2. Opportunities  

2. What opportunities do you see which would build on these strengths?



CATEGORES NUMBER OF COMMENTS CATEGORIES NUMBER OF COMMENTS

Academic Offerings

58

Research

15

Mercer Affiliations

55

Educating the Whole Person / Ethics

12

Promote Mercer / Communication / Marketing

55

Alumni Relations

11

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

46

Athletics

8

Growth / Improved Quality

37

Religious Heritage

6

Opportunities for Faculty

22

Daycare

4

Recruitment

19

Miscellaneous

23

 

Academic Offerings

58

Businesses are looking for leaders who are understanding of different cultures, but we need to look at our programs (foreign languages taught, lack of Asian studies program)

Admin.

We have lots of choices in classes, but we have small class sizes

Admin.

Strong interest in/need for business management skills

Admin.

Developing undergraduate programs that better support entry into the professions.

Admin.

I would sign up tomorrow for an EdD program at the Atlanta campus.

Alum

PLEASE OFFER A MASTER'S PROGRAM IN EDUCATION AT THE REGIONAL CENTERS! I have been forced to attend Troy State University and it is not like Mercer. I don't want an MBA and I just graduated so I cannot take the masters that is offered at Mercer Regional Center.

Alum

focus on research opportunities in health, science and engineering programs; make a research and writing course mandatory in liberal arts; make tutoring required in all colleges and schools for at least one semester

Alum

I would like to see the Stetson School of Business offer professional business certification courses (CPA and CFA test prepartion). We also do not offer enough Accounting classes if someone wants to study the field on a graduate level. Most of our program emphasis is based in medicine and education. More work need to done in the metro Atlanta area for our business students in terms of bring potential employers to the regionalcampus.

Alum

I would also like to see an in increase in the number/ types of masters programs offered through the Engineering school. More options in fields such as Material Engineering or Material Science would be welcomed.

Alum

As an educator and from the College of Education, I know that we’re about to face a serious teacher shortage. Tift was known as an educators’ school. Mercer could do more to meet this need. There’s an opportunity there.

Alum

Online learning is another golden opportunity for Mercer University.

Alum

Bringing continuing education programs back to the campus.

Ext. Const.

I would like to see Mercer develop a criminal justice program. That’s an opportunity. The county would be willing to work with Mercer University on that. [ Macon]

Ext. Const.

Continuing education— Law School provides very cheap CLEs. Mercer would have an opportunity with the new hotel to bring lawyers into Macon for more CLEs. Could be done with other professional groups.

Ext. Const.

Accreditations are important to programs, especially programmatic accreditations.

Ext. Const.

Graduates in the professional schools need intercultural communiction skills and basic competence in a "foreign" language as much or more than traditional liberal arts graduatse.

Faculty

We could develop a credible and viable program in intercultural communication and Spanish for Professionals for the professional schools and for the communities across Georgia in which Mercer has a school

Faculty

Prepare students for a more diverse world–focus on global issues

Faculty

Adult student market has tremendous potential; provide more programs for them.

Faculty

Law School public service program; summer abroad.

Faculty

At some point in the future, CCPS and CLA could collaborate with the professional schools on the Atlanta campus to provide a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS), perhaps with an emphasis on "cross-cultural" and/or "ethical" issues in the professions. Across the nation, major metropolitan areas have successful MALS programs, but in Atlanta there are none--except for out-of-state universities that have branches here for the purpose of offering Master's degrees (e.g. Central Michigan). Also, students in the growing BLS degree program in CCPS could "feed" into such a program. MALS programs do not have the national "cachet" of other graduate degree programs, but it could be successful and it could be a piece of our attempt to articulate the relations of "liberal" and "professional" studies.

Faculty

Teach foreign languages on Atlanta Campus.

Faculty

We have the opportunity to provide more on-line courses especially for our adult students

Faculty

Please review the apparent rigid general education philosophy of CLA that limits undergraduate program growth by excluding professional skills, majors and degree programs -- for example in the health care arena (physical therapy, dental hygiene, public health, research analyst, biomedical technician, industrial hygiene, etc)

Faculty

Addition of graduate programs, especially those combining traditional undergraduate disciplines (arts and sciences) with graduate professional work (business, education, engineering, law?). E.g., a BS in Mathematics with a Masters in Education, or a BS in Physics with a Masters in Management, or a BS in any science with a Masters in Engineering, or a BA in English with a Masters in Technical Communications or Computer Science... Cross-college degrees could use our broad range of educational fields to the fullest.

Faculty

Consider offering "destination" type programs that will motivate people to drive the distance. Offer programs similar to Georgia State (3 yrs post-bac pharmacy program that sissts psychiatrics to become eligible in writing prescriptions)

Faculty

Revive the evening engineering graduate program in the Atlanta campus (perhaps other programs as well), which used to be the only evening engineering program in Metro Atlanta. This would feed the engineering program with graduate students from Atlanta industry that would prefer in-class evening degree programs, as opposed to on-line programs. My personal experience has shown that most of these students have ideas for Master’s thesis research based on what they have done in the industry; this facilitates publication and ideas for grant proposals on the part of the faculty. Atlanta program would also provide contact with the high technology centers in the Metro area for the engineering faculty. It would also generate publicity and additional revenue (if the program is marketed properly) for Mercer University and its Engineering program.

Faculty

I would like to see the drama department expanded. The facilities seemed to be limited which in turn limits participation both for performers and patrons.

Parent

It seems to me that Mercer has a realistic chance of developing national graduate programs traditionally based in research. This topic is somewhat of a catch-22 though and is where strategic planning comes into play and needs considerable attention. To get graduate students (competitive students), the programs would benefit from national recognition and extensive grant funding from recognized granting agencies. However, to get funding from these agencies, oftentimes, national recognition is considered (as one of many factors). Further, to be in the position to apply for funding, faculty needs to have the resources (including time and ancillary support) to write grants. To take it one step further, to be in the position to write a grant, faculty research needs to be taking place. Faculty might ask, where am I going to find the time to conduct research when I am teaching a full load? If each of these points are carefully considered and discussed from multiple perspectives, I truly believe Mercer can blossom as a research institution, but it’s going to take more than work from faculty to solve these issues. This is where the involvement of intrinsically motivated staff can help bring Mercer to the next level.

Staff

Opportunity to focus on all levels of undergraduate students not just first year

Staff

On-line learning opportunities

Staff

Opportunity to develop master level programs

Staff

Expanding Regional Academic centers, those students want more offerings and services related to career opportunities

Staff

Expand the types of Engr. degrees that we offer, such as civil, etc. Architectural Engineering as a possibility

Staff

I am frequently asked if Mercer has programs related to sports or sports medicine. Two examples are physical therapy and athletic training. Prospective student-athletes also often inquire about the possibility of majoring in sports management, some sort of (sports related) physiology or Exercise & Sport Sciences. I deal specifically with student-athletes, but this seems to be a highly sought-after, popular area of study. With the resources already in place with the Medical school and strong Biology and Business departments, I think Mercer could easily offer some sort of Major in one or more of these areas.

Staff

Mercer programs are similar to other institutions therefore consider more distinctive offerings

Staff

Tremendous opportunity for "brand" enhancement for current or possible future programs

Staff

Mercer should offer more Saturday classes

Student

Mercer classes should be offered more frequently

Student

Mercer should offer more graduate offerings (for example law degree (JD)) in the centers

Student

Mercer should offer specialty fields in education at the centers

Student

Mercer should offer more on-line courses – capture more students

Student

For the last few years, Special education (above the elementary level) has been a growing trend. Mercer should review the enrollment and demand of other Atlanta universities offering Special Education. If offered at the Atlanta campus, demand would far outweigh the faculty available to teach the Special Education courses; notwithstanding the private school tuition. In addition, how can Mercer have a College of Education and a Counseling program, and not already have a School Counselor degree program? In the same way that Mercer saw the trend toward the Pharm.D. degree, we have to be vigilant about education trends to stay relevant in the education community.

Student

In addition, distance learning programs (though plagued with concerns about quality and being reputable) should be investigated more, especially for certification (non-degree) programs.

Student

Offering the MAT program is a great opportunity for those seeking to change professions.

Student

I also think in this competitive world that it would be nice to know that a dual program was available to me. Many schools are offering this MBA/IT type degree combo. I think it is something to consider.

Student

Enrich the programs that you already offer. I was very disappointed to learn that even though I had a CS degree I could not get a MSE from Mercer because my undergraduate, while accredited by everyone else, was not accredited by the engineering people. I am doing the same work and performing at the excellence level-I deserve an MSE. It is the one sticking point that would keep me from recommending the college.

Student

You need to design your teacher certification program to better serve professionals in their 40s -- meaning evaluate our field experiences coming into the classroom in addition to the degrees we have. We are being asked to do to much field work -- many of us have been teachers before and just need classes -- we don't need to drive three counties away leaving our kids in daycare to teach summer school. We already have diversity experiences but their is not mechanism to evaluate the experiences we have. Dekalb Co pays me for my previous three years of teaching -- Mercer does nothing to recognize it.

Student

Promote and grow the FYX program

Student

I think the best way to build on what Mercer has is to strengthen distance learning. It's already doing a fantastic job, but I would suggest going beyond WebCT2. In fact, I believe there are subsequent revisions of WebCT. Also, I think Mercer could strengthen its distance learning by taking advantage of some Web conferencing technologies such as Microsoft Live Meeting, WebEx, or Adobe Acrobat Connect. Even though these are expensive services, the growing number distance-learning students could make them more cost effective. A good Web conferencing tool would enable classmates and instructors to share applications and whiteboard sessions. They would also provide a platform for classroom video conferencing as opposed to reading words in chat that do not convey voice inflection or nonverbal nuances.

Student

Georgia State is the only night accredited legal pogram. Investigate the possibility of a night legal program.

Student

Would like more practical information in the curricula.

Student

Curriculum is very broad, but doesn't give some of the practical expertise that is needed.

Student

On-line courses

Student

Want new fields, majors, and/or programs in the following areas: veterinary medicine, paralegal studies, graphic design, digital forensics (should be taught from an "on-hands" perspective v. textbook.

Student

I am assuming this is the section where I offer some advice on the direction I would like to see Mercer University to go. I noticed that there is a "Great Books" program on the Macon campus. How difficult would this be to implement at the Regional Centers? Perhaps an endeavor such as that would be difficult to put into action on the same scale considering the time frame of the sessions, but a modified version is not impossible. Dr. Craker and Dr. Winkler are two professors who come to mind when I consider possible instructors.

Student

Major in religion at night

Student

More online classes

Student

Back to the top

Mercer Affiliations

55

Developing partnerships with national companies is an opportunity, but small size is an issue when competing for the attention of national organizations.

Admin.

State agencies relocating to the middle Georgia area may increase demand for continuing education

Admin.

Events and student initiative with starting interest groups or leading student organizations are great ways to build upon these strengths.

Alum

Increase ties/ exposre to Mercer Engineering Research Center through tuition assistance for employee dependents/ spouses. When in school, I knew nothing about MERC. I had heard of it but I had no idea what they did. MERC is an incredible institution and resource for current students seeking work experience and new graduates needing to grow in to the profession.

Alum

I don’t know that we’ve ever had a person from Mercer University at Mary Persons in Forsyth, GA. That’s an easy place to start. Students have strong church backgrounds, but I’m not sure that Mercer is well represented. Getting into the schools is important.

Alum

Whenever I came to Mercer, I found Mercer to be a wonderful place, but I didn’t find it reaching out into the community. Over the last ten years, however, that has changed, and Mercer is now reaching out into the community. Interning used to be weak, but this is strengthened now.

Alum

Enormous opportunity to connect the University with major corporations in the United States, e.g., shortage of engineers. Intentionally having contracts with major corporations other than the Warner Robins AFB

Ext. Const.

Partnerhip with New York-based engineering firm

Ext. Const.

Georgetown Kentucky offers courses in the Toyota Plant

Ext. Const.

Continuing Mercer’s partnership and sponsorship of the Atlanta Parent Magazine Family Block Party is advantageous. Continuing to encourage 3,000+ people to visit the campus because of this event, reaching hundreds who have never seen or heard of Mercer’s Atlanta campus, is a tremendous opportunity.

Ext. Const.

There should be some help for students as to how to get involved with the community.

Ext. Const.

How can we help Mercer as a community? How can we make Macon a more university type town.

Ext. Const.

Encouraging professors to work with the Chamber of Commerce would help. Gives real world experience as students work on team projects.

Ext. Const.

Everything that we can do to encourage community involvement is important. How do we plant the seed that the community can help the University? Taking advantage of the positives that Mercer does for Macon.

Ext. Const.

A specific thing that Mercer University could help us do is to help with the strategic planning. Mercer has helped Goodwill Industries with four plans since I’ve been here.

Ext. Const.

Opening facilities to the community would help draw the community into Mercer.

Ext. Const.

We haven’t had a lot of success in engaging students in some of the non-profits. Build customized programs for non-profits.

Ext. Const.

What kind of critical or strategic partnerships should the University establish? What partnerships can lead this institution in the direction that it wants to go? What are the relationships with other institutions in this area?

Ext. Const.

Links with the Center for Disease Control, which has a campus around the corner from Mercer's Atlanta Campus, might provide a way of enhancing both service and research in the Health professions and in undergraduate science programs, through collaboration in developing introductory sciences courses such as Epidemiology 101, Public Health 101, World Health 101, and Nutrition 101.

Faculty

Mercer centers and Atlanta campus programs should branch out and form community partnerships like Macon’s partnership with elementary schools

Faculty

Assume leadership role in issues of justice; develop a think tank looking at these issues; there are lots of prisons here and this brings a tremendous need for leadership

Faculty

Study abroad, Mercer on Mission; host students from abroad.

Faculty

Macon will likely undergo big changes in next years; many ways for Mercer to have an impact; more intentional coordination.

Faculty

Connect Mercer with Atlanta Economic Development Officer

Faculty

A Center of some sort in another country, where pharmacists, teachers, nurses, doctors, preachers, counselors, and lawyers could engage in language study and/or cross-cultural clinical practice (or cross-cultural study), would address a real need while also "engaging" the professional schools along the lines of the QEP.

Faculty

Encouraging students to apply for (and faculty/staff supporting) nationally recognized honors/opportunities

Faculty

While many community-based initiatives are in place, a charter/magnet/laboratory school on/adjacent to the Macon campus would bring opportunities for additional community involvement.

Faculty

Opportunities like being involved with the city of Macon to improve Macon. Also, participating in service projects and scholarships to Macon poor residents.

Faculty

Where are the businesses around Mercer? We really don’t have a campus without a commercial district.

Faculty

We need some effort to establish the University as a leader in those institutional groups to which we belong: Mercer University has some of the most innovative curricula among the ANAC schools; Mercer University has one of the highest numbers (both absolute and percentage) of faculty who are individual CUR members among those schools with institutional CUR memberships; and Mercer University is among the largest and most diverse of the IABCU member schools. We should be among the leader institutions in each of these groups, with a commitment to significant representation at every group meeting and significant support for spearheading the initiatives of these groups. (If the University isn't fully committed to any of these groups, then we should terminate our institutional membership. We are known by the company we keep.)

Faculty

I submit that Mercer has a unique opportunity to show the people of the region what we can do to demonstrate God's work in our hearts. While Mercer's main campuses are located in the more affluent Macon-Atlanta economic corridor, but Mercer is within a short drive to dozens of economically depressed communities, towns and counties that desperately need the academic leadership Mercer can provide. For example, Mercer already has a presence in Dodge county - with the Mercer Eastman campus. There is great need and a tremendous opportunities to extend the academic leadership that Mercer faculty can provide in upgrading the educational, health services, and governmental services to the residents of middle and south Georgia. Not only can Mercer's students benefit from these excellent internship and service opportunities, but in a missionary mode this is clearly an outreach opportunity for Mercer's longstanding concern for the health, social and economic success and well-being of our neighbors (the myriad of economic and socially depressed communities) in central Georgia and the southeast region of the U.S.

Faculty

The community at large is an opportunity in itself. There are so many community organizations right here in the neighborhood which would benefit greatly from the presence and assistance of Mercer students. Not only would the organizations benefit, but the students receieve an enlightening experience in most cases and benefit just as greatly.

Faculty

Mercer should brand itself as a leader in the community and it should continue its community service orientation at all levels of education.

Faculty

I would like to see us continue the work of the Mercer Center for Community Development. Also, we could send students into the public schools to do tutoring. I would also like to see us expand the work of the Beloved Community Symposium. Work in the community can provide the basis for a lot of student projects in the area of community demographics (sociology and psychology), community health (medical school), etc.

Faculty

One way to elevate Mercer's academic profile is to host/sponsor national/regional conferences for academic societies. With the building of the Hilton Garden Inn, we now have the facilities to do such a thing. A few years back under the leadership of Chester Fontenot we had a conference on W.E.B. DuBois but that event has never been followed up. If this kind of thing is desired, then faculty should be encouraged to organize something and know that both the resources and the interest of the administration are behind them.

Faculty

We need to establish closer ties and commitments with local industries and the WRAFB. Mercer should be the first place to go for them when seeking solutions to complex problems. That does not seem to exist. Thise would help in providing research support.

Faculty

Based on my dealings with many universities, and their successful graduates, internships are key. Partner as much as possible with as wide an array of businesses/organizations/government entities as possible. I know you offer business courses and medical courses. Do you offer business courses tied directly to the Health sector?

Parent

Look for more opportunities for partnering, e.g. Piedmont Hospital and the Physician Assistant program

Staff

The business programs would be most easily enhanced with international internships or practicums. Pharmacy would also gain if students were exposed to overseas environments. State regulations make it difficult for international students to participate in medical school residency programs, and rules surrounding the state bar exam make it difficult though not impossible for international students to participate in law schools within Georgia. These two are currently least likely to advance relative to international student participation, though perhaps application of student learning in international spheres can be enhanced.

Staff

Tie co-curricular to academic experience

Staff

More research to come out of Mercer to attract students and faculty and feeds institutions such as MERC

Staff

MERC relies heavily on the military budget for its income. The structural and mechanical work will continue because of the age of the current USAF aircraft. However, because of problems such as improvised explosive devices, more money is flowing into advanced research in sensors: detectors, intelligence gathering, reconnaissance, etc. There is only minimal interplay between MERC and the Mercer School of Engineering. With better communication and cooperation, there could be an increase in research for both.

Staff

As a graduate I know that one of our biggest weakness is job placement of our graduates. The amount of assistance avaiable from the University is weak at best. The staff of the Career Services office is disinterested and apathetic.

Staff

1) Developing community medical, mental health, and chaplaincy services staffed in part by student interns on/near Atlanta campus. 2) Bringing more professional/community workshops to Atlanta campus will increase exposure for us.

Staff

Continue funding of the Medical School and it's endeavors. Also, having local service projects for credit as you have for out of country projects. The opportunity for local service projects right in our own back yard is tremendous and we haven't even scratched the surface.

Staff

Extending partnerships with the various school districts in Georgia to invite more high school students to explore education as a major.

Student

Finally, I honestly don’t know what your post-graduate employment opportunities are like but I think you could work with potential employers in certain areas to try and boost your numbers.

Student

Connect students to Macon (another student stated that Macon is not a university town – some students never go downtown)

Student

Integrate study and practice in the curriculum.

Student

Involvement in the community to offer students more practical experiences. For example, an internship with the General Counsel's Office.

Student

Mercer has an opportunity to create an attitude about itself. Transactional work in offices around town would help with the practical aspects of law. Range of practice areas seems very small.

Student

Providing more opportunities for students to volunteer in the Macon community would be helpful.

Student

New facilities and organizations, such as the ABHS archives, coming to Mercer enhance its reputation and open new doors for learning and research and also engagement with Baptist denominational life.

Student

25 mile radius to do field work—Students want to do field work in their own towns

Student

Internships in INSY (computers)

Student

Back to the top

Promote Mercer / Communication / Marketing

55

We need to promote the success of our graduates.

Admin.

Create opportunities to communicate impact on community. For example, because of the teacher education programs offered in Eastman, there is no teacher shortage in that area. These programs also have impacted the entire school system in that area.

Admin.

I see the emphasis being put on enrollment as a great opportunity to build on our strengths. Although we have really great programs in the Med and Law school I think we have an opportunity to promote and advertise some of our other programs as well. I think we should do more advertising for our Education and Business programs. Also, the tuition waiver program is a great strength. By offering our staff a better education we are truly helping the University. Higher Education = Higher Productivity!

Admin.

Enhancement of the excellence in academics and student orientation. Taking us into the realm of recognition for students, faculty, academics and not primarily a past that has been weakened by personal benefit/recognition of the leadership

Admin.

The University needs to embrace the successful programs and push for higher profiles for these schools.

Alum

Greater partcipation in Atlanta Business community forums. We need more press coverage in the local news outlets.

Alum

I believe a commercial during a nationally televised event, or some other form of mass marketing could also get the word out. I also believe that any opportunity to capitalize on any money the Air Force Base is willing to pump into Mercer should be capitalized on. Also focus on the Greeks at Mercer. This group of people is almost guaranteed they will be better alumni than the average college student.

Alum

When I was in Atlanta until 2004, I didn’t hear much or read much about the world of Mercer. Now that I’m back in Forsyth, I hear more about Mercer. We need to do more to get the word out about Mercer.

Alum

Have Mercer students into the churches as speakers and musicians

Ext. Const.

We need to advertise what resources at Mercer University are available to churchs--ombudsman to take calls

Ext. Const.

Friends of Mercer need to share more about Mercer with their friends

Ext. Const.

Mercer University needs to do more with public relations.

Ext. Const.

Mercer needs to brand itself.

Ext. Const.

Boards of Visitors are resources that we should use. Raising awareness first is important prior to raising money. Call upon board for specific tasks. It sounds like you need Board Ambassadors like the Chamber of Commerce has.

Ext. Const.

Maybe what we need is a briefing twice a year to tell people what is going on with Mercer. When people get involved, they don’t always get credit for that involvement. A CEO does a quarterly report to the community. Mercer needs to do that to raise the awareness of the business. It may need to be bigger than Middle Georgia. Here’s what we said we were going to do, and here’s what we did. Provide briefings on Mercer.

Ext. Const.

Ensure that community knows that Mercer is here – Henry, Spalding, Cobb, Douglas

Faculty

Mercer should build partnerships with community organizations

Faculty

Mercer people need to be willing to filter into community and build relationships with community leaders

Faculty

Many of the undergraduate students in the RACs are already serving their communities. Surely, we can find a way to building on that and increase Mercer's visibility in Douglas County, Hentry County, and Eastman

Faculty

More advertising, promoting and marketing of strengths is needed

Faculty

Include graduate and alumni comments in advertisements (using pictures, quotes, etc. from well-known alumni)

Faculty

Retention rate needs to be advertised

Faculty

60% of people know about the Macon Campus, but not the Atlanta Campus

Faculty

We are a regional university and we could become a national one

Faculty

We have the opportunity to become a great conference center for academic programs and scholarly events.

Faculty

We have the opportunity of providing a strong speakers bureau to become more visible.

Faculty

We have the opportunity of informing the world as to what a true Baptist University is

Faculty

The separation from the Georgia Baptist Convention provides a unique opportunity to reach out to constituencies which are more liberal Baptist, more secular, and less provincial. I think that significant outreach to other regions of the country and to secular and non-denominational constituencies could dramatically increase our visibility and diversify our student body.

Faculty

Once faculty do research, there should be opportunities to recognize them.

Faculty

We have the opportunity to become better known? Why aren’t we known outside of Georgia?

Faculty

Increasing visibility, [especially in the huge market of Atlanta] is imperative.

Faculty

Should be able to use the above strengths to market Mercer to a wider audience, I really like the move to bring in the new VP for Admissions/Enrollment.

Faculty

Liberal arts is more than pipeline to professional programs. We need to communicate that Mercer’s distinctiveness is in our liberal arts focus.

Faculty

I believe there is a great opportunity of marketing Mercer and the type of educational experience that can be received here. Emphasis on the Baptist heritage and low faculty to student ratio should be important points to promote. We need to promote that faculty are dedicated to being good teachers and helping young students develop professionally, socially, academically, spiritually, and physically.

Faculty

I don’t think Mercer has a national reputation. It’s known regionally. When I was in Texas, no one had heard of Mercer University.

Faculty

Mercer needs a strong marketing program highlighting the strengths and diversity of its student body. For example, my son has had incredible opportunities and achievements at Mercer, but I have had to battle to get any mention in our local newspaper.

Parent

Mercer is a hidden gem. It needs to be exposed to other states.

Parent

If costs are high which they are and quality is high as indicated, then you have to divert that perceived value. If we charge more and give more, then we need to make perceived value clear to outside. Need to convert to perceived value of Mercer experience.

Staff

Name recognition to Mercer's brand.

Staff

Word of mouth, so to speak.

Staff

Get the word out that we are a big university – 7000 students, numerous programs

Staff

I think Mercer University needs to do more self-promotion, esp. if the goal is to be known nationally. I think the Atlanta graduate campus is a huge plus, yet I have lived in Dekalb County for years without realizing how much actually goes on here.

Staff

More advertisement and public awareness.

Staff

The Gateway way project will help improve the campus. I'm not sure you can make the class sizes any smaller. Continuing to build the academic resume of our University is the most important thing we can do. In my opinion, there must be a vehicle that promotes the University. When I recruit prospective student athletes, 4 of 10 Georgians know nothing about Mercer, while only 2 of 10 non Georgia residence have knowledge of our University. This place is the best kept secret in the south.

Staff

Mercer should do more to advertise its different locations

Student

Mercer needs to broaden its reputation nationally – known only locally

Student

Connect students to Macon (another student stated that Macon is not a university town – some students never go downtown)

Student

Mercer should be more involved with cherry blossom since it has international participation – expand Mercer’s reputation

Student

People don't hear about accomplishments of faculty and students. Market accomplishments.

Student

A University-wide newspaper might be a way of communicating.

Student

Mercer should definitely continue to build its reputation on a national scale.

Student

advertising

Student

more publicity

Student

Promote the centers for them to last; goal to focus on for its long term

Faculty

I'm proud to be associated with Mercer.

Staff

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Interdisciplinary Collaboration

46

The breadth of our programs is an opportunity.

Admin.

We have the opportunity to build unique programs because of our comprehensiveness

Admin.

Complexity is not a problem but rather an attribute of what we are

Admin.

Rather than continue the route of Colleges/Schools operating more independently from one another, create additional partnerships and shared faculty/student experiences between graduate/professional/undergraduate programs. Create distinctive co-curricular programs.

Admin.

Interschool collaboration.

Emeriti

Creating synergies among the academic units with distinctive programs. Offering post-graduate education. Leveraging MU Press.

Faculty

Greater cooperation among colleges and schools–more collaborative; our size is a plus and would be more difficult at a larger school

Faculty

Think tanks--draw on various disciplines

Faculty

Health care and maintenance could be approached comprehensively by various academic units working collaboratively

Faculty

Mercer has many different types of colleges and disciplines. Diversity is key and should be promoted. People don’t know about the number of opportunities and graduate programs.

Faculty

Not sure but I think the engineering school is one aspect that sets Mercer apart from other places in the state.

Faculty

Interdisciplinary faculty in doctoral committees.

Faculty

Collaboration of an interdisciplinary nature should be fostered (i.e., MBA/Pharmacy, MBA/Theology, Counseling/Theology)

Faculty

Whatever the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) evolved into, I saw its mandate, above all else, as a possible means for interdisciplinary research activities that could result in significant discovery. For reason of its diversity, Mercer is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this type of QEP--if research personnel were motivated to do the painstaking work required; and if the administation were able to recognize its potential. When I say discovery, I don't mean ad-nauseum attention to new ways of trying to instruct students in old concepts (so-called education research); I'm talking about "old-fashioned" research that causes the world to take note because of the novelty of the world-changing things that are learned.

Faculty

We have the opportunity of developing interdisciplinary programs throughout the university

Faculty

There are opportunities for opening new collaborative programs while the student is enrolled

Faculty

We have the opportunity to develop an infrastructure that supports interdisciplinary connections.

Faculty

We have the opportunity to provide incentives to develop interdisciplinary programs.

Faculty

We have opportunities to work across disciplines that are not available at most universities

Faculty

We have so many opportunities to work with colleagues in other schools/colleges within Mercer

Faculty

We have the opportunity to consolidate some of our colleges and schools to cut the administrative costs.

Faculty

There is a notable lack of PhD students, who traditionally support academic and research programs, in turn allowing for greater overall undergraduate student numbers. These students can perform many functions that undergraduate assistants cannot, such as preparing and teaching of up-to-date laboratory courses and handling grading confidentially. Graduate (PhD-seeking) students represent relatively inexpensive, dual-duty employees, fulfilling both Faculty and Laboratory Technician responsibilities. Mercer has been advocating collaboration among the various schools, and I have certainly been fortunate to work with Randall Peters, Chair of the Physics Department. We have been working to initiate studies with undergraduate help and with a Summer Scholar (Medical Student between their first and second year). The simple truth is that we were able to design a study, set up equipment, and train the Summer Scholar, but once that student finished his six weeks we were back to square one in terms of laboratory help for that project. The undergraduates that initially volunteered determined that they would not have the time required to commit to the project and withdrew. Additional Faculty and full-time technical help are an expensive proposition. I have another idea for providing needed technical help, one which I have already submitted to Dr. Scott Davis. This idea uses Masters of Public Health (MPH) students as full-time, paid Graduate Assistants. Since this 2-year program is conducted entirely in the evening, these students are able to work full-time jobs. Because the program is growing and now includes regional and international students, many matriculate without local employment. Many of these students, especially the international ones, have advanced medical degrees, yet are forced to take whatever on-campus jobs they can find. I advocate that if we could find funds to sponsor some of these students in a competitive application process, we could provide the type of stability needed to support new faculty without external funding, provide more supervised opportunity for quality undergraduate research, and ultimately, attract more extramural funding to perpetuate the program and supplant University funds. This is but one way that could facilitate productivity and provide the kind of proof to funding entities and prospective students that Mercer has the human wherewithal to conduct extramurally funded research and that we can provide the opportunity for a quality undergraduate research experience. I believe that, with a little bit of creativity and ingenuity, we can take advantage of the human resources we already have to move toward the day when we can implement a fully complementary Graduate Program.

Faculty

As others have mentioned, I think it's a good time to deepen our existing programs instead of broadening into new areas. Let's work on collaborative programs that play on our numerous strengths - medical law, biomedical engineering, etc. Help our undergrads to consider graduate programs (even those not at Mercer!) instead of ending their education with a four-year degree. Encourage student research. Find money to help pay for summer research projects with Mercer faculty.

Faculty

Have regular (monthly?) opportunities to interact across departments, divisions, units, campuses.

Faculty

First, Mercer does not seem to be a cohesive unit. One option would be to create more opportunities for faculty members to connect across disciplines and across campuses. We need to funnel all of the energy and passion that faculty and staff members have about their respective disciplines and programs to create that same feeling about other programs that Mercer offers. We cannot do that until we become more familiar with other programs and discipliens as a whole. Secondly, Mercer needs to step up the academic offerings. We need to offer more terminal degrees. Degrees in areas that other surrounding colleges/universities are not offering.

Faculty

Flexible undergraduate programs in mulitple areas. Combinations of individual programs of study including professional schools. (e.g., BA in engineering, in addition to BS).

Faculty

Bring some of the other programs (i.e., Law School) to the Atlanta Campus

Faculty

Mercer may want to consider offering more undergraduate programs at the Atlanta Campus; possible growth area.

Faculty

We need to maintain a balance between liberal arts and other programs – programs need enough depth to compete in PhD programs

Faculty

Guaranteed admission to graduate programs

Faculty

Communicate opportunity to have minors, double majors, and concentrations

Faculty

Collaboration among campuses—interdisciplinary programs. Potential is there.

Faculty

Build on undergraduate schools feeding into graduate schools.

Faculty

I think the opportunity for Mercer undergrads to continue their education as Mercer law, medical, physician assistant, or pharmacy students is a strength to build on. My youngest son is a freshman on the Mercer baseball team majoring in journalism and minoring in business, and his intention is to continue on to law school at Mercer. An older son of mine played baseball at Georgia and will finish a degree in exercise science next year. He plans on applying to Mercer's physician assistant's program. If he had attended Mercer undergrad, his opportunity to transfer into the physician assitant program would be enhanced, and that is a big selling point.

Parent

Increase collaborative efforts of faculty and staff among the university (the QEP program is a good start to get to know the talent and resources in other parts of Mercer)

Staff

Recruitment based on diversity of programs – particularly as a small school, opportunity for choice (Majors)

Staff

Ability to go from undergraduate to graduate or professional programs

Staff

Some students experience this, but not all. Opportunity for more students to participate in more collaboration

Staff

Build on some of Mercer's unique qualities and programs.

Staff

As a student at Mercer, I notice everything is so separated. There is hardly any campus wide activity. As far as campus wide organizations, there is Habitat for Humanity and BCM Campus worship. I would like to see people from the different schools come together. It would be nice if we had an organization or just some consistent volunteers (does not have to be same people all the time) that would give their time to tell us about their success in related fields of the campus. It would be like an information forum that would be low cost because we could all meet in the Wooten Auditorium and they would come because they want to.

Student

Interdisciplinary academics – needs to be taken seriously by faculty and students

Student

Keep the feel of the college community and keep the size the same

Student

Increase the number of satellite schools to make Mercer more easily accessible. Having stronger presence in Atlanta would be good

Student

Need more of a sense of community among the various colleges at Mercer. Now only contact is the University Center. Collaboration among the 11 schools.

Student

All the different colleges/schools don't know what other Mercer faculty and students are doing.

Student

Mercer undergraduates need to know about the professional schools. Interconnectedness between the schools.

Student

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Growth / Improve Quality

37

Continued expansion of the metro Atlanta area

Admin.

Continue to ensure that our programs remain strong and rigorous. I fear that we sometimes get overly concerned about breadth and could sacrifice depth. The number and types of Colleges and Schools are an asset, but growth within the Colleges and Schools should be tempered. We often begin new programs before we are ready and rarely seem to drop programs that just aren't working.

Admin.

Growth and an even better reputation. I would like to see Mercer be put in the same category as Emory because it deserves to be.

Alum

In order to continue to build on these strengths, I feel that Mercer should: continue to offer co-hort groups for those who are unable to live on college campuses; continue to provide the best face-to-face quality education through classes which meet weekly; continue to provide educational programs that are valuable to today's society; and continue to attain staff who are concerned about their students, as well as the quality of education they provide!

Alum

Continue to add new undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Alum

Treat students like Chick-Fil-A treats their customers. We are customers and the School does provide a service. Never take for granted that a student can transfer elsewhere for less tuition. If you value your customers, show it.

Alum

Keep high admissions standards; begin to push higher standards for non-traditional programs or students enrolled in undergraduate programs not on the Macon campus

Alum

There’s an opportunity for Mercer University and particularly in the School of Medicine, to expand Mercer into Eatonton into Cowles Clinic –executives come and pay cash. Mercer would have an excellent opportunity because the clinic takes executives from all over the world. The day that I was there they were bringing in executives from Sri Lanka.

Alum

Having a hospital associated with Mercer is an important way to expand Mercer’s imprint.

Alum

Adding more programs.

Ext. Const.

If Mercer continues to grow in numbers and continues to grow programs, it is important to maintain quality in all areas. We want to ensure that our standards are not lowered.

Faculty

Although the previous administration focused on expanding the university's schools, colleges, and programs, we must now focus intensely on improving our current programs. We must become exceptional at what we are now doing and resist the temptation continually to add programs, schools, and colleges. Indeed, I can anticipate some need to eliminate programs that do not form a core part of the university's goals and have not produced significant numbers of graduates or income. To become exceptional at what we are now doing, we need to improve support for faculty development and travel, create an outstanding teaching center that really works, create a writing center to support the teaching and learning of writing across the university, and establish a well-endowed foundation to support undergraduate research and undergraduate travel. To support research and teaching improvement, we also need to work toward a lighter teaching load for undergraduate faculty similar to that of the institutions with which the administration wants us to compete, moving from 21 hrs/year to 18 hrs/year would be a significant step forward.

Faculty

A review of all programs should take place. It may be necessary to eliminate certain programs that have proven unsuccessful. This should take place before any new programs are added. Standards must be put in place that require potential new programs to illustrate and both a need (of the university or community) and a demand (of potential students) before being established.

Faculty

As a comprehensive university, Mercer can boost of offering opportunities in a number of programs. At this time in our history, it may be better to focus first on the quality and necessity of present programs rather than the establishment of new programs. Programs, such as nursing and education for example, should be tailored to meet with community needs and designed to compete with other professional development opportunities available. To do so, such programs will need to be of high quality and convenient to a work schedule.

Faculty

There are no opportunities for growth at this time. The current financial situation has crippled our institution. Basic needs are no longer being met. How can we grow when we are barely functioning?

Faculty

We have the opportunity to becoming great at what we do. We need to focus on what we are now doing. We don’t need to continue to add new programs.

Faculty

Mercer should continue to expand into surrounding areas of the state.

Faculty

expanded campuses: eg, medical school campus in Savannah. Would also like to see other offerings in Savannah. The executive MBA offered in Savannah was nice but, I understand there are no plans to continue to offer it in the future. I would like to see a branch campus of Mercer for liberal arts classes in Savannah.

Faculty

With the attention that's currently being directed at improving general education and other measures that are directed at providing quality academic support to students, it would appear that the university is building a foundation that will allow it to build on the strengths outlined in item 1 [references great academic reputation and educating whole person]. However, specific decisions about doing so would have to be made, because having improved academic (and perhaps social) support services doesn't necessarily translate into improved performance by students in the classroom. Attention and effort needs to be extended to insure that the desired outcome is achieved.

Faculty

Mercer doesn't need to add any more programs, but to focus upon those that we already have. We especially need to build on our strengths in the CLA humanities/fine arts/social sciences areas, which often get overlooked. (I'm a natural scientist and even I notice this!) We can better sell the unique interdisciplinary offerings - FYS, Great Books, Senior Capstone - that encourage students to think, write, and communicate orally, skills that no one will take the time to teach them in professonal or graduate school.

Faculty

We are in a region that is having tremendous economic growth and population growth—good position to be in with this region.

Faculty

Important to note what was not mentioned – Recognize those areas that we are not excelling at.

Faculty

Our concern about student quality occurs if we have to take a larger enrollment in order to maintain enrollment.

Faculty

Continuing activities and classes which will promote the smaller campus and class size/bigger opportunity life which Mercer offers.

Parent

Continuing high academic admissions, hiring excellent faculty

Parent

I am very impressed with the support services that the institution provides. However, I would like to see the services available on the weekends as well. During Orientation, one of the speakers stated that Mercer students should plan for a "40 hour work week - classes and studying". My daughter spends more time on her studies because of the rigor of the curriculum and her desire to be successful. Providing the support on the weekends would be beneficial to students.

Parent

Continued campus improvements

Parent

Better graduates, providing a good alumni base.

Staff

Take full advantage of Atlanta campus – full utilization

Staff

Increased competitiveness at ivy league schools – opportunity to recruit more nationally

Staff

Can't just declare self a university of excellence, you have to be that, need to dev. prog. and faculty to keep up with the 21st Century. The opportunity is now to design these programs to prepare for jobs that are constantly changing

Staff

Mercer should have more locations

Student

Mecer is trailblazer (integration, MAPS)– do new things that have not been tried before - don’t become complacent

Student

Needs to raise prestige of university otherwise students won’t come because of high tuition

Student

The new growth in the campus (from the board thats in the library) definitely seems like it will make the campus more beautiful and inviting.

Student

We must continue to improve our rankings. Granted, our rankings improved thirteen spots last year. Hopefully, we will enjoy similar success this year. However, that is by no means a foregone conclusion. When I began as a student here, we were ranked 99. The next year, we dropped to 100. Mercer Law was founded in 1872/3. There is absolutely no reason for a school that old to be ranked near the bottom of the second tier. There is a multitude of law schools ranked higher than us that were founded long after we were. As law schools continue to be more and more competitive, Mercer will inevitably be able to obtain more and more qualified candidates. However, many of these people merely apply to Mercer as a back up school. We should not be content with merely accepting the scraps of other GA schools. Instead, we should strive to be a leader in the legal education community, at least in the Southeast. At this point, we are a far cry from this.

Student

Keeping the current status: It's not an online school such as University of Phoenix

Student

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Opportunities for Faculty

22

We have a caring and compassionate faculty.

Admin.

Bringing kids to the campus in the summer is good, but putting some of our outstanding faculty with those kids would be even greater. Involving faculty with the teenagers would be an even stronger connection with the University

Ext. Const.

Have summer campus for senior adults. Possibly, faculty-led trips

Ext. Const.

Use the expertise of our faculty to help restructure the City. [ Macon]

Ext. Const.

Faculty diversity needed.

Faculty

Being a smaller university may help us to coordinate with faculty and staff better

Faculty

Access to professors is easier than larger universities (less feasible in a class of 400)

Faculty

Also, playing up the faculty to student ratio is one of the key aspects to emphasize. I went to a private liberal arts college and one thing that made me feel that I was getting something different from what my friends at state schools were getting was when professors would have us for lunch/dinner in their homes. Now I don't see this being mandatory, but it was nice to break bread with your professors. This happened during the semester in which we would have a class with them. I loved the intimate touch that this added to my education.

Faculty

Faculty members have many opportunities to raise money, but we are not invited to be involved.

Faculty

Giving the faculty more of a say in how the educational programs are delivered and, by extension, how they spend their time. In short, relieve some of the burden imposed by overbearing administrators. Every administrative appointment seems to feel the need to justify their existence by placing more and more of a burden on the faculty they oversee. Fewer administrators would both save money and reduce "non-essential" faculty endeavors.

Faculty

Also, invest more internal resources and/or secure external resources to assist faculty in refining their teaching and in engaging in scholarship. Faculty grants, fellowships, course reductions for preparing new courses and/or programs and for pursuing research to strengthen knowledge for teaching. Mercer could host academic conferences, such as the Association for Core Texts and Courses, which meets to promote pedagogy and deepening of faculty knowledge in the liberal arts.

Faculty

Close student-faculty relationships The large number of leadership opportunites on campus Courses that are geared toward helping the students to examine themselves and who they want to be Service opportunities

Parent

Also, the small size of the classes is important as well as the availability of the Professors.

Parent

I think creating a viable relationship between staff, faculty and students is essential to make this University stand out as a leading college.

Staff

Since Mercer pays at the low end, they have a great opportunity to raise salaries and retain the quality educators and staff that have built the above mentioned strengths. We have built beautiful buildings, but to what end? Are we retaining quality educators and thus drawing quality students?

Staff

Continue to strengthen the faculty and rebuild staff support. I believe team work and resources are needed to offer our student body the best education possible.

Staff

Hire better professors for undergrad programs. I've recently heard complaints about Mercer hiring less-than-desirable professors.

Staff

Keeping up the good work with competent instructors with real world insight.

Student

Mercer works to earn grants and participate in research that helps maintain the quality education. Teachers are participating in continual professional development and always reading to learn themselves.

Student

Student faculty relationships

Student

Incentives for faculty to stay at Mercer.

Student

Diversify faculty.

Student

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Recruitment

19

Go to the high schools. Over in Columbus, GA we have to start in the high schools and let them know that we’re here. We care about the community and we care about the country. Let people know.

Alum

Judge Pullen can go to the high schools. I recruit for teachers, so I could recruit for Mercer. You don’t have to have staff go there. We’re known in the community.

Alum

President Underwood said that at Baylor that they had a network of Bearbackers who would recruit high school students for Baylor.

Alum

Senior University is a real asset, but needs to do a better job of welcoming newcomers.

Ext. Const.

When you’re talking about attracting the high school students, you need to have interaction with students.

Ext. Const.

Admissions should sponsor a family admission night- bring community to Mercer and attract both center students and Macon students

Faculty

Mercer is in a good position to respond to national trend concerning new commitment to nontraditional students

Faculty

Reach out to more cultures, e.g., Hispanics, Asians, in Georgia

Faculty

Recruiting top scholars to attend Mercer

Faculty

We have the opportunity of getting more out of region students

Faculty

Recruit more widely for the best students, and clarify what "best" means. A very large majority of Mercer students are from GA, and most students not from GA are from AL, FL, SC, TN. If Mercer aspires to be more than a regional institution, Mercer must recruit the very best students nationwide, not just those in the Southeast. "Best" does not, however, mean simply the highest test scores. Mercer must promote its core College, the College of Liberal Arts, as the foundation of the Mercer education, and recruit students who seek a traditional undergraduate liberal arts education, even if, especially if, these students intend to pursue law, medicine, pharmacy, etc.

Faculty

For engineering, I would stress Mercer as "THE OTHER engineering school," to make NOT being Georgia Tech a strength instead of a perceived weakness. My daughter is a graduate student at Georgia Tech (Master's in Architecture)and, although she is doing well and thinks highly of the academics, she does not like Georgia Tech in general -- not student centered, lack of available information about things, campus not great, etc. Mercer can easily compete with Georgia Tech in those areas and can offer an outstanding engineering program as well.

Parent

Increase the diversity of the student population, and still imbue those values.I am sure there are opportunities for service in Macon.

Parent

Recruitment based on diversity of programs – particularly as a small school, opportunity for choice (Majors)

Staff

Student Recruitment opportunities due to high academic reputation

Staff

Draw in diverse population that has chance of success here.

Staff

Difficult for out-of-state students -- need for more diversity in mix of students.

Student

Recruiting beyond the borders of the state.

Student

declining enrollment

Student

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Research

15

Faculty practice is becoming more important for nursing professionals. No longer can just stay in the classroom. At Vanderbilt, this was important, and it is here. Reinforces clinical nursing practitioners in the community.

Alum

In the area of medicine, I would like to see Mercer become more involved with bench research. Right now you go to Emory, Jacksonville, etc. You could get young scientists to build clinical trials. Huge economic driver for a region.

Ext. Const.

Mercer needs to focus more on research (especially when compared to Emory). We need to fight for research opportunities that will bring in money.

Faculty

If we are serious about research, we have the opportunity of moving forward.

Faculty

We have the opportunity to provide support for faculty who want to do research

Faculty

We have the opportunity to provide incentives for conducting research

Faculty

We have the opportunity of developing a recognized balance between teaching and research

Faculty

We have the opportunity to involve undergraduate students in research

Faculty

We have the opportunity to use summer programs to involve undergrads in research

Faculty

We have the opportunity to broaden the definition of research so that scholarly activities are included

Faculty

If we are going to be effective teachers, we need to be involved in research. The opportunity is here for that.

Faculty

Next logical step to continue to raise Mercer's academic reputation is in research.

Faculty

The administration should offer grants on the order of $5,000 to $10,000 to faculty for conducting basic & applied research with undergraduate students; for preparing text books or original works; or for trying alternative and innovative methods of teaching. Faculty that aspire to be innovative and conduct research should be given reduced teaching loads and rewarded with merit raises.

Faculty

As we move to consider research, understand that research provides increased opportunity to build the student-teacher relationship. Research centered around student accomplishment can foster a deeper personal relationship not otherwise possible allowing faculty to influence the whole student rather than just intellectual particulars.

Faculty

Expanding research and become more politically active.

Staff

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Educating the Whole Person / Ethics

12

We have experts who could speak about current issues in the national press. We develop graduates with an ethical orientation.

Admin.

Mercer is constantly adapting to the needs of its students and the community. Keep it up!

Alum

Dean Aldridge was telling us about Mercer on Mission. I think that's wonderful. Wonderful opportunity for the students to become community stewards at an early age. That program embodies what my memories of Mercer are. This gives you great tools for life. Helps professionally and personnally. Financial planning seminar would be helpful to students who will have to learn to deal with debt.

Alum

Balance important. Can’t compromise educational mission by expanding too far into community activities.

Emeriti

The advantage of having Mercer University here is a spiritual development. Students (a brain trust) can understand the disadvantaged communities around here.

Ext. Const.

Community leadership, social justice, service-learning

Faculty

Offering classes in religion and values. Making a lot of space/resources available for spiritual life on campus. Encouraging faculty to grow in their spiritual life and to encourage their students. Mercer can differ from the public schools by being a place in which the name of the Lord and Jesus can be proclaimed/worshiped without fear. As a Christian, that is the type of environment where I want to work.

Faculty

Teaching through research provides an opportunity to develop supportive relationships with students

Faculty

More freshman guidance (we currently have a freshman who needs LOTS of GUIDANCE, but will not ask for it and WILL NOT listen to her parents); immediate intervention (required counseling and tutoring) for freshmen who are struggling academically.

Parent

Interdisciplinary studies and experiences

Staff

Are we preparing our students beyond the classroom in non-academic areas, we have the opportunity to collaborate in and out of the classroom to educate the whole person.

Staff

The opportunity to build on these strengths has already presented itself nationally. As we move into the next phase of top leadership at the White House, moral fabric is surely on the minds of every red-blooded American. We don’t sell educations at Mercer. It is much more than that. Our tuition costs is insurance to parents who have already done their best during the first 18 critical years of their child’s life. Now, they want to insure that their child will have a good job that can support their lives. Let’s show parents that they will get much more for their money at Mercer. I believe that we can build on our strengths by reminding people that the American dream is not just getting a job…it is a lifestyle that encompasses ones ability to be happy and rewarded in ones contribution to his family and his environment. Mercer nurtures this vision through education and opportunity for spiritual growth. While most any education may qualify you for a job, Mercer is much more than just a resume tool. We aim to be a life changing experience that will equip students with knowledge beyond the ordinary, encourage social awareness in them, and support traditional faith-based values of these young adults who will someday design our future through enterprise.

Staff

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Alumni Relations

11

I would love to be able to be tapped back into Mercer. The alumni know the story and can tell it. This is the first time that I’ve been brought back into Mercer. The Univ. of Ga. does a great job of this. We need to do better. I don’t think that Mercer does this well.

Alum

President Underwood says that homecoming is not an alumni event as it needs to be.

Alum

Homecoming and Alumni Weekend used to be very big. Somewhere from about 1983 to 1988, it diminished. Since about 1988 the Alumni Association has not been involved.

Alum

I used to get information about Alumni Weekend, and also about Founder’s Day. I don’t get that any more.

Alum

In the alumni association, we’ve talked about getting seniors involved with the alumni association at an earlier stage. We’re trying to find a way to engage those students. Tift Scholars does a good job of connecting Tift alumni to the students.

Alum

I think the Greek system is a good way to bring alumni back in.

Alum

Better alumni relations; stronger connections with them, perhaps programming that brings them back to campus in summer; more faculty relations with alums

Faculty

We have the opportunity to involve young alumni. We can be breeding future donors

Faculty

We have the opportunity to develop a young alumni program that is dynamic.

Faculty

Student-centeredness and close relationship with faculty as well as staff—How can we promote that relationship outside of school? More interaction with alumni.

Faculty

Involve alumni in scholarship weekends, homecoming, other Mercer events

Staff

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Athletics

8

This school completes on a NCAA Division 1 level with Georgia in basketball. That’s a plus.

Alum

Start a football program.

Alum

People identify college town with sports.

Ext. Const.

Bobby Pope spoke to our Rotary Club re: more people becoming fans. Need to promote the athletic program with Carlyle Place. Reach out to the public and private high schools. Bring some of the players to practices.

Ext. Const.

As diverse as the academic curricula are, the athletic programs, which by their very nature are the physical window to the community and beyond, are sorely lacking in the absence of a football program. It is no secret that the most recognizable features of ND to the outside world are the football team and “Touchdown Jesus”. While that type of recognition may seem contrary to a faith-based institution, and that degree of recognition may be a lofty aspiration, certainly the benefits have been unquestionable, such as providing the opportunity to reveal the faith-based nature and ideals of the University, not to mention the revenue to support student scholarships, facility improvements, and other athletic programs. While these benefits are somewhat obvious, the other more subtle benefits may not be so obvious, yet extend well beyond campus borders. For example, nothing compares to the Saturdays in the fall when alumni and fans descend on campus and crowd into campus venues (hotels, food establishments, bookstore etc. prior to gametime. Alumni renew their memories and feelings of campus life, while purchasing hot dogs or t-shirts from student-run venues, and remain connected with the University (and are thus perhaps more likely to give back). These times offer the community access and make them “stakeholders” as well, and the influx of large contingents swell the ranks in local hotels and eating establishments (this effect is noticed for 50+ miles around ND on fall Saturdays). While we may say “yes, but that is a big school with a correspondingly large student body and fan base”. In fact, ND shows an enrollment of 8346 students on their website, while Mercer advertises 7300 students spread around 11 Schools and Colleges. Maybe it is time we “wake up” some of our own echoes and bring life and a sense of community to the Mercer campus.

Faculty

Athletics often puts institutions on the map, and I think Mercer is headed in the right direction. Students are attracted to schools with good athletic programs, even if they don't play a sport, and state/national recognition for athletics and academics (Duke, for example) can do more for a school than any marketing campaign.

Parent

Strong athletics program.

Staff

Getting the name of Mercer University out through athletic activities would help.

Student

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Religious Heritage

6

Our religious heritage is an opportunity that could lead us to a national identity.

Admin.

Employers are looking for employees who have an understanding of individual differences, a tolerance that our religious heritage instills.

Admin.

More connection with the churches--learn more about Jesse Mercer and the historic tenets of being Baptist

Ext. Const.

Developing the national Baptist identity

Faculty

We have the opportunity to redefine what it means to be a Baptist to the rest of the world.

Faculty

Link up with other moderate Baptist organizations to redefine what it means to be Baptist

Staff

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Daycare

4

A model, state-of-the-arts school/daycare might also provide quality daycare options for the Mercer community as well as the broader community.

Faculty

Mercer is in desperate need of a daycare center for faculty and staff children under pre-K age. This would increase job satisfaction and productivity.

Faculty

A child care center would make it easier for students to attend classes

Student

Lack of child care for single parents

Student

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Miscellaneous

23

By virtue of being a private institution, we can move more nimbly than state schools

Admin.

Lack of visibility to the interstate keeps the campus safe, which is a strength.

Ext. Const.

Access to the building is the hard part.

Ext. Const.

Mercer building is an asset to Henry County

Faculty

Sometimes it feels like the Atlanta Campus is still overcoming the closing of the College of Arts and Sciences – It was a top news story during the 80s, faculty burned robes.

Faculty

We have the opportunity to encourage our graduates to go to national graduate programs not just regional ones

Faculty

If we are to compete in the ranks of nationally recognized universities we must improve our support of faculty and students in several significant areas. Students should be better supported with the establishment of a writing center. A center for teaching should be established to assist faculty in discussing and improving teaching methods and assisting in the appropriate integration of technology in the classroom. There should be computer equipped classrooms that provide instructional space during the day and student lab space in the evening. Mercer must provide for greater support of undergraduate research, particularly the funding of a competitive summer research program for students and faculty would greatly increase the scholarly activity on campus during the summers and stimulate further work during the regular academic year. Better support of faculty and student travel will also provide for a better research environment on campus.

Faculty

We need more concerted effort to move our students into graduate and professional programs at national universities. The quality of an institution is often measured by tracking its graduates. (Such an effort would enhance our primary strength, serve our graduates, and improve our national image.)

Faculty

New leadership, e.g. the new president setting a focus.

Faculty

Ability to teach to challenged students

Faculty

I would continue to emphasize academics and perhaps increase the type and amount of schlorships to draw the best students to Mercer.

Parent

Address needs of incoming students at ARC, since their needs are often different, opportunity to learn of these needs and devise services

Staff

Expand the use of the R25 program. It is designed to be user friendly so staff, faculy, and students could see if space were available for reserving. When space is resevered it will notify the police, media center, food services, physical plant of all special needs and let requester know these events are reserved. This area was being used until resently until the staff trained on R25 were let go. The system will organize a Mercer Calendar that is friendly and better than the email now used. It is one of the most up-to-date programs available on the market today, and Mercer has paid a lot of money for but is not using at its potential.

Staff

Our adult student programs are unique in the metro-Atlanta area. We offer returning students the support that they need to complete their degrees.

Staff

Mercer should improve communication of special events or meetings with current students

Student

We need more meal options

Student

Students would like a fitness room in center

Student

Besides graduating from a prestigeous school, I see pride

Student

Mercer takes care of its students through scholarships.

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lower tuition

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Offering night students more activities, e.g. communicating options to them.

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Science Lab resources (Instructor had to bring materials from home for the night class)

Student

CLEP clarity should be added/included in the Mercer catalog

Student

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