Steering Group

Global Steering Group

Lean HE is run by three Continental Divisions, linked together through a global steering group. Current members of this committee include:

Post holders

Stephen Yorkstone, Chairperson

Senior Consultant, Edinburgh Napier University

Current Role:

Steve currently leads Edinburgh Napier University's lean-type initiative. There he supports staff through rapid improvement events, process reviews, as well as providing consultancy, coaching and training. He is a regular conference speaker on Lean for Higher Education, and currently is focusing on the development of advanced facilitation skills for improvement.

Employment History:

Alongside his current role Steve supports a small number of coaching and mentoring clients. in 2006 Steve was one of the first members of then ground breaking University of St Andrews' Lean Team, and he has worked to support other Universities in setting up their Lean initiatives. He served on the editorial board of the Lean Management Journal, contributed the chapter "Lean Universities" to the Shingo Research Prize winning 'Routledge Companion to Lean Management'. He edited the 2019 book; 'Global Lean for Higher Education; A Themed Anthology of Case Studies, Approaches, and Tools'.

Ask me about:

  • Lean Higher Education

  • Setting up lean initiatives and comparing approaches

  • Facilitation skills



Twitter: @steveyorkstone

Susanne Clarke, Deputy Chair (Governance)

Head of Service Excellence and Organisational Change Lead at Bournemouth University (BU)

Current Role:

I provide a strategic focus to developing excellent services and leading change across BU. I am strongly influenced by the lean ethos of respect for people in building a culture of co-operation and collaboration between staff. When we get this right and embrace continuous improvement we can’t help but deliver a great service to all in our community.

Employment History:

As a qualified accountant and organisational performance specialist - implementing lean has played a key role in leading teams that add real value. I first joined BU from the private sector in 2001 as Director of Operations within Faculty and later as Head of Finance and Performance and Deputy Director of Finance for BU.

Ask me about:

  • Aligned to my passion for lean is an interest in Appreciative Inquiry - contact me to find out more



Telephone: (44) 01202 966101


Grace Bryant, Deputy Chair (Communications)

Improvement Specialist, University of Canberra

Current Role:

Grace Bryant is one half of Team BPI, a team recognised by the Association for Tertiary Education Management. Team BPI’s remit is broad; to embed a culture of continuous improvement (CI), to inspire a network of CI champions and ground-up improvers and to deliver complex or institutional-wide improvements. Team BPI draws on a variety of tools to deliver on this remit, including lean, design thinking and storytelling. The work of Team BPI has been acknowledged by the Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM), through awards, the delivery of Australia-wide BPI masterclasses and regular conference appearances. She believes that our people and processes are as powerful as our technology.

Employment History:

Grace passionate about education. She has dedicated the past fifteen years in service to the University of Canberra and over five years facilitating short courses for adults at the Canberra Institute of Technology. Her previous roles were service-focused and encompass the full administrative life-cycle of a student. In her other lives, she’s a freelance author and illustrator, with plans to publish picture books that create safe spaces for the discussion of mental health issues and for creativity to blossom.

Ask me about:

  • Engaging, influencing and inspiring transformation;

  • Growing communities of practice;

  • Design thinking, storytelling, collective voices and, visual narrative.



Twitter: @leanheglobal

Continental Division Chairs

Dr Ruth Archer, Chairperson Lean HE Americas Continental Division

Director of Continuous Improvement, Michigan Technological University

Current Role:

Ruth manages the continuous improvement activities for Michigan Technological University. She is responsible for facilitating improvements that close the gap between current state and the university's strategic goals, fostering the continuous process of people development, and promoting collaborative partnerships and sharing Lean expertise in the state, the nation, and the global community.

Employment History:

Ruth has a BS in Electrical Engineering, an MBA, and a PhD in business administration with a specialization in organizational psychology. Before working at Michigan Tech, Ruth served in the United States Air Force. She held multiple positions, including aircraft mechanic, test equipment designer, aircraft electromagnetic signature collector, radar modeler, current and future radar engineer, and AFROTC instructor.

Ask Me About:

      • Teaching Lean

      • Developing Lean Leaders

      • Coaching others as they apply Lean methods, processes, and tools

      • Lean in Higher Education




Hayley MacDonald, Chairperson Lean HE Asia Pacific Continental Division

Manager Organisational Capability, CQUniversity Australia

Current Role:

Hayley leads the Continuous Improvement team at CQUniversity Australia. Her role is to develop, mentor and implement Lean projects across CQUniversity's 16 National Campuses. She is a very passionate facilitator and enjoys sharing knowledge and experience with others. Formerly a Human Resource Manager, she uses these skills to embed Lean Practice through organisational culture shift. She is currently the chair of the Lean HE Australasian Division, and thrives on collaborating with her HE colleagues.

Employment History:

Hayley has a degree in business from Griffith University, experience working in Europe and Australia in leading lean continuous improvement activity.

Ask Me About:

  • Coaching

  • Facilitation

  • Training Delivery

  • Management

  • Continuous Improvement.




John Hogg, Chairperson Lean HE Europe Continental Division and Conference Host 2021

Director of Continuous Improvement, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Current Role:

As Director of Continuous Improvement, John is responsible for providing leadership and direction to the University’s continuous improvement activity and national Higher Education agendas including Value for Money, Effectiveness and Efficiencies.

In addition to being Chairperson of Lean HE Europe, John is also Chairperson of Lean HE Scotland, a member of Universities Scotland Efficiencies & Effectiveness Committee and is also a non-executive board member at Glasgow Kelvin College.

Employment History

John has over 20 years’ experience in the Higher Education Sector as has worked in academic department, Faculty and University-level roles. Prior to joining the HE sector, John worked in the recruitment industry.

Ask Me About

      • Establishing and Building Lean Capability & Capacity

      • Evidencing the Impact of Improvement

      • Improving performance through employee engagement

      • Establishing a central lean/continuous improvement team



Telephone: (44) 0141 548 3624


Conference hosts

Krista Schulte, Conference Host 2019

Lean Performance Consultant, University of Michigan

Current Role:

Krista leads the planning, implementation, and evaluation of Lean programs for the University of Michigan’s academic campus. She uses a variety of consulting, team building, project management, and training & development strategies to enable and engage staff..

Employment History:

She has 20 years of engineering and process improvement experience in the automotive industry. Krista transitioned to HE when she joined the University of Michigan in 2015 to develop the newly formed Lean effort in the Business & Finance division (IT, Facilities, Operations, HR, Finance). In 2017, she began offering Lean Services campus-wide.

Ask me about:

      • Lean Communities of Practice

      • HELEX – Higher Ed Lean Exchange

      • The difference between applying Lean in a corporate vs higher education setting

      • The Network for Change and Continuous Innovation (NCCI)


Conference Host 2020 - The Global Steering Group "Lean HE Global Festival 2020"

Murturza Kapadia, Conference Host 2022

Former Steering Group Members

Since founding in 2013 Lean HE has benefited from the skills and wisdom of many people, including former global steering group members.

These include:

    • Brendan Snowden - Melbourne University

    • Christine Stewart - Cardiff University

    • Dave Speake - The University of Sheffield.

    • David Melkevik - Cardiff University

    • Fin Miller - University of St Andrews

    • Jan Brillman - Hanzehogeschool Groningen

    • John Hogg - University of Strathclyde

    • Julie Ryland - Coventry University

    • Lorna Prince - University of Stirling

    • Dr Marilyn Thompson - University of Waterloo

    • Mark Robinson - University of St Andrews

    • Mick Gash - University of Nottingham

    • Pat Browne - University of Aberdeen

    • Sue Jennings - University of Stirling

    • Tammi Sinha - University of Winchester

    • Valerie Runyan - Macquarie University

    • Vincent Wiegel - HAN School of Applied Sciences

    • Rachel McAssey - The University of Sheffield.

    • Svein Are Tjeldnes - UiT The Arctic University of Norway in Tromso

Interested in getting involved? For more information check out our terms of reference.