Karen Kusler is the owner and trainer of Kusler Consulting - Streamlining Higher Education focuses on Lean training, Lean facilitation, and change management for higher education institutions. With over 30 years of higher education experience, she has designed a curriculum to prepare others as Lean Facilitators and change agents.
Karen's formal education is from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelors of Science in Family Relations in 1980 and an MBA in 1989. She completed her certification as a Lean Manager in 2007 through a program conducted by Productivity, Inc. and Ohio State University. In addition, Mark Nash, author of two Lean books, mentored her on application of Lean in higher education. She originally worked with Lean at the University of Central Oklahoma where she helped over 30 teams improve the efficiency of their processes. She is also a certified Six Sigma Green Belt through a program at the Oklahoma City Community College in 2010. All of her training courses focused on manufacturing or corporate Lean applications. Karen has taken this training and applies it to the higher education environment with adjustments made where needed to complement the higher education culture.
In 2008, Karen coordinated the first Lean Facilitator Certification course. Thirteen students completed the course from four institutions. Since then, 122 people from across the US have been trained as Lean Facilitators. Over 30 institutions have participated in the training course. She has also facilitated Lean Events onsite at higher education governing offices and four other institutions.
Karen has presented at regional and national conferences on application of Lean in higher education. She and UCO have been recognized multiple times with national awards for the Lean initiative, including NACUBO and SACUBO.