• CQIN President: Chris Bustamante, Rio Salado College
  • President Elect: Liz Murphy, Campus Works, Inc.
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Dan Phelan, Jackson Community College
  • Immediate Past President: Laura Coleman, Bay de Noc Community College
  • At-Large Member: Cecilia Cervantes, Hennepin Technical College
  • At-Large Member: Liz Murphy, CampusWorks
  • At-Large Member: Gayle Saunders, Richland Community College
  • CQIN Executive Director: John Politi (
  • Coordinator for Financial and Administration: Charlotte Lee (
  • Lead Representative and Coordinator of Summer Institute: Laura Helminski (
  • Coordinator for Member Relations – Vergina Smith (
  • Website Coordinator: Paul Klute (

CQIN History

The CONTINUOUS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT NETWORK (CQIN) began with discussions at a meeting in Los Angeles on July 26, 1991, held in conjunction with a symposium on Total Quality Management in Higher Education. Meeting attendees included: Clyde LeTarte of Jackson Community College, Marvin Lane of Lamar Community College, Stan Spanbauer of Fox Valley Technical College, Dick Calkins of Grand Rapids Community College, Richard DeCosmo of Delaware County Community College, Peter Kessinger of Honolulu, and Kevin Words of Australia.

The Los Angeles Meeting – July 26, 1991

This initial meeting of presidents resulted in a decision that the new “Community College Continuous Quality Improvement Network” would be modeled after the League for Innovation in the Community College. Potential members were discussed and it was decided that 13 members should be invited to join initially.

At this meeting of presidents, agreement was reached on the broad outline for the organization and structure of the Network. A description of the Network which resulted from the discussion at this meeting included the following information:


The purpose of the Network would be to have an honest and open sharing of information – the “pluses and minuses” among community college presidents who have committed to implementation of Total Quality Management principles, practices, and tools as a way of continuously improving their institutions.

Quality Advisors Network

A parallel group composed of senior TQM practitioners – called advisors – from each member institution would be formed to meet separately on a regular basis. The purpose of the Quality Advisors Network would be to allow those individuals responsible for implementation strategies to share ideas, approaches, and tools with each other. The Quality Advisors would meet at the same time as the presidents. Each member president would designate someone to participate in the Quality Advisors Network.

AACJC Relationship

CQIN would have no formal relationship with AACJC, but the members would be active in “spreading the word” through the AACJC organization and its activities.

Schedule of Meetings

The Network would meet three times per year. Two meetings would be held in conjunction with each of the AACJC and ACCT national conventions, and one meeting would be at a Network member campus. Occasional joint meetings would be held if international chapters were formed.

Network Activities

A major activity would be open dialogue among presidents. The Network would consider creating task forces – such as one on assessment. TQM seminars would be sponsored with revenues and expenses shared among members. Materials would be developed cooperatively and shared at cost. Each Network meeting would involve two to three hours of professional development. Activities would be driven by member interest and capacities.

Clyde LeTarte, president of Jackson Community College, would serve as Interim Chair. Stan Spanbauer, president of Fox Valley Technical College, agreed to host the next meeting and draft by-laws for the Network.

In August and September of 1991, letters of invitation to join CQIN were sent to the CEOs of the following institutions: Brazosport College, Dallas County Community College District, Delaware County Community College, Eastern Iowa Community College, El Camino College, Fox Valley Technical College, Grand Rapids Community College, Harford Community College, Hawkeye Institute of Technology, Houston Community College, Jackson Community College, Lakeshore Technical College, Lamar Community College, Rio Salado Community College, and Northcentral Technical College.

Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN)


Revised July 28, 2012

This Association is not organized for profit and no part of the net earnings will be used to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.  As such, the Association has been granted a Federal Tax Exempt Status under section 501 (c) (6) of the Internal Revenue Code.


Article I


The name of the Association shall be “Continuous Quality Improvement Network.”  CQIN may also be used as the name of the Association.


Article II


The purpose of this Association shall be to assist member CEOs with active organizational    transformation.  This Association shall also develop strategies to enhance active institutional learning for faculty, staff, and trustees. Some examples of this assistance include the following.

  1. Sharing innovative ideas and initiatives.
  2. Sharing materials, successes, challenges, and failures.
  3. Conducting workshops, seminars, and institutes on topics related to the purposes of the Association.
  4. Linking with groups outside education for mutual exchange of ideas and practices.
  5. Affiliating with groups and/or other educational associations for mutual exchange of ideas and practices. As an organization, CQIN will support the purposes and objectives of the educational group or association with which it affiliates. Affiliation will not alter or affect CQIN’s sole responsibility for all financial encumbrances or obligations it incurs as an association.
  6. Seeking funding for innovative projects.
  7. Publishing institutional best practices in higher education.


Article III


  1. Types of Members Member institutions will be assigned to one of three classifications on an annual basis.

    1. Higher Education Institution
      1. The CEO of an accredited two-year community/technical college or four-year college/university actively engaged in organizational transformation who is interested in participating in the Association’s CEO activities is eligible to be a member of the Association. In a multi-college system or district, the CEO of the system/district may be a member if the system/district office or one of the campuses is engaged in organizational transformation. In addition, the heads of each of the campuses are eligible to be members.
    2. Corporations associated with higher education.
      1. The CEO of a corporation actively engaged in organizational transformation and who is interested in participating in the Association’s CEO activities is eligible to be a member of the Association.
    3. Non-Profit Organizations
      1. The CEO of a non-profit corporation actively engaged in organizational transformation and who is interested in participating in the Association’s CEO activities is eligible to be a member of the Association.
  2. New members are selected by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee or via a mail/electronic ballot, based on a written application for membership that includes evidence of being engaged in organizational transformation. The written application shall include information related to the following.
  1. An explanation as to the reasons why the organization desires to become a member of CQIN.
  2. An explanation of initiatives underway to implement continuous quality improvement principles and achieve performance excellence.
  1. Non-payment of dues will result in automatic removal from membership.
  2. An Annual Institutional Fee for members will be established by the majority of the members present at a regular meeting or via mail/electronic ballot. Prompt payment of dues and assessments is required to become or remain a member.
  3. The membership in this Association shall extend from July 1 to June 30 of the following year regardless of the time when dues are paid.
  4. In the event a CEO leaves his/her position to accept another CEO position, he/she will remain a member of the Association, provided all dues are paid by the new institution/corporation.
  5. In the event a CEO leaves his/her position, the institution from which he/she leaves will remain in an active status until the new CEO re-affirms his/her commitment to the Association.  This commitment shall be made by letter or verbally to the President or Executive Director of CQIN and payment of applicable membership dues.


Article IV

CQIN Institutional Representatives

  1. Each member CEO will designate one individual as a partner for organizational learning, known as the CQIN Institutional Representative (Rep). The Rep will be responsible for facilitating the events, programs, and activities that will enhance the Association and member’s institution. Some examples of these activities include the following.

    1. Share information on trends affecting higher education.
    2. Share developmental strategies on environmental scanning, training, planning, and process management.
    3. Share models for organizational transformation.
    4. Support each other’s learning through networking, study sessions, conference attendance, etc.
    5. Stimulate and provide a forum for “out-of-the-box” thinking.
    6. Cooperate in grant seeking activities.
    7. Assist in developing materials for publication by CQIN.


Article V

Election of Officers

  1. Officers
    1. The Officers of the Association will include the President, President Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, and Immediate Past President.
    2. Changes to the number and type of Officers shall be modified by a two-thirds vote of the members present at a regular meeting or via mail/electronic ballot.
  2. Executive Committee
    1. The Executive Committee will consist of the President, President Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, and Immediate Past President and three At-Large Members.
  3. Terms of Office
    1. Officers and At-Large Members of the Executive Committee are elected to a two-year term.
  4. Process of Nomination
    1. The Executive Committee shall appoint a Nominating Committee.
    2. The Nominating Committee shall present to the members nominations for each position of the Association that fall vacant at that time. Members may make additional nominations in open meetings or by mail.
  5. Method of Election
    1. The election will be conducted at the summer CEO meeting.
    2. In the event of a vacancy in any office of the Association, other than the expiration of a term, the office will be filled by Executive Committee appointment until the prescribed procedure shall be followed to elect a member for the un-expired term.


Article VI

Duties of Officers and Executive Committee

  1. The Executive Committee will review the duties and responsibilities of the Officers of the Association annually for accuracy.
  2. Any change in the Officers of the Association will be recommended to the full Association for review and two-thirds approval by the members present at a regular CEO Meeting or via mail/electronic ballot.
  3. The Executive Committee shall constitute the administrative body of the Association and shall direct its policies as expressed in the By-Laws.
  4. It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to provide for the safekeeping and proper investing of all funds of the Association.
  5. The Executive Committee may appoint volunteer and/or paid staff positions for the Association as needed to accomplish the goals of the Association. Examples of such staff positions include:
    1. Executive Director
    2. Coordinator for Finance & Administration
    3. Coordinator for the Summer Institute
    4. Website Coordinator


Article VII


  1. Committees may be formed as deemed necessary by the Executive Committee.
  2. Committee members shall be appointed by the President subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.


Article VIII


  1. There will be one regular CEO meeting annually, which will include a business meeting and a learning/sharing session.
    1. Attendance by the CEO is expected and absences must be reported to the Association President if the CEO is to be excused.
  2. There will be an annual summer institute. The purpose of this institute will be to provide the Association with an in-depth examination of concepts related to organizational transformation and continuous learning for teams of administrators, faculty and staff.
  3. There may be one regular meeting of the Institutional Representatives each year, as determined by the Institutional Representatives.


Article IX


  1. The By-Laws may be amended as follows.
    1. All proposed amendments must be presented to the members at least 30 days prior to the meeting at which action on the proposed amendment is to be taken.
    2. These By-Laws may be revised or amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at a regular CEO Meeting or via mail/electronic ballot.