5. Additional Questions  

5. What haven't we asked that we should?

 

CATEGORIES NUMBER OF COMMENTS CATEGORIES NUMBER OF COMMENTS

Decision-Making Concerns

26

Admissions

15

Academic Training / How Do We Prepare Our Students

22

Athletics

10

Campus / University Unity

21

Communication

8

Tuition / Funding

21

How Can I Help

7

Faculty and Staff Morale

17

Have Nothing To Add

7

Technology and Facilities

17

Reputation

5

How To Promote Mercer / Marketing

17

Community Engagement

5

Satisfaction

15

Miscellaneous

26

 

Decision-making Concerns

26

From an academic perspective, how do we make hard decisions about which program to retain and which to eliminate?

Admin.

How do we plan for growth?

Admin.

Sometimes our decisions that are made at the micro level affect the macro level. How do we change this?

Admin.

How do we inform our decision-making to put the welfare of the student first?

Admin.

How do we get to these places? How can everyone be involved? How can ideas float "upward?" How can we create enthusiasm and energy for a new direction?

Admin.

Concentrate on strengths rather than continue to grapple with the difficult issue of Baptist v. independence.

Ext. Const.

What’s happening in major trends in higher education? Those currents and tides will carry us regardless of whether we’re ready. We have to plan and be prepared for those.

Ext. Const.

Remain flexible. With a ten-year plan, you can be locked in and not be flexible. For example, the lofts in the downtown, the Med School, the Engineering School were examples of being flexible.

Ext. Const.

What should the governance of this institution be? Board of Trustees? Should it be more national? Board of Governors—should it meet more than once a year? Has Mercer thought about what it should look like?

Ext. Const.

What do we do, as a University, that we should stop doing…either process- or program-wise

Faculty

Where does this information session information go? (Will our voices be heard?)

Faculty

Are we done building more schools?

Faculty

Are we going to have more opportunities to meet and discuss our vision?

Faculty

Why are we building a hotel in a dying area?

Faculty

In other areas, I'd like to know if we're going to include academic development in the strategic plan. Where do we see our academic programs in the future? What academic technology plan (e.g., standardizing student computing, required laptops, etc.)? Etc.

Faculty

Do we have too many schools/colleges in the University? Should we start new ones? Should we combine some existing schools/colleges to minimize administrative overhead, and to encourage more collaboration across disciplines? I believe Mercer should reorganize its undergraduate schools. Maybe Business and/or Education should return to the College of Liberal Arts. Or perhaps a new STEM school (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) should be formed with faculty from the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Engineering: Math, Computer Science, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Environmental Science, and all the Engineering Departments. This would enable us to establish a stronger science presence within the university, help us to capitalize on the investment into new science facilities currently under way, and facilitate the establishment of graduate programs in these fields.

Faculty

Should we cut lose some of the deadwood? The underperforming units—

Faculty

Could we do some reorganization? Is the School of Education any better than the dept. of education? Music for example.

Faculty

How can we have more accountability in everything we do?

Staff

Relative to question #3, How can we address the challenges you identified?

Staff

Does it matter? The president has changed, but unless he forces change, the level of management below him will continue in their failed management strategies. Mercer's problems are not unique. Other universities have addressed these same problems successfully. Why not follow their lead? The wheel doesn't need to be reinvented, but it does need to be rolled to move forward.

Staff

Well, resources aside...do faculty, staff feel inclusive in the vision/growth of the university? We are all working so hard to implements our programs, meeting increasing regulations on education (nationwide trend) and I believe a real sense of exclusion...real or not...is felt by those who will be honest.

Staff

National trends in our programs and opportunities that may be of interest. Thank you for asking, a small associated group brainstorming session was always proved benifical in past administrative roles.

Staff

What outcome measures are we looking at to measure success? Standardized testing? Productivity of graduates? Financial contributions?

Student

Has the medical school achieved a status level (academic, financial, reputation, etc) that would warrant expansion of the campus and/or creation of a new campus? Is that best for the school? Is that best for Georgia? What measures are you using to support your answer?

Student

Inclement weather alternatives

Student

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Academic Training / How Do We Prepare Our Students

22

How do we create an environment that nourishes the whole student's development?

Admin.

Where does learning occur in the college? Outside classes there are many learning experiences.

Emeriti

We forget how much learning occurs between students.

Emeriti

International education another side of opportunity for Mercer University

Emeriti

The high academic standards need to stay there. Mercer needs to set the standards for the community schools.

Ext. Const.

You need to offer programs of distinction when you're competing against something for free. The Hope Scholarship forces us to focus on higher education. It's great to have a state that focuses on higher education.

Ext. Const.

Is it important for Mercer to have an EMBA? [We have that.]

Ext. Const.

Given changes to the landscape of higher educationk how do we attend to general education when transfer students are the rule rather than the exception?

Faculty

How do we develop educated citizens in an inter-, multi-, trans-, sub-, supra-, and post-national world of nation-states?

Faculty

Developing new ways of learning, higher education processes – staying innovative

Faculty

What role can Mercer play in the national conversation about reconceiving secondary education and the first two years of college? (In other words, should we be putting so many of our eggs in a graduate school basket, especially since one can make the case that there are already too many graduate programs, at least in areas that are not affiliated with professional schools? Could we look at the last two years of high school, often "wasted" academically speaking, as an opportunity to encourage high schoolers to get a head start on an education at Mercer?)

Faculty

Short of seeking to develop a nationally recognized early college program, are there summer programs Mercer can offer high school students across the country for college credit (e.g. in a summer abroad program)?

Faculty

Need to emphasize academics – that is what students are here for

Faculty

What should a professional, urban university ( Atlanta specifically) look like? Establish that vision and then map resources to support it. Don’t perpetuate the past. (Can’t be traditional model)

Faculty

How will the university be able to effectively move towards joining "the ranks of America's leading private higher education institutions" while maintaining a commitment to diversity by attracting and retaining students from minoity populations in this country that historically have not been as well represented at Mercer, or at other prestigious institutions, as their relative size in the larger population would indicate?

Faculty

Weakest part of curriculum is lack of global diversity

Faculty

What do respondents see as trends for the future of the job market and workplace? If a common point is seen, perhaps a committee should investigate Mercer's potential to address this area as a field/course of study.

Parent

I would like to know how Mercer is working to connect their alumni with the graduating students to help with career opportunities I am aware of the MAPS program in the School of Business- what about co-op programs in other departments?

Parent

What impact really does the split have on our "Name" as well as the financial picture. People are telling me that Mercer's Theology school is on the verge of being unbibilical. What are we actually teaching our children? Does the Christianity department teach bibilcally? People don't want to send their children to a Baptist college that isn't teaching baptist ideals from the Bible.

Staff

How can we all play a part in retention, once we get students?

Staff

We offer too many majors that are academically weak. We need to concentrate on Graduate studies in liberal arts (political science, English, Art)

Student

Academic programs FYS and Scientific inquiry are inconsistent and need to be better defined. Focus should remain on importance of knowledge. The quality of the individual instructor makes a night and day difference for majors as well.

Student

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Campus / University Unity

21

How do we embrace our comprehensiveness

Admin.

How do we become a University? We see ourselves as a collection of programs, but not as a university. We want our students to be able to move within the programs within the university, but the student doesn't feel a part of the University but the program.

Admin.

How do we develop a sense of community?

Admin.

How do we embrace our 175-year legacy?

Admin.

The layout of administrative offices needs to be addressed. Many of the offices across campus that are closely related are not located near each other. This poses a large inconvenience to students. For instance it would be great if a student could go to Admissions then Financial Aid then Bursar Office then Student Loans. It just makes sense to put them all close together.

Admin.

If you’re really grounded in who you are and where you’re going, then chasing an opportunity will not drag you off your path.

Ext. Const.

What threatens Mercer's upward spirit?

Ext. Const.

Macon is not like a campus town; what happened to the Triangle Center?

Faculty

Need more “fun” places on campus to shoot pool, play ping pong, etc.

Faculty

Student groups die quickly.

Faculty

When I joined the university in 1998, I determined (God willing) that I would lead the Mercer physics department into the place of an obvious presence on the world wide web (www). Whether good, bad, or ugly in the view of those who judge our web-presence; one thing is clear--Mercer Physics has achieved that objective, and possibly with greater success than any other segment of the university. Evidence for my claim is to be found by typing various keywords into the premier search engine Google. The frequency with which Google directs its internet readers to the Mercer physics websites is hugely out of proportion to hits recorded for other physics departments similar to our own. The techniques used to accomplish this web-presence are not mysterious, nor are they unique to physics; I would be delighted to share their details with others. My unsuccessful efforts in doing so remind me of the scriptural verse, "voice of one crying in the wilderness". I believe that Mercer University is too much a collection of 'independent' thinkers, rather than cooperative individuals who could accomplish so much more if there were a genuine interest in 'talking shop' in a synergetic sense as opposed to 'talking politics' according to disjointed 'business as usual'. In my college of Liberal Arts there is way too much of the latter, and power rests like an everlasting (anti)gospel in the hands of a few who appear to do little else besides strive diligently to maintain their political influence.

Faculty

Are we going to develop the area around Mercer to energize the Mercer environment?

Faculty

You did not ask questions pertaining to the internal view of what it means to be a Mercerian. When I first came here I was invited into a community or "family." The term "Mercerian" meant more than just being a student or employee of this institution. There was a sense of accomplishment and pride in the term, as well as an open Christain attitude. Now people are saying to me "I no longer know what it means to be a Mercerian." We are slowly losing our identity because of the stress and fear that has been introduced into our community due to our current financial crisis.

Faculty

How can Mercer strengthen its sense of community within the University given the geographical barriers of a multi-campus system?

Faculty

Interaction with Atlanta and Savannah campuses.

Faculty

I think that Mercer should strongly promote itself as a “learning community.” What does this mean? One implication is that faculty are supported as they pursue scholarly endeavors, broadly defined, and are supported as they learn outside their disciplines. Another implication is that students and faculty learn together, whether it be in a research setting, in reading groups, or on service projects. In mathematics there is significant funding available (from the National Science Foundation) for departments that emphasize “vertical integration” wherein undergraduate students, graduate students, post docs, and faculty spend time learning together across the traditional vertical hierarchy. I imagine Mercer’s CLA as being a premier example of a college at which we tap the creative talents of all our members, student and faculty alike.

Faculty

Need to strengthen relationship between Macon & Atlanta campus

Staff

How can the campus come together? If we have committed people that are willing to look outside the box, then nothing is impossible. I think we should also have events where all people of the different schools are represented. It is wonderful to have public events for the community on campus, but they usually don't cater much to the student. What if we brought community volunteering to the campus? Where people that came, actually saw the students that go here, which may build their interest to go here. A session called "Knowledge you can use", where each school has a booth with helpful information for fellow students of this campus.

Student

By continuing to expand Mercer is losing its foundations

Student

We need to instill a sense of school pride & reaffirm who we are

Student

What is Mercer like from a maturity perspective? Can be isolating.

Student

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Tuition / Funding

21

I'm on the board for the School of Engineering. Poll of alumni to see why various alumni have not given to the school. Any ideas from alumni to encourage financial donations.

Alum

Cost of higher education is a great threat.

Ext. Const.

Mercer is expensive as a private university. Our tuition structure is an issue (40 tuition rates). It was noted that this issue is currently being addressed.

Faculty

What does "lack of resources" mean? We all know we have limited resources.

Faculty

Lack of resources is harming all -- students, faculty, library, technology, etc.

Faculty

Is there a chance of restructuring colleges/schools to reduce overhead?

Faculty

How would reducing the student discount affect our ability to attract top students, and is there any other way to supplant that shortfall?

Faculty

You haven't asked, in this forum anyway, about necessary resources, so I'll say a word on that point. For Mercer to elevate its profile within the academy, one of the things it will have to do is to increase its support for faculty in travel and research. Faculty travelling to conferences, and presenting and publishing papers is an important way for the name of Mercer to get out into the wider academic community. To make sure that its students also directly benefit, however, Mercer should look to fund student travel to these conferences or to undergraduate conferences at which they can exchange ideas with other undergraduates from around the country. These kinds of trips not only help our students but they also could/should be key selling points to prospective students who are looking to experience academia outside of the classroom.

Faculty

How would you spend $1,000 or $10,000 or $100,000 or $1,000,000 to improve Mercer; and what aspect of learning or outreach would it address?

Faculty

Will resources continue to be limited? What's our future?

Staff

Endowment -- protecting endowment is fine but we might need to sell off some things to maintain quality.

Staff

Are alumni from all of our schools being contacted to ask for support? I have been told that many medical school graduates have never been contacted for contributions or told that Mercer is in a financial bind. These are doctors who could afford to help if needed.

Staff

Will Mercer offer merit scholarships for non-traditional students?

Student

How can we make Mercer more affordable compared to public schools.

Student

Financial aid should reward academic success

Student

You should have asked if I would like Mercer to lower its tuition. I would have said, "Yes!"

Student

The Law School is treated like a profit center.

Student

Disgruntled faculty and cheap services don't match the high tuition.

Student

University overhead is too high.

Student

What do the students think about where budget cutting is happening? Are there other options than the ones we have taken?

Student

Textbooks are too expensive, and the buyback pays very little in dollars.

Student

 

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Faculty and Staff Morale

17

How do we create higher staff morale?

Admin.

How do we maintain momentum at a time when our resources are limited?

Admin.

When hiring faculty, what promises can we make? (Other institutions pay more).

Faculty

How do we achieve the morale of the great University we hope to be?

Faculty

How do we engender the great spirit of going forward?

Faculty

How do we achieve the energy of high morale?

Faculty

It would be a good idea if someone were to investigate the impact that the budget slashing has had on the Mercer spirit.

Faculty

Our secretary mentioned that she would love to have designated staff parking - just a small perk which would make her [and other staff] feel a bit more special. I have never seen a university without designated parking for staff.

Faculty

Are you happy at your job? For me, I'd still say mostly yes but I'm on a continuing downhill spiral that began about 5 years ago.

Faculty

You should ask about morale among faculty, staff, and students. I think it is lower that I have ever seen in 30+ years. The initial exhuberance occasioned by new leadership in the President's office was dashed by unprecedented staff layoffs and, in CLA, inability to renew visiting faculty. Both of these events will cripple our enterprise for the forseeable future. You should ask what we think can be done to make Mercer a better place to work and to learn.

Faculty

We need to do more to develop a sense of a Mercer community – staff/faculty coffees, staff/faculty lunches offered at cheaper price

Staff

Job security – how to ensure job security with staff

Staff

What are our perceptions of morale around here?

Staff

Have to look at individual areas, some areas have no problem, others do. No more layoffs, not lose tuition waver benefit. Stabilizing will help morale. But some areas with a problem even before layoffs. Look deeper than these cuts

Staff

Someone mentioned moral at the meeting and this is definitely a question you need to ask. I know that in my department, this was an issue before the lay offs took place. However, the department heads were and are oblivious to it. We just feel like we are being asked to perform more and more and more work, but yet were are NOT being compensated for it! The fact that President Underwood has given us 2 'Staff Appreciation Days' has been a big boost. This is the first time in the 10 years that I have worked here that something like this has been done for us and I am GRATEFUL! However, you cannot continue to pile the workload on us and not compensate us for the work we do.

Staff

Ask how many of us are working a second job just to pay the bills?

Staff

How can Macon be energized?

Student

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Technology and Facilities

17

How do we improve facilities for drama, visual arts, etc.

Admin.

Technology is a challenge that would allow us to transcend some of the challenges we face with multiple campuses. We are very far behind. How do we plan to catch up?

Admin.

Think of Mercer's footprint as being more than the campus.

Ext. Const.

A real alumni center would be good.

Faculty

Need a large center for the arts; we have small venues on campus.

Faculty

We need less emphasis on building buildings.

Faculty

How do we improve our classroom spaces? We don't even have chairs for all the students.

Faculty

Mercer needs own auditorium – skits – stompfest need to be at Mercer

Student

Technology is important

Student

The solution would be to build a parking garage (maybe underground) and some more housing for students.

Student

Computers and projectors in all classes.

Student

Wireless access in all locations throughout campus.

Student

Building maintenance: Women's restroom

Student

Need more working equipment at the Centers

Student

Dim lighting options at the Centers

Student

Starbucks coofee machine is horrible at the Centers.

Student

Want ATM with no fees

Student

 

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How to Promote Mercer / Marketing

17

How do we get alumni of all the different programs more involved in the school?

Alum

How do we increase public awareness of our programs on the local, regional, and national levels?

Alum

What about the Public Relations Department? For example, how much is Mercer talking about its relationship with Piedmont Hospital?

Alum

Mercer should focus more on marketing strengths and then come back to the promotion of Baptist identity.

Ext. Const.

There should be more marketing and advertisement of Mercer's facilities, since they are open for use to the community [Atlanta Campus]

Ext. Const.

There should be more marketing of gym memberships and fitness programs.

Ext. Const.

Brag a little about what Mercer University has done.

Ext. Const.

The high achievers at Burke, Miller, Southwest need to come on campus to see that they could be here.

Ext. Const.

You have a campus in Atlanta and one here. How many people know about that presence?

Ext. Const.

We are a diamond in the rough that needs to be revealed.

Faculty

Any publicity is good publicity.

Faculty

Who do you know at the University who has good ideas that we should talk to about Mercer's future? I think there are faculty who have worked here for a long time who might have important insights that they might be more willing to share in a more intimate setting. Asking this question of people could ferret some of these people out.

Faculty

How to we get the attention of others of what we are doing?

Faculty

Obviously, I think we should be talking more about "national" identity, and I'm hoping that the strategic planning from the UPC addresses this issue.

Faculty

More money to advertise/publicize Mercer Univeristy in Atlanta.

Staff

We should be more creative with opportunities to bring potential students to Mercer – particular with more summer programs for high school students. We should be able to attract more organizations, competitions here – Use midstate location better-The new hotel should help bring people to Mercer's Macon campus

Staff

How can we make Mercer a well known brand name? I don't know. Pres. Underwood mentioned in a speech that we are the Mercades of education. I agree, and sell the school accordingily. However, when people see a Mercades, they know it is at the top of the car industry. When people see Mercer, they don't know enough to make any judgement. When I call a prospective student athlete for the first time, he should know that one of the top institutions in the country on the line. I shouldn't have to tell him.

Staff

 

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Satisfaction

15

What can Mercer do better? What specifically does a student expect from acclaimed "Baptist" institution?

Alum

Have you been satisfied with Mercer and would you recommend it to others? I have been satisfied with Mercer to some degree. As a law student, I was able to participate in activities like law review and moot court that I may not have had the opportunity to have participated in had I attended a larger law school. I have also enjoyed the feeling of collegiality among my classmates and the open-door policy of the faculty. Those things aside, I would not recommend Mercer over other GA law schools.

Alum

Feedback on instructors should be obtained from strong students and used in evaluations.

Parent

What can be done to improve the quality of cafeteria

Parent

Food service nutrition - I do feel that the diet of the students is important to their success. We know that a protien source and water improve a persons alertness and improves memory functions. Low fat choices should be available for each meal and snack. The entrees tend to be extremely high in fat and the vegetable choices tend to be limited and repetitive. Promoting a healthy diet as a longterm life style needs to include the institution's food service.

Parent

Comments: My son has not been very happy with the quality of the cafeteria food. In fact, he seldom eats there. In the meantime, he is required to have a meal plan that is costing $2000+ per semester. I would like to see this mandatory meal plan revised and/or more flexible. The cleaning service in the dorm bathrooms should be monitored more closely. I believe he complains regularly to residence life about the dirty shower stalls and toilets. My point: Mercer should be more forthcoming about the reality of life on campus. Improving this area would improve students attitudes toward the university. And students' opinions should be the basis of any vision because they are the best gauge of what really is going on and what needs to happen to make Mercer a better place.

Parent

What's the best thing about being a student, facultyor staff memeber at Mercer? What's difficult about being a student, faculty or staff member at Mercer? What would you like to see change at Mercer? Would you encourage someone to come to school here, work here? Why or why not?

Staff

The whole experience at Mercer has been wonderful

Student

Care and kindness at Mercer are phenomenal

Student

Are you happy with the programs that are being offered? What could we offer that we aren’t? What could we change about our current programs to make them better?

Student

Teaching staff in Atlanta is excellent

Student

MAPS program has lost its focus

Student

Math class -- is there any way that it can be revised? Several students referenced one math class in particular. Sounded more like a teacher issue.

Student

Bad experiences with advisors -- need better advisors

Student

Problems receiving refund checks from the Bursar's Office; no response to phone calls or letters.

Student

 

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Admissions

15

Recruitment of students with better intellectual abilities

Emeriti

It also gives the opportunity to be more regional and national. Having more out of state students is important.

Ext. Const.

At the end of day, the University has to have students to survive. How does this impact the admissions of students?

Ext. Const.

What are the decision drivers for your students? What drives student decisions to choose Mercer? What market are we looking at?

Ext. Const.

Are centers limited to evening and weekends, is there a market for non-traditional day students?

Faculty

We should strengthen and expand our selection of online courses

Faculty

The University has been good about registration recruitment; not good at attracting businesses

Faculty

We have more applications than before.

Faculty

We need to recruit nationally and internationally but we also need to serve the communities in which we are located.

Faculty

Given our recent shortfall due to reduced enrollment, should we be enrolling more students, and how dependent on student enrollment should we be for our day-to-day operations?

Faculty

Mercer should strive to increase the undergraduate enrollment and increase the diversity (racial) of our students. The enrollment of Mercer should be 3-4X larger to assure the security of the programs, and improve savings through the economies of scale.

Faculty

How do we get enrollment turned around?

Staff

Admissions and enrollment, will we get to the point where we sell to the highest bidder? Maintain Mercer tradition for students from non -affluent families.

Staff

Need more mature and diverse students.

Student

Need more diverse recruiting.

Student

 

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Athletics

10

How do we aspire to be like institutions with known athletic programs? We need to consider that athletics can bring us publicity. Remember Wake Forest is a part of the ACC, Vanderbilt the SEC, Duke the ACC, etc.

Admin.

How do we raise the level of our athletic programs? This is likely part of the problem with regard to low alumni participation in campus and school related events.

Alum

We need to increase school spirit – use of athletics

Staff

Do we need/want a football team

Staff

Football would make Macon more of a college town

Staff

Football would drastically change campus focus – which is now on the academic side of things

Staff

We need better recruitment and coaching in sports – teams need to win if they are going to inspire spirit

Staff

Will Mercer have a football team? Student has a daughter who would not consider Mercer without a football team

Student

Should we have a football team? I know this may seem trivial, but this is one way to get national attention. Furthermore, if done correctly, it can bring in a lot of money.

Student

Have a football team.

Student

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Communication

8

How do we improve internal communication?

Admin.

How are we communicating with and involving our external stakeholders?

Admin.

How do we make our stakeholders feel more valued and engaged?

Admin.

How do we address the lack of communication within the university? We are informed by our silos, not as a university. We don't know what is going on.

Admin.

I think one simple way for Mercer to keep alumni involved is allow forwarding of the school email to there own personal email account. Most people stop using there school email address after they graduate but would still like to be informed of events. Right now that isn't possible without checking your school email everyday and most people don't want to bother with it.

Alum

The niche for Mercer is not being on-line. Learning how to interact with people is important.

Ext. Const.

We need more communication with employeesand development of employee benefits

Staff

Administration needs to change the way it communicates with students. Budget cuts have affected students, we were told thte students wouldn't be effected. Administration needs to have a better attitude toward students.

Student

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How Can I Help

7

Mercer University needs to ask the community what it can do for Mercer. Need to ask for it. Mercer can’t do everything.

Ext. Const.

What can I do to make this happen?

Faculty

Mercer has been moving toward classification as a research institution. What can you do to further that goal and what can Mercer do to support your effort?

Faculty

You might want to ask how each individual who completes this survey feels that he/she can contribute to helping Mercer become one of the leading private higher education institutions.

Faculty

If you need anyone to rep Mercer at College Nights in the Houston, Texas area, please let me know. I ran a Mercer booth last October at Lamar High School. It was a delight to share my daughter's freshman experience and information with parents and students.

Parent

I would be interested in serving on a planning committee and I bet there are other staff that would be as well. It might be productive to survey staff interested in serving of planning committees (sub-committees) and those areas in which they would be interested in contributing. With sub-committees focusing on a given specific (narrowed) topic (working within the University Planning Council), I believe the opportunity for executing plans within a defined area of interest will be possible, thereby moving Mercer closer to the "big" goals in a timely fashion.

Staff

Ask individuals how their respective departments can be improved. What would allow you to do your job more effectively?

Staff

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Have Nothing To Add

7

Not sure. Suppose I handled everything I wanted to have you hear above.

Alum

Right now nothing comes to mind.

Alum

I can't think of anything else right now, but I would like to comment on the Vision Dialogue sessions. The one that I attended for faculty in Macon turned into a discussion on research vs. teaching and how heavy course loads are. Although I am a faculty member, I do not teach (except for some library instruction sessions). The discussion on research was interesting, but it kept us from having enough time to cover all of the questions. Perhaps in the future no more than two questions should be discussed within an hour. The moderator did a good job with pulling people back in to the focus of the discussion, but there just wasn't enough time for all of the issues. I was telling one of my student assistants about the meeting, and she said she had noticed the "teaching vs. research" debate during her time at Mercer. I encouraged her to visit the website and offer some ideas from her perspective as well. Thank you for allowing us to participate in this discussion! I think it's vital for the university to know where we're going so that we can all get there together.

Faculty

I think you have asked all the pertinent questions. I attended Lehigh University undergrad and Mercer for a graduate degree in education (reading specialist). I actually taught at Mercer for two semesters prior to moving to Florida. I am currently Director of Admissions at Darton College in Albany. I loved my time at Mercer, and I hope to see at least two of my three children become Mercer alums. Go Bears!

Parent

I think I have covered everything on my mind with one important exception. I would not require the students to read the book that they were supposed to over the summer before freshman year entitled Whisper of the River. It does not cast Mercer in a good light, nor the Baptist faith, and it is not the kind of book most parents would want their children to read if they know what was in it. In a word, I believe the book is obscene. Just because it is written by a graduate of Mercer does not make it important or valuable reading! I hope I didn't sound overly critical because I believe Mercer is a great university and I am proud to say my son attends Mercer.

Parent

Nothing

Student

I'll let you know more later.

Student

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Reputation

5

How did institutions with national religious reputations achieve their reputations?

Admin.

What specific new initiatives should Mercer undertake in order to best improve our: reptuation, strengths, educational mission, student and faculty quality, organization and management of the university, etc.

Faculty

Should Mercer try to compete nationally with the leading private Universities for quality students and funding?

Faculty

Does Mercer wish to be known as a national research institution?

Staff

Stress quality education at Mercer University

Student

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Community Engagement

5

A lot of people don’t really understand what Mercer University means to Macon. We’ve tried to help Mercer where we could with the roads program, the bike trails.

Ext. Const.

We are close to many counties that need our expertise. How can we serve them better?

Faculty

How could Mercer project a sense of inclusion to the city of Macon and central Georgia that might encourage more grass-roots interest and support for the University?

Faculty

Relationship between Mercer and City of Macon, since both have new leadership

Staff

How can Mercer better serve the community

Student

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Miscellaneous

26

It would have been interesting to know why respondents came to Mercer as students, faculty, staff, administrators, etc. and why they remain.

Admin.

How do we define diversity? How important is it to have diversity in leadership at Mercer?

Admin.

You should also be asking what Mercer's perceived weaknesses are and how they might be addressed.

Alum

When I was here, I was in a fraternity. I got the impression that the University did not support the Greek system. Is the Greek system growing? Impression is that Mercer wants to get rid of the Greek system.

Alum

I hope that Mercer University continues to be a place that does things right, e.g. the University Center.

Ext. Const.

The challenge is whether you can be all things to all people. Even Harvard has limited resources. How do you spend the resources that you have? People are always the solution. Bring in world class people.

Ext. Const.

I would wish that Mercer be so committed to goodness that greatness would come its way. We have been chasing greatness

Faculty

We should have a day care center for adult learners 5:30 - 9:45

Faculty

Child care issues one of main things that keep students away

Faculty

Wants more about adult students; think about how that relates to overall university mission.

Faculty

Mercer is changing and it is believed to be in a positive way.

Faculty

Have we clearly identified all competitors in all areas/locations?

Faculty

"Hidden culture" inhibits innovation (sacred cows)

Faculty

Note the redundancy in the first line of the mission statement ('learning'). As a liberal arts grad, I know what is meant by the term, but perhaps thought should be given to modernizing the prhase, i.e. broad-based. Is Greek life still relevant in the 21st century and does it contribute, or detract, from teh mission of teh University? Is it true that the pool was constructed improperly and thus disqualified from competition for not being of Olympic proportions? If so, why wasn't this corrected?

Parent

I think it would be interesting to ask administrators, faculty, and staff: Do you have children who have attended or will soon attend college? If yes, what college or university did they attend (or what college do they plan to attend)? If other than Mercer, what was the basis of that choice? What would have made Mercer more desirable for them?

Staff

Safety is a challenge and strength

Staff

Student would not be in school if not for Mercer center

Student

"What are Mercer's weaknesses?" This would encourage more negative responses, but still might guide future discussions or even policy changes.

Student

The mission statement should be changed

Student

Mercer needs to improve relations with young alumni. Young alumni still want to be involved with the university.

Student

We have a base of excellent faculty. We need to recognize that faculty recruitment is very important -- quality needs to be maintained.

Student

Student is upset over graduating in the UC instead of a downtown Macon facility, which is perceived to be nicer.

Student

Does Mercer have a problem recruiting and retaining highly-recognized faculty and administration? If not, why do we continue to hire from within?

Student

Ideas for graduation!!! The UC is great for graduation but you could split up the colleges to have graduation at different times so that the students can invite their families and friends that have made such an impact in their lives. The students have worked very hard to get to this point in their lives. I personally have given Mercer a LOT of my money the past 5 years and worked so hard to get my Bachelors and Masters degree and I think I deserve to at least ask whoever I want to attend my graduation. I don't think it's too much to ask. All you have to do is put yourself in our shoes or our parent's or grandparent's shoes. How would you feel?

Student

Have an August graduation

Student

Kids for College can be extended to students' children

Student

 

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