Aviation Program at Southern Utah University

How a university is using the Deming approach to save jobs, transform airplane maintenance training, and change legislation to make flying safer. 

 

A DEMING “CINDERELLA STORY”

When we met Mike Mower, Executive Director of the Aviation Program at Southern Utah University, the program was on the brink of collapse. They were contracting with a private, for-profit company to help them with training aviation students. But it wasn’t working, and they couldn’t figure out why or what to do. As Mower describes in a recent Deming Institute Podcast, what happened next is “probably the biggest Cinderella story our university has ever seen.”

 

 

SAVING 130 JOBS!

Through a partnership with SUU’s QUIL (the W. Edwards Deming Quality, Innovation & Leadership Incubator) and with guidance from Dr. Ravi Roy, SUU Professor and Senior Research Fellow at The Deming Institute, SUU Aviation began to integrate the Deming Leadership System. Within two years they had saved the Aviation Program – and 130 jobs!

 

MAKING FLYING SAFER

But that was just the beginning. Aviation programs had long struggled to train students under antiquated FAA maintenance training regulations. “You can imagine how much maintenance has changed in the last 60 years, but the way people are trained hadn’t changed at all,” says Mower. Frustrated with an unresponsive FAA, SUU Aviation took it upon themselves to revise the rules, using a Deming approach, and then lobby Congress to pass a bill that was signed into law last October. SUU Aviation will be the first program in the nation to teach under the new rules.

 

AND SPAWNING A GLOBAL MOVEMENT

“We need Deming more than ever,” says Mower, and SUU Aviation is “poised to change the world…Globally, as we work with our partners in China, Taiwan, and Korea, we will spread the story of…what happens when you eliminate fear, once you get rid of barriers and allow people to be creative in thought and action.”


PLEASE JOIN US AT SUU!!

We would like to personally invite you to attend The Annual Bryce Canyon Society Forum: W. Edwards Deming in the 21st Century - In Search of Excellence, hosted by QUIL at SUU on April 3, 2019. At this Deming-focused event, you will get to meet Mike Mower and Dr. Ravi Roy, along with our Executive Director Kevin Cahill and Deputy Director Bill Bellows, and many others like you – committed to driving out fear and creating joy in work and life. 

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  • SUU Professor Ravi Roy and Department of Aviation Director Mike Mower

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