In 1996, Dr. Curt Reimann, retired director of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, joined the Tennessee Tech faculty as holder of the Mayberry Chair of Excellence in Business Administration. In addition to bringing a much stronger Baldrige focus to the state of Tennessee, Reimann, and a team of TTU faculty and graduate students, were instrumental in developing a new, Baldrige-related category for the Tennessee Quality Award. Category Eight, "International Market Development and Competitiveness," was pilot-tested in 1997. In addition to Dr. Reimann, other members of the Category Eight design team include Betty Steele (Team Leader and Appalachian Regional Commission Project manager), Marie Williams, Dean Bell, Dr. Nat Natarajan, and MBA students Cass Larson and Brian Bowman. For more information about this initiative see "Creating Global Competitiveness Initiatives Using the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—The Tennessee Experience".
TTU also contributes to the overall TQA marketing process with the design of the TQA Home Page on the Internet. Dr. Richard Rand’s Quality class developed the project in 1996, and it is now maintained by the Mayberry Chair; you can visit TQA’s web site at http://www.tntech.edu/www/acad/Mayberry/tqa/. The CD-ROM describing the 1996 Tennessee Quality Award winners (nearly 900 slides, describing the TQA process and winning companies) was also developed by TTU in the Business Media Center (College of Business), under the direction of Kevin Liska. In addition, the Media Center has also developed several brochures and award programs for TQA. Both the Baldrige and TQA frameworks are taught in the MBA and undergraduate programs. To date, four faculty members (Drs. Rand, Natarajan, Elmore and Bell), plus many MBA students and alumni, have served on TQA’s Board of Examiners.
The College of Business Administration went through the TQA process in 1993, and received a Level II (Quality Commitment) Award that year. This year, the entire university conducted a Baldrige-criteria self-assessment, and was also awarded Level II honors from the TQA.
During 1995-1996, the College partnered with the Putnam County/Cookeville Chamber of Commerce to establish a series of training programs focused on quality, on Baldrige-related processes, and on the TQA application process. College faculty have also been instrumental in working with the chamber, to establish a regional quality council.