Mayberry Chair of Excellence

The mission of the W.E. Mayberry Chair of Excellence is to increase awareness and enhance the development of quality and quality-related practices in business and education on a local, state, and national level. This is achieved by conducting and disseminating research, implementing quality-related projects and activities, conducting workshops for practitioners, and instructing students in undergraduate and graduate classes. Dr. Curt W. Reimann, first director of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, serves as the chairholder. The chair is also supported by a highly distinguished board of advisors. The Mayberry Chair of Excellence was created at the College of Business Administration, Tennessee Technological University, in the 1993-1994 academic year. Be sure to visit our Quality Resources link for the web's best quality information. Please send your feedback by clicking on the following e-mail link:

Board of Advisors


  • Mr. Jack Swaim - Former Director, Worldwide Quality, Imaging and Printing Group, Hewlett-Packard Company

Board of Advisors:

  • Mr. Joe Dehler - Former Vice President, Business Process Improvement, Carlson Companies
  • Mr. Gary Floss - Director, Quality Assurance and Continual Improvement, Marvin Windows and Doors
  • Mr. Steven Hoisington - Vice President, Quality and Reliability, Electro-Motive Diesels, Inc.
  • Mr. David Jones - Vice President/Co-founder, Edamar, Inc.
  • Ms. Jean Kinney - Associate Director, Corporate Purchases, The Procter & Gamble Company
  • Mr. Bill Nusbaum - Center Director, Tennessee Manufacturing Extension Program
  • Ms. Katie Rawls - President, Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence
  • Ms. Marie Williams - Member Emeritus - Former President, Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence

Activities & Accomplishments

Publications & Newsletters

National Quality Award

Dean Bell Serves as U.S. Representative to National Quality Award

During 1996 and 1997, Dean Bob Bell spent the last week of November and first week of December in Mauritius, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean. He served on the Panel of Judges for the Mauritius National Quality Award. Mauritius is a small democracy, with an economy much like that of Hawaii. Tourism is the largest business, with agriculture (sugarcane) and textiles next in importance. In an attempt to develop closer economic ties to the European Economic Community and the U.S., Mauritius designed a national quality award to identify its most competitive businesses. The award is patterned after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and after the Tennessee Quality Award. Each year since 1994, Mauritius has invited a U.S. representative who is familiar with both awards to serve on the Panel of Judges for their national award. Bell has served on the Board of Examiners for the Baldrige Award and serves on the Panel of Judges and the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Quality Award.

In Mauritius, Dean Bell led site visits to the companies that were finalists for the 1997 award. He worked with the Panel of Judges to select the award winners who were announced at the World Quality Congress held in Port Louis, Mauritius, on December 2-4, 1997. Bell also spoke at the Quality Congress and presented lectures at the University of Mauritius. The trip was funded by the World Bank.

TNCPE Glossary


An inherent characteristic of a product, program, or service such as its cost, color, function, duration, etc.


An improvement process in which an organization compares its performance against "best-in-class" organization, determines how those organizations achieved their performance levels, and uses information to improve its own performance. The subjects that can be benchmarked include: strategies, programs / services, operations, processes, and procedures.


An affirmative indicator or judgment that a product, program, or service has met the agreed-upon requirements of * A customer, or * A relevant specification, contract, or regulation.

Continuous improvement:

The ongoing improvement of programs, services, or processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements.

Customer (external):

A person or organization who receives a product, service, or information, but is not part of the organization supplying it (also called a patient in the health care sector and a student in the education sector).

Customer (internal):

A person or unit who receives output (product, service, or information) from another person or unit within the same unit -or from another unit within the larger organization of which it is a part.

Cycle time:

The interval required to complete a task, or function, starting from the beginning of the first step until the completion of the last.

Data management:

The process by which the reliability, timelines, and accessibility of an organization's database is assured.


The condition whereby employees have the authority to make decisions and take action in their work areas without prior approval. For example, a park employee can issue a refund of an entrance fee if the customer has a complaint.

Improvement cycle:

An action or series of actions (taken as a result of an organized and planned review) which make the process better. To ensure that continuos improvement becomes a way of life, all processes should provide for periodic improvement cycles.


The establishment of a long-term relationship between two parties characterized by teamwork and mutual trust, enabling both parties to focus on the needs of a mutual customer. Partners have risks well as benefits.

An organization can establish partnering agreements with its unions, suppliers, customers, local businesses, and / or educational institutions. "Cooperation" differs from partnering in that the relationship is less formal, either by choice or due to the fact that the parties involved are not part of the formal organization.

Performance standard:

A goal against which actual performance is measured.


A particular method of doing something, generally involving a number of steps or operations.

Quality assessment:

The operational techniques and activities used to evaluate the quality of processes, practices, programs, and services.

Quality control:

The operational techniques and activities used to ensure that that quality standards are met.

Quality values:

The principles and beliefs that guide an organization and its people toward the accomplishment of its vision, mission, and quality goals. Examples might be "meeting our customers' needs is always our first priority" or "we build quality widgets, at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always quality widgets."

Root cause:

The original cause or reason for a condition. The root cause of a condition is that cause which, if eliminated, guarantees the condition will not recur.


A set of well-defined and well-designed processes for meeting the organization's quality and performance requirements.


The union and non-union employees of an organization, as well as the labor union(s) where applicable. The term "workforce" is generally used to describe non-management employees, unless otherwise indicated.

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