Goals Feedback Data  

Executive Summary*

There were 104 respondents to the Web-based feedback form for the goals. Fifty percent of the comments came from faculty and another 37% from staff and administrators. The majority of the feedback pertained to Goals 2, 6, and 1.

Nearly 20% of respondents commented that Mercer’s target for faculty/staff compensation is too low; however, most misunderstood the goal to say that Mercer would only raise salaries to 50% of the market. Another 12% are concerned that additional staff are needed to satisfy Goal 2. Additionally, several staff members felt more like an appendage to Goal 2 rather than a part of the initiative.

Twenty-eight percent of those who responded commented on Goal 6. Nearly 16% of all respondents feel that additional facilities should be added to the list of renovations and updates. These facilities are the Douglas campus, Sheffield Gym, Swilley Library, and additional housing in Atlanta, and additions to the School of Medicine and Ryals Hall in Macon.

Another 9% feel that Goal 1 pertains only to CLA or the traditional, undergraduate campus. And 7% do not like the intent of Goal 1 to bring in higher quality students based on test scores.

Finally, 23% of all respondents identified some missing pieces from these goals. Environmental concerns made up the majority of the noted omissions (7% of all respondents). Others noted concerns for diversity, alumni involvement, research activities, library resources, community service, child care, global perspectives, parking, and safety initiatives.

Seventeen percent of respondents noted that they liked the goals.

* Percentages represent the number of respondents, not comments, and do not equal 100% as people made multiple comments.


Based on this feedback, as well as on comments from two Information Sessions (one each in Macon and Atlanta, in early October), and private conversations, the UPC Leadership Team recommends the following revisions be made to the draft Ten-Year Goals:

  1. Add targets to Goal 1 for the non-traditional undergraduate programs as well as for the graduate and professional schools or revise the wording to explain that those targets are school-specific and not University-wide.
  2. Reword Goal 2, so that faculty and staff have parity as a compound subject.
  3. Reword the bullets in Goal 2 pertaining to faculty and staff compensation to reduce confusion about whether Mercer is only raising salaries to 50% of the market, and to indicate that our focus is on total compensation and not just salaries.
  4. Incorporate environmental stewardship into Goals 5 and 6.
  5. Explicate the last bullet in Goal 5, to be more specific about the financial targets.**
  6. Revise Goal 5 to address optimal numbers of all students, not just our adult learners.
  7. Create an additional goal by separating Goal 6 into two different goals: one for facilities and one for technology.+
  8. Add a goal to address the engagement of all stakeholders, reflecting the spirit of the draft Vision statement.++

Making these changes would result in ten goals. The next steps would be to communicate the changes so that the deans and department heads can adjust their strategies accordingly. In addition, the UPC will also communicate the changes to the Web respondents.

** From a fiscal management standpoint, it has also been suggested that buildings are capital investments that should have a reserve set aside for maintenance (e.g., 10% of an endowment for a new building).
+ While both buildings and technology are elements of infrastructure, we believe that combining them into a single goal sends a message about their importance, i.e., that the technology is to be “maintained,” as are the buildings – when there is a strong feeling about the need for significant improvements in technology.
++Rather than append this goal to the end, we suggest that it be inserted before the goal regarding the University’s national Baptist identify.

The following pages provide more details of the analysis and the exact – but unattributed – comments received on the website. Assurances of anonymity have been given.

Content Analysis

The following table shows a breakdown of the number of responses by constituency group:

Number Constituency Percent of Total Responses
 9 Administrator   8.7%
 4  Alumnus/Alumna  3.8%
 1  Emeritus/Emerita  1.0%
 51  Faculty  49.0%
 30  Staff  28.8%
 2  Other  1.9%
 7  Didn't indicate  6.7%
 104  TOTAL  100%

The respondents were asked to check which goals they considered SMART: straightforward, measurable, aspirational, realistic, and timely. The following table displays what percentage of the respondents considered each goal SMART:

Goal Number Who Considered the Goal SMART  Percentage Who Considered the Goal SMART 
Goal 1: Students 69 66.3%
Goal 2: Faculty/Staff 67 64.4%
Goal 3: Learning Environment  70 67.3%
Goal 4: Signature Programs  68 65.4%
Goal 5: Financial Structure  72 69.2%
Goal 6: Facilities/Technology  74 71.2%
Goal 7: First Baptist University  51 49.0%
Goal 8: Athletics  55 52.9%

Types of Comments

This section provides a summary of the comments from those who did not consider the goals to be SMART. The exact comments are available on the Comments on Goals page.

Goal 1 25
  Seems to pertain only to undergrad 9
  Doesn't like the focus/intent of this goal 7
  Not clear or measurable 4
  General comments 3
  Wants to find out what students want 2
Goal 2 42
  Want better compensation 20
  Increase/retain staff numbers 12
  Need more resources 4
  General comments 4
  Staff feel left out 2
Goal 3 16
  Has issues with measurability 6
  General comments 6
  Doesn't agree with focus/intent 4
Goal 4 16
  Offers suggestions for signature programs 6
  Funding and support are essential 5
  Goal is not clear 4
  Signature programs already exist 1
Goal 5 13
  Want to see the plan for achievement 5
  General comments 4
  All goals center around this one 3
  Want to see more fiscal responsibility 1
Goal 6 29
  Requests for additions to the facility list 16
  Stress the importance of technology 7
  Facilities and technology should be separate 2
  Accomplish this goal sooner than 10 years 2
  General comments 2
Goal 7 14
  What does it mean/how to measure 5
  Want faith-based instead of Baptist 3
  Embrace Baptist roots 2
  General comments 2
  Mercer is too liberal for this goal 2
Goal 8 14
  Need equity among sports teams 4
  Focus resources on academics 4
  General comments 4
  Concerned that it sounds like we are not accomplishing this now 2
Missing pieces 24
  Environmental concerns 7
  Initiatives for diversity 6
  Involvement of alumni 4
  Research concerns 3
  Library concerns 3
  More focus on community service 2
  Requests for child care 2
  Enhance global perspective 1
  Need improved parking 1
  Need more effort toward safety 1
Feel that the goals are great 17
General comments 9
Concerns about implementation 3
Non-strategic comments 3


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