Posted by: Beth Cousens, Director for Campus Advancement on 3/6/2007 2:06:00 PM
I’ll admit it. When I walk into a Dunkin Donuts, I get a little thrill of excitement and also a sense that I am home. Maybe it was living in New England all those years (where one is always in shouting distance of at least three franchises). The bottom line is, the cartoonish pink writing of Dunkin Donuts is comforting, and moreover, it says I am getting good coffee at a great value.
That’s why I feel at home. Why the excitement? Because Dunkin Donuts are franchises, where owners must follow some standards, but are also free to experiment with ideas that may enhance their business. Sometimes I can get a banana. Sometimes I can get peanut butter. When I moved from New England, one Dunkin Donuts was experimenting with smoothies. Hmmm.
The Dunkin Donuts Web site (www.dunkindonuts.com) makes it clear that its franchises adhere to a philosophy. The site shares its core values and business principles, presents its primary products, and describes the quality of these products, whether coffee is made in one store or another. Its overall message communicates a set of standards to its customers and to the community. Dunkin Donuts are independent businesses, and so they can be creative, always keeping customers guessing. They are also part of a larger system that adheres to specific guidelines, ensuring that customers can rely on the business’s high quality in addition. When we walk into a Dunkin Donuts, we know most of what we will see – and the rest keeps us on our toes.
Hillels are not one corporation, and nor are we exactly franchises. We deeply value the uniqueness of each Hillel that is part of our movement. We want to meet the needs of different students in different schools and communities. But we also want students to know that they can have certain Jewish experiences in college. We want “Hillel” to stand for something. Particularly with our Strategic Plan research, we know that nationally, students expect and need a certain kind of experience. Through our international network of Hillels, we get to give that experience to all students.
Years ago, we decided that we would have a set of Standards of Practice and Performance for Hillels as a movement. We measure a Hillel’s adherence to those Standards during the Accreditation process. But when else do we use the Standards? Can we say that we integrate the Standards into our daily work? More to the point, how can we use the Standards more often to assess what we are as Hillel?
At Professional Staff Conference and currently in work teams, we are refreshing Hillel’s Standards to reflect our new values and goals. When we complete this process, we are confident that our Standards will reflect the best of what we know Hillels can be. Let this question of the role that the Standards play in our daily work be an active question, one that we constantly consider. Let us turn to those Standards to reflect on our accomplishments, and let us ensure that our Standards reflect what we want to be.
In the spring, the work teams will forward drafts of their work to you. We look forward to your feedback – together, we will create a refreshed set of Standards that reflect our best ideas of what we should be, and then work toward those Standards as a movement, meeting expectations of Hillels as a whole, and maintaining each Hillel’s individuality.
RE: Hillel’s Standards: What Do They Mean?
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