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Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - Lean Thinking for Education program brings Lean to school administrators
The Lean Thinking for Education Program, offered by the Oakland University Pawley Lean Institute, is running this fall and winter at the Oakland University INCubator located in the Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion on OU’s campus.

Led by Dr. Shannon Flumerfelt, associate professor of Educational Leadership at Oakland University and director of Lean Thinking for Schools at the Pawley Institute, the program will focus on providing an overview of Lean principles and their application to education.

Especially beneficial to K-12 and higher education administrators, the program will employ Lean process improvement concepts based on district/institutional goals in order to create greater value and eliminate waste within the organizational operation.

Participants will engage in Lean improvement processes and develop ways to implement collaboration and engagement with the professional community.

The course will assist participants in developing a basic mastery of Lean so that they are equipped to apply systems thinking and aligning tools in order to facilitate continuous improvement initiatives in their organizations or work areas.

The program has also been approved to provide state board-continuing education units (SB-CEUs).

Training will consist of 50 hours of meeting time. Participants will also partake in online sessions through Elluminate video-conferencing software for teaching.

The cost of the program is $1800. Discounts are available for OU employees.

The meeting dates for in-person training sessions are as follows:
  • Feb. 11, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Feb. 12, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • March 11, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • March 12, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • April 1, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • April 2, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Online Elluminate sessions:
  • April 8, 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • April 15, 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.


The Reeths-Puffer School District in Muskegon, Mich., has participated in the program for the past two years with ten administrators graduating from the program each year.

Participant Wanda Groeneveld, principal at Twin Lake Elementary in the Reeths-Puffer School District, describes Lean as focusing on efficiency, instead of just cutting.

According to Groeneveld, results of using Lean processes include having a higher efficiency and being able to make wiser budget decisions.

For more information about the Pawley Lean Institute and the Lean Thinking for Education Program, visit