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The Organizational Excellence Group provides surveying services to over a hundred state agencies and institutions of higher education. Our largest continuous project is the Survey of Organizational Excellence. We also sponsor with the Office of the Governor the Governor's Conference on Organizational Excellence, Forum on Excellence, Customer Service Symposium, and provide data for selection of the Texas Star Award.
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Other projects include work towards fulfilling and/or exceeding the expectations of the Customer Service Standards Act (Texas Senate Bill 1563) through Customer Service Surveys, and the improvement of organizations and their leaders through various Leadership Tools. The group also provides custom survey services tailored to the needs of individual organizations.
The Organizational Excellence Group is led by Michael Lauderdale a Professor at UT with over 30 years experience in research and working with Texas State Government. Noel Landuyt is a Research Associate and Lecturer at UT. He coordinates the research activities and has over 15 years of experience. Both have worked with the Governorís Office, the Legislative Budget Board, and provided testimony and documentation in support of research efforts to various legislative committees and governmental officials.
Organizational Excellence activity has been underway since the early 1970ís. The original work was begun by Michael Lauderdale and Michael Kelly in their organizational research and continuing education for public organizations. Dr. Kelly joined the faculty of the University of Missouri in 1979 and continues to collaborate with a focus upon mentoring as an organizational improvement tool. He also serves as the Secretary of the Benchmarking Committee. The Benchmarking Committee is a vehicle that assists us in making comparisons to similar efforts in non-governmental fields. One of the first members of that group is Norman Chenven, founder of the Austin Regional Clinic, where the prototype of the Survey was initially used. In 1992 the Survey was modernized and applied to many more organizations in the State of Texas in the Ann Richardsí administration. Albert Hawkins and John Barton of the Texas Legislative Budget Board were instrumental in the new version and ensuring its application across Texas and becoming part of the stateís Strategic Planning Process. Albert joined the Bush Presidency and now serves as the Secretary to the Cabinet.
Two graduate students that became staff for several years helped create much of the software that creates the basis for the technology of the Survey. They are Shannon Gilliland, who now resides in Albuquerque and is employed by Intelliquest, and Troy Griggsby, who is in software support services for Houstonís St. Lukeís Episcopal Hospital. Katie Yowler created the analysis and report generation capabilities for the survey. She is now a lead developer at PeopleAdmin, Inc. During 2000 one of the graduate student employees of the Survey was Lisa Ramirez-Branum. Lisa helped develop the technology of providing Survey reports to state legislative districts. She is now serving as a Presidential Management Intern in the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.
Survey efforts work closely with Barry Bales and Joyce Sparks in the Governorís Center for Management Effectiveness in the LBJ School. Coordination with the Governorís Offices is through John Opperman and Wayne Roberts. Both regularly advise on the application of the Survey and means to ensure full state participation.
Undergraduate students also contribute to the development of the Survey. Paul Campion, Mike Unger and Paul Harris, secured the services of the video taping facility in UT Varsity Athletics for digital video support for Governor Perryís Overview for the 2001 Survey.
UT maintains both Unix and WNT broadband Internet servers capable of thousands of simultaneous hits. UT has redundant systems ensuring data integrity through sequential and full backup procedures and providing for minimal server downtime. Various methods of data collection are used as appropriate to specifications of the defined project.