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Higher education is facing an enrollment crisis as well as reduced funding. Higher education is being asked to do more with less. Add to this increased demands for accountability plus increased competition for students and higher education is faced with the same situation American industry faced in the 1980's. This study seeks to determine if the tools and techniques of Total Quality Management (TQM) can help higher education as it helped American industry regain its competitiveness in the world market. To examine TQM in higher education, the effect of the visionary leader on the TQM culture was studied. The visionary leader was measured by the Leader Behavior Questionnaire developed by Sashkin. The TQM culture was measured by the TQM Assessment Inventory, developed by Sashkin and Kiser. Thirty-eight higher education institutions identified as using TQM were surveyed. Three institutions were also visited: one graduate, one four-year, and a community college. The study results did not show a strong relationship between the visionary leader and the Total Quality Culture. The literature and personal interviews with experts suggest this is effected by a dispersion of leadership throughout the organization. In conclusion, proper resources must be allocated by higher education institutions and accurate measurements for progress, such as the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Higher Education, must be used to determine if TQM can make higher education more effective and efficient.