Driven by increasing competition and intensifying market forces, higher education institutes (HEIs) find total quality management (TQM) as one of the indispensable tools to adapt to the evolving new educational environment and to fulfil the expectations of their stakeholders. Based on a thorough review and synthesis of the quality management literature, this paper identifies 11 critical areas of TQM in an HEI. Operational measures of the critical factors are developed that can be used individually or in concert to produce a profile of institution-wide quality management. These measures are tested for reliability and validity using perceptual data collected from a sample of 144 academics from 22 HEIs in Istanbul, Turkey. Decision makers will be able to use this instrument to identify the extent of TQM implementation in their institutions, while researchers will be able to use it for furthering TQM research in HEIs.