It Quacks Like a University

This past week, a 50-member faculty and student delegation from Richland College went to Washington, D.C., for some very important business. Led by school president Dr. Stephen K. Mittelstet, they had to pick up the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. What is it? It's only an award the President of the United States gives out, that's all, honoring "quality and organizational performance excellence." (Then again, it's also the kind of award that goes to Park Place Lexis in Plano, which is in keeping with its purpose of honoring "competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses.") Mittelstet, along with the school's Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Economic Development Dr. Kay Eggleston (and how's that for a title?) received the award from Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday. With all the awards Richland's recently piled up--the 2005 Texas Award for Performance Excellence from the governor's office, the 2004 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, three national baseball championships and an award-winning newspaper--you almost can't believe this isn't a university. Then again, what university would call its mascot Thunderduck? --Rich Lopez

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