of academic excellence is intellectual vitality, which is characterized
by creativity, curiosity, and the free exchange of ideas. The Foundation
Coalition believes that our institutions, faculty, and students
should have high aspirations and strive for excellence in all endeavors,
which will result in organizational, professional, and personal
Excellence requires a mindset in which the goal of the journey is
clear, but unreachable. People committed to excellence recognize
that they will continually pursue excellence. This requires the
ability to articulate where you want to be; the ability to assess
and evaluate current performance and identify opportunities for
improvement; and the ability to close the gap between current and
desired performance. People committed to excellence seek to clearly
articulate their vision, honestly appraise their current performance,
and develop a capacity for change.
At least two core competencies are closely related to the pursuit
of excellence: assessment-driven continuous improvement and the
management of change. Current performance must be evaluated based
on data and opportunities for incremental and quantum-leap improvements
identified. However, the process of change, particularly change
to achieve quantum-leap improvements, is not usually straightforward
and organizations and individuals do not embrace change naturally.
Therefore, Coalition members must develop an ability to manage change.