempt to develop closer economic ties with the European Economic Community and the United States, initiated the award to identify its most competitive businesses. The Mauritian economy is similar to that of Hawaii, with tourism being the largest business, followed by agriculture -- especially sugar cane -- and textiles. Each year since 1994, Mauritian officials have invited a representative from the U.S. who is familiar with both the Baldrige Award and the Tennessee Quality Award to serve on their panel of judges.

In Mauritius, Bell led site visits to the seven companies that were finalists for the award. The winner was announced at the World Quality Congress in Port Louis, Mauritius' largest city, Dec. 2-4. Bell also addressed the World Quality Congress, as well as the University of Mauritius.

The World Bank, an agency of the United Nations, provided funding for Bell's trip. Two years ago, Bell represented Tennessee Tech at the International Forum on Technology Management in Berlin, Germany.