Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




quality assurance, qualitative, culturally-responsive, performance measurement, postsecondary, inclusive leadership


Student success has multiple meanings; however, the postpositivist bias prevalent in Canadian postsecondary education restricts how student success is defined and measured. When we standardize measures of student success we assume that the student experience is homogeneous and risk implementing policies and programs based on insufficient information. Unless new evaluation approaches are adopted, it is unlikely postsecondary institutions will generate the knowledge and wisdom needed to serve their regional, national, and international learners and communities. Postsecondary education leaders must be cognizant of the legacy of colonialism and consider cultural congruency between performance measurement systems and local context. This organizational improvement plan proposes a theory of action model for culturally-responsive postsecondary performance measurement that leverages shared governance through participatory, emergent, and appreciative processes and qualitative evaluation methodologies. Perception and socially constructed norms play a pivotal role in addressing the postsecondary education sector’s quantitative bias; therefore, an interpretivist lens is used to critically examine the cultural appropriateness of quality assurance and measurement processes at a Canadian university. Culturally-responsive performance measurement requires consideration of diverse worldviews and methodologies. Qualitative evaluation can amplify the lived experiences of students and inform complex policy issues through examination of phenomena and local variability. The next generation of quality assurance requires inclusive decision-making structures to generate collective wisdom and cultivate an ethic of community by engaging community members, faculty, staff, and students as change agents.