by Robin Huiras

Contributing to society has been a lifelong trend for world renowned research expert and University alumnus Joseph Juran. And at 93, he keeps on giving.
A commemoration on Thursday at the Carlson School of Management marked the official alliance between his $2 million Juran Foundation and the Carlson’s Quality Research Center. Although the transfer of all the foundation’s assets is not complete, the center was renamed the Juran Center for Leadership in Quality.
“What a wonderful opportunity for the Carlson school and the center,” said David Kidwell, dean of the Carlson School of Management. “Dr. Juran has given us a gift, the use of his good name, and most of all, his vision. We will bend heaven and earth to make his vision a reality.”
Carlson officials said the merger will make the University’s business school the most authoritative center internationally for producing scholars and dispersing information in the field of quality research.
“Our intention is to become the world leader and national hotspot for quality research,” said Jim Buckman, co-director of the Juran Center.
In addition to Minneapolis being the place his immigrant family chose to reside and the University being his alma mater, Juran said it was his concern for the future of the foundation that compelled him to merge with the University school.
“I realized that here’s an opportunity to carry on the research that the foundation has done,” he said.
Juran’s vision in creating and refining quality control and management has reached institutions and individuals throughout the world.
He is best known for his work with the Japanese in the field of quality control. Teaching Japanese managers about different quality techniques, Juran helped enable them to rise from their economically poor post-World War II status to that of an economic world power.
“Juran in his modest way has helped to shape the quality age in America and around the world,” said University President Mark Yudof.
The absorption of the foundation will allow the University to create several programs and provide opportunities for studying and expanding ideas in quality principles, Buckman said.
The Juran Center will annually select several scholars to expand the quality movement. The goal of the “Juran Fellows” program, Buckman said, is to be able to allow students to apply quality thinking into a variety of disciplines, such as education and medicine.
In Juran’s words, the new University program will establish “a benevolent fifth column who we expect to infiltrate quality thinking into universities all over the world.”
In addition to the fellows program, the center will be able to commission leading researchers to attack other questions in quality research.
“We are looking for a cross-disciplinary approach team to expand ideas in quality,” Buckman said.
A final goal of the expanded center will be to establish a quality database. This database, to be located at the University, will allow the entire world to learn from the quality research scholars are conducting.
Already ranked 13th nationally, the Carlson School’s goal of becoming the world’s leading center for quality learning is now closer to reality with Juran’s aid, Kidwell said.
When Juran invested himself in the University in 1920, time yielded to the community “one of the world’s great management titans of the 20th century,” Kidwell said.
Quality research has been the main subject of Juran’s life’s study. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University in 1924, Juran moved to Chicago and began to pursue methods and strategies for improving quality production and sales techniques in manufacturing.
At age 24, Juran wrote his first pamphlet on quality control. Throughout the years he has authored an additional 200 pamphlets, 12 books and 30 videocassettes. Juran’s work in quality control and research has earned him 21 distinguished international awards.
In addition to the United States, Juran has been honored in countries such as Japan, Hungary, Madrid and Korea. He has also been a consultant and lecturer on quality research techniques in more than 40 countries.
During the commemoration Yudof unveiled a plaque which reads, “J.M. Juran — Lecturer, Consultant, Author, and above all, Teacher.”