Staff Sessions, December 19, 2018, Question 1

Question 1: What are two of the key disruptions facing Stetson? These can be within any aspect of our operation: student demand, faculty and staff, learning environment, the financing of higher education, etc.

Session “A”

  • Learning environment – collaboration with others, like Florida Hospital.
  • Faculty and staff – community and team.
  • High tuition.
  • Not a strong enough brand.
  • The financing of higher education.
  • How to stay competitive with evolving professional demands for graduates. How can we prepare them to take on responsibilities, but still support them?
  • Disconnect between departments/teams.
  • Guiding student into adulthood (student loans, time management, responsibilities).
  • Resources and competition for these resources.
  • Student demand for Stetson.
  • Siloing: Departments are often tight-knit and try to remain separate of each other.
  • Staffing: “We are just a small university” mentality.
  • Lack of team sensibility – not focused in one direction.
  • Student mental health issues – they are unprepared for life away from helicopter parents.
  • No sense of community with students or faculty/staff.
  • Student have no job experience – don't call in; no sense of responsibility.
  • Financing of higher education.
  • Needs/wants of a diversifying student base (desire for inclusion, community, and support).
  • Perception of higher education.
  • Changing demographics.
  • Student demand – who is the customer? How are we meeting their needs?
  • Financing: make Stetson available to those who are academically deserving, but with low EFCs.
  • Cost of higher education/perceived value.
  • Challenges of work force and changing landscape of skilled work positions.
  • Social skills of incoming students.
  • Finances – Is it worth it?
  • Pace of technology – vis a vis, entering students and current learning/teaching methods.
  • Student demographics.
  • Procedures and policies made out of taffy.
  • The stubborn retention deficit.
  • The cost of Stetson isn't just the price of tuition; it is also includes the meal plan and housing.
  • We have policies and procedures that lead us to be the “bad guy.”
  • Within staff, I have noticed lag in getting work done, even with proper communication.
  • Misinformation being spread unintentionally.
  • Office resources for adjunct faculty. Are students in those classes getting the same value?
  • Lack of time for less affluent students to be involved on campus due to work obligations. How can we help those students stay on track?
  • Disconnect between words and action; not just big things, but small. Climate? We've talked a good bit, but have we changed? Budgets? We talk about a need to reconfigure, but does anyone want to give to create space for take?
  • Tension of trying to stand out among similar higher ed institutions, while not bucking the system too much (risk management/aversion). Like pricing, we should be able to decide based on our institution's needs, but also need to keep up with peers. Does the fear of standing out in the wrong way keep us from trying?
  • Decline in demand for higher ed products.
  • Increasing costs associated with providing access to education in the traditional format.
  • Facility space/availability.
  • Student understanding of their four-year plan (advising).
  • Market competition for type of student we are looking to enroll (i.e., student academic profile, ability to pay).
  • Housing accommodations – quality, style, three-year requirement.
  • A rapidly evolving workforce (retiring baby boomers in leadership positions – Is there enough developed talent to step in?)
  • Changing nature of student loans and lending (i.e., changing guidance and regs from DOE; changing value proposition for students; economic changes greatly impact students' desire to finance education).
  • Lower number of high school grads over the next decade.
  • Competition of other schools – promises from school to students.
  • Class schedule across the campus – finding a common block of time for meetings.
  • Finances.
  • Social agenda detours: We all arrive on campus with different backgrounds and beliefs; we need to continue to embrace each others walk of life, but we fail to stay focused on the goal of teaching toward a degree.
  • Overall cost of education: Could we find solutions through online? Blending of courses? New locations in new markets?
  • The change in demand from traditional, liberal arts education to a greater focus on preparation for a professional life.
  • The greater investment in education by state/federal government making quality education less expensive.
  • The cost of school and students/families struggling to pay for it.
  • Rising mental health concerns (not only at Stetson, but across the country). Inability to manage stress in healthy ways. More students coming in with mental health history. Often feel they don't belong.
  • Online.
  • Mental health epidemic.
  • High cost vs. family incomes.

Session “B”

  • Territorialism and silos.
  • Weak infrastructure, such as:
    • Support for grant activity.
    • Marketing, especially support for departments and programs. Even if we grow and improve programs, they need support to function.
    • Outdated operations.
  • Cost of education: Students who don't even look at Stetson because of the sticker price.
  • Belonging: Students who don't find a home early enough.
  • Tuition -- sticker shock when prospects and inquiries first look at universities.
  • Not offering popular (nursing) programs.
  • Student struggling financially who are capable of the work required.
  • Lack of nimbleness of developing new programs, such as nursing.
  • High tuition.
  • Not a strong enough brand.
  • Rising to the demand of online education.
  • Reassuring parents that their kids are safe.
  • It's too hard to change things that don't work.
  • Persistently low retention.
  • Faculty vs. staff – not faculty and staff. Little camaraderie. Lack of communication. Faculty belittling of staff.
  • Negativity – glass ½ full. What do we have to motivate/energize employees.
  • Image – Be who we are and not compare to others. What can you control.
  • Learning environment – in person vs. virtual?
  • Financing higher education – the cost of the same degree at private institutions vs. community/public institutions.
  • Cost of housing/meal plans.
  • Students wanting to live off campus.
  • Financing higher education – difference/gap between federal loans and balance.
  • The need for a degree to be successful (get a job, etc.).
  • Disconnect between “marketed” Stetson and actual Stetson.
  • Competition of other schools in Florida, public and private.
  • Support for needy students.
  • Competition for resources – scarcity mentality.
  • Faculty Senate/Friday Group scrutiny of areas outside of academic programs.
  • Lack of adequate support staff. Gaps in hiring for vacancies.
  • Challenges with incoming students (special accommodations) beyond faculty ability.
  • Retention of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Communication between various levels within Stetson.
  • Demographics
  • Expectation of faculty of what students (high school graduates) have been taught prior to Stetson and the reality of what the students have been taught.
  • Space – faculty offices, performance, practice.
  • Old facilities needing upgrading.
  • Positive energy from everyone.
  • Perception, in my opinion, among potential students.
  • BC and DR (cloud)
  • Student expectations/coping skills/mental health; Generation Z adaptability.
  • Staff turnover.
  • Valued employees and students.
  • Online programs.
  • Talent acquisition – competitive compensation in a 3.9% unemployment environment.
  • Changing student/parent demand for education – less experience-focused and more outcomes-focused.
  • Student perceived connection, or lack thereof, with faculty and the academic rigor.
  • Lack of resources – staff are overworked and financial resources.
  • Push for free education at public institutions.
  • Not offering adequate academic courses – online courses.

Staff Sessions, December 19, 2018, Question #2

Question 2: What is one key strategy for Stetson to enable us to be successful in confronting the near term (2019-20) future?

Session “A”

  • Attract more families with the ability to pay and segments of the market/populations that can pay (e.g., employer reimbursement, like Disney; ROTC; Saudis, prep schools; certificates)
  • Spending the gift from the Browns wisely.
  • Invest – Endowment
  • Continue to have conversations about issues that we face as a university and take timely actions to resolve them.
  • More equity in terms of how resources are allocated across campus (e.g., Business School vs. Arts & Sciences). “One University”
  • Short-term implementation process? At a conference, I heard about this process meant to bring together a team for a very short term to quickly enact a change. Goal to select employees for team who are not necessarily the usual suspects. Engage more people doing the work.
  • Identify under-used resources (restricted and endowed funds) and devise ways to put them to good use.
  • Properly/appropriately position the Health Science initiative/gift.
  • The “Stetson Promise.”
  • Communication is key. As a student going through the foundations courses in hopes to start the MBA program, I found out that the program is changing. I only found out because of asking about it at the Graduate Fair. And, it has been difficult to stay in the loop on the changes.
  • More online classes to reach a larger population.
  • Looking at the faculty and how they communicate with the students should be a high priority. Students should not be in the dark about their grades going into finals. There are professors who don't grade papers/give feedback so the students know if they are on the right track in order to be successful. Grades should be kept up by the professors. Students have to turn in papers on time; professors should also be held to the same.
  • Work with incoming students to educate and empower them to take responsibility for their time at Stetson, as well as with faculty advisors to know the programs which they are advising (also university policies).
  • Diversity – awareness in recruiting faculty and staff.
  • Communication – across campus offices/departments.
  • Make the Class of 2023 (don't blow up the 2020 budget).
  • More consistent advising and upfront understanding of advising process. Students taking their educational reigns, but guidance that is consistent across campus.
  • Expand our efforts to clarify staff and faculty recruitment and retention. Focus on quality postings/descriptions that will attract more diverse candidate pools and look for diversity of thought, experience, and background as a strength.
  • Deliver on what we promise; don't overpromise.
  • Pick one major goal and go all in to accomplish it. Communicate it. Resource it. Achieve it by a set date.
  • Finding a common block of time for advising, governance, and community. Time for conversation, camaraderie, and breathing.
  • We need, as a tuition-driven institution, students “in the beds” – make sure our recruiting of students markets those we can get. May have to over-recruit and adjust.
  • Communication: Always communicate with students from beginning to end in whatever challenges are before them.
  • Continue to build and strengthen community, specifically among faculty and staff.
  • Show the prospective students how we have progressed and how we are progressing today. Mainly around new construction and existing uses of buildings. If dormant areas, Stetson's future uses of those areas. Maintain what we currently have.
  • For our current students, our mindset should be: We don't have to help students, we GET to help, not A student but, OUR student. This would put our core focus on our efforts toward the students well-being/education.
  • We need more scholarships – a focused effort to raise endowment.
  • Make decisions with shared vision – everything should be to benefit student development:
    • Policies/policy development
    • Academic rigor
    • Community engagement
    • Career development opportunities
    • Mental health support
    • Staff/faculty shared support
    • Rally around the positive!
  • Create space/gather ideas to increase community connections – get to know each other.
  • Support programs/people that are successful.
  • Rally to who we are and build a community to support; Accept who we are and rally community to advance.
  • Self-esteem is our product of value. The more I know, the less I assume.
  • Clearly define policy guidelines and what they mean.
  • Don't forget current students while planning for the future.
  • Retaining not just students, but also our quality staff and faculty.
  • Investing in people more. Providing the right resources to do work, personal and career fulfillment.
  • Attracting the highest standard in faculty: Fewer adjuncts; find resources to attract those faculty.
  • Explore new programs, both graduate and continuing education, that match the marketplace.

 Session “B”

  • Concerted effort to be more of a draw/destination/demand for wealthier families with the ability to pay and for groups with the ability to pay (e.g., ROTC, Saudis, employers reimbursements).
  • Build additional programs in health care field.
  • Staffing assessment for offices/departments: look at support staff – duties assigned to each staff, value of each staff.
  • Normalize the college struggle/mental health support resources/program/staff support.
  • Build a stronger identity – what do we stand for? Define ourselves.
  • Health care opportunity (nursing).
  • Perception vs. reality – Stetson is not a school full of rich kids; a lot are Pell-eligible students.
  • Build and improve sense of community among faculty and staff.
  • Marketing – getting Stetson more on the local, state, and national level.
  • Mentoring the students – growing them.
  • Do we have the money to hire needed staff at competitive rates? Hire more marketing staff.
  • Breaking silos – more opportunities (like today) to mix w/faculty.
  • Development more community relationships.
  • Improve communication between Stetson and our marketplace and within Stetson.
  • Give us a feeling of ownership.
  • Promote online education offerings.
  • Establish a comprehensive, whole university. Sustainability strategy: (1) the Environmental Working Group has discussed the prospect of a Director of Sustainability; (2) upcoming retirement/staffing shifts in facilities provides an excellent opportunity.
  • Accelerated degree program.
  • More scholarship money!
  • Gathering together – faculty and staff activity.
  • We all own recruitment efforts to a greater success of a strong class in August 2019.
  • Be more honest and open with incoming and current students regarding real experiences, outcomes, negative impacts, etc.
  • Experiential program give students stories to tell on their resumes and in job interviews. Connect students with employers!
  • Effective advertising/marketing our improvements – safety concerns, retention.
  • More student support from all facets from the desk to an event. Mentoring – be there for students.
  • Icebreaker with faculty, staff, and students.
  • 5% Rule – add just a little more effort towards success.
  • 5% Rule – easy to implement. Everyone has list of things to do – do 5% more.
  • Increase enrollment – spread our name. More marketing to out-of-state students. Students in Northeast are accustomed to paying top dollar for private institutions, but is the Stetson name well known in that region?
  • Choose top strategic goals and set a timeline and just do it! Everyone participates.
  • Budget Stability: Make the Class of 2023.
  • Gen Z education for faculty and staff.
  • Formal and informal community building for faculty and staff.
  • Finance transparency.
  • Engage families – create a strategic family engagement plan.
  • Unify and agree upon common goals.
  • Community is developed through shared experiences. Create opportunities across the campus to have organized, structured, regular community-building events (e.g., sporting events, lectures, concerts, etc.). Include faculty, staff, and students.
  • True summer start as an option for enrollment, compete with state schools.
  • Strengthen relationships with Florida public grad schools, like w/ AdventistHealth.
  • Viewing the student journey as a whole, not just one dimensional:
    • Prospect
    • Student
    • Academics
    • Activities
    • Done
    • Alumni
  • Be customer-service focused. We are here to invest in others.
  • Market to families. Provide info on all Stetson does for students.
  • Offer additional financial incentives to high academic students.
  • Target private high school counselors throughout the country w/more info. 

Staff Sessions, December 19, 2018, Question #3 

Question 3: What is one key strategy for Stetson to enable us to be successful in confronting the middle term (3 years) future?

Session “A”

  • Can we identify some of the perpetual conversations we have and decide to stop having them? Honestly identify the reasons we've made no changes and own those reasons.
  • Identify and build programs that meet the marketplace.
  • Expound on relationships that position us as part of a larger continuum (e.g., ADU and AFROTC).
  • Implementation of issues discussed today.
  • Prudent use of Brown money.
  • Properly aligning resources with goals (e.g., ensuring advising can uphold the Stetson Promise.)
  • Continue to find new sources of revenue (term namings, more corporate sponsorships, venture funds).
  • Consider implementing mentoring opportunities/programs for our students to ensure that they are exposed to their areas of interest and possibly help with retention.
  • Invest in programs where students can benefit from available jobs in the community (e.g., health-related programs).
  • Building connection/rapport between staff and faculty.
  • Resources
  • Building programming for academics and student affairs (e.g., cybersecurity, health sciences).
  • Plan for and focus on effective communication across all levels – students, faculty, and staff (e.g., group meals? Focus on how to connect and experiment with a variety of methods).
  • Invest in and launch academic programs with demonstrated demand and high net income.
  • New advising template (faculty, advising squads, advising merged with FSEM).
  • Complete budget review/reallocation to put resources where we claim our strategic priorities are.
  • Continue to build and strengthen community among faculty, staff, and students.
  • Build the team (community). Get behind a vision:
    • Must sacrifice the “me” for “we.”
    • All must compromise for the vision to be successful.
    • Stop fighting each other – have to accept things aren't perfect.
    • Work to get better.
  • Working with communication across campus with not only students, but with faculty and staff and the “One Stetson” goal mentioned in previous meetings.
  • Develop an identity as a university, clearly communicate it, and then own that identity.
  • Retention and Persistence (83%). Maximize the reinvestment that's being made (Commons, CUB, housing, athletics, Public Health (Brown & Brown). New programming – AFROTC, Cybersecurity, e-gaming.
  • If we want the students to be successful and feel community, maybe they should be more involved in the conversation. Do course evaluations mean anything? What is the incentive for students to be honest in what they need to be successful or not leave Stetson? Are they just giving easy, non-confrontational answers so they can get their withdrawal forms signed so they can just be done with it? If some of our students who are leaving Stetson have a FAFSA high enough to afford Stetson and a high enough GPA, from what I have heard, they didn't necessarily want to deal with some of the issues regarding class management, unrealistic expectations, lack of communication from the faculty. Installing new fountains or more Res Life programs doesn't fix that issue.
  • The “build community” or “build distinction” or “build communication” or “streamline policy” ideas are all three- to five-year goals (most of those were mentioned as one- to two-year goals). We don't get there because we treat them as one- to two-year goals.
  • Raise funding for current student scholarships and to help students who are doing well in college that may not have done well in high school.
  • Communication plan for continuing students (shorter term possibly).
  • Recruit “right” students who will be more likely to stay/be able to continue education at Stetson.
  • Create and articulate to the community a long-term staffing plan for execs and divisions (we probably have them but have never articulated that). They don't have to be rigid or inflexible, but realistic.
  • Build community through structured and unstructured, organized and regular community events.
  • Develop a sense of focus that everyone can get behind as an institution – a focus on quality – all pulling in the same direction.
  • Accept who we are and rally the community to advance (e.g., SACSCOC accreditation; show united front). Disjointed approach currently – competition for resources based on who argues best.
  • Full financial analysis with transparency to community.
  • Find ways to engage, finance ongoing students.
  • Create time to be together.
  • Adjust to Gen Z needs with curiosity and not judgment.
  • Plan and think about the demands of the incoming generation, specifically, how they differ generally from the current generation.
  • Transparency for new/incoming students about course load, financing, advising, experiential support, “end game.”
  • Growth and development for current employees (staff, adjuncts). Grow where we are planted.

Session “B”

  • Build internal institutional self-esteem and community.
  • Clearly define and implement the Health Science initiative supported by the Brown gift to be responsive to prospective students.
  • Win the NCAA college baseball world series.
  • Programs to make Stetson unique/competitive, not taking two years to get it passed for approval (i.e., health care related).
  • Fulfill the marketed Stetson (diverse) – Who we are, admitting matches.
  • Identity & Alignment: What is the identity? Let's own it through all actions – what we are demonstrating, investing in, and providing to our students. Full commitment.
  • Educate ourselves on who our students are and what is the future going to require of them (what they will need to be successful) – understanding them better to fit their needs.
  • Concentrate on our Brown gift and how it can change our sciences and other interdisciplinary areas to make us stronger and more marketable.
  • Consistent monthly vignettes highlighting faculty and university offerings.
  • Consistent outward marketing to external venues.
  • Create the best community of faculty, staff, and students where everyone feels engaged, valued, and successful.
  • I believe Stetson is on the right track. There are many things to move forward, but decide the few things to do great and start doing.
  • Seems there is a “busyness” at all times, but thank you for taking the time to have these roundtable discussions to strategize about the future and what is best for Stetson and our students, faculty, and staff.
  • Increase incoming average SAT scores and reduce acceptance rate – that will increase quality and retention.
  • Budget reallocation based on strategic priorities.
  • Target two, major, “home run” initiatives and achieve them.
  • Use the talents in front of you. I know you want to get the best, but sometimes the best is right in front of you.
  • Focus on a reasonable goal.
  • Get on the map. Buy into Stetson and be ALL IN!
  • Reallocate budgets. Where does it go?
  • Build culture:
    • People
    • Build those relationships
    • People begin to trust each other.
    • People inside group become loyal.
  • When these four things happen, more success happens. Why? People are more motivated:
    • Money
    • Possessions
    • Fame
    • Wins
  • Focus on enrollment rates; provide a flexible learning environment with in-person, online, and hybrid courses.
  • Give students an option to live off campus.
  • Reach for non-traditional student enrollment.
  • Diversity the type of students we enroll. Stop striving for the 18-year-old demographic.
  • Student Advising Plans: How do we get a structure in place to guide students from pre-first-year enrollment to fully employed?
  • Make Stetson Florida's #1 private school in Health programs:
    • New majors
    • Combined/interdisciplinary health/wellness degree (e.g., music and wellness; business health management)
    • Full-year experiential satellite campus aligned with health organization (e.g., junior year nursing in Jacksonville at the Mayo Clinic).
  • Continue to find new sources of revenue (term namings, corporate sponsorships, venture funds, etc.)
  • To not look at “big picture” and focus on the individual student, faculty, and staff). This would improve retention in students and lower faculty/staff turnover.
  • Establish a strategy that focuses on employee engagement and eliminates silos (these are related).
  • Establish successful academic and non-academic grant-seeking as a pervasive practice.
  • Simplify decision-making processes so we can be more nimble by making decisions more quickly and launch new initiatives.
  • Add staff with expertise to support the growing/distinguished programs. Let's do this.
  • Develop new academic programs that sell, that are in demand, and that generate new net revenue – preferably at least 25 per program to equal $3 million.
  • Hiring practices:
    • Diversify
    • Align with goals/initiatives
    • Inclusivity
    • Passion-based
  • Eliminate silos – it is the faculty/staff within current structure that create them. Bridge community between staff and faculty, departments, etc.
  • Professional advising.
  • Find our focus (3 things; 5% better). Inspire, believe, and motivate.
  • We're selling a product – then deliver.
  • Build a stronger identity/vision. What do we stand for? What is important to us? What do we do well?
  • Build relationships/togetherness/family.
  • Hiring practices/diversify. 

Staff Sessions, December 19, 2018, Question 3 – Dot Exercise

Build community through events declared as community events, structured to break down silos; Build and strengthen sense of community among faculty, staff, students


Do a total budget review and reallocation


Be nimble; reduce red tape; launch initiatives


Build a stronger identity and be better at product identified. Sell the Stetson product (niche).


Create a model – from strategy to action.


Develop new revenue streams – sponsorships; venture funding


Look at incoming generation – adapt to their needs; include community – empathy


Develop pathways for growth and development of current employees.


Follow through on implementation on initiatives – communication and resourcing; delete ideas that haven't been/can't be done; not to-do lists.


Have more effective employee engagement – decrease silos


Budget strategic priorities : How programs are supported


Work on communication:

  • Heavy email usage
  • Faculty/Staff role – shift faculty/staff culture; modeling isolation behavior


Advising – help support faculty advising; beyond faculty; faculty/staff; FSEM or not


Have ongoing meetings – faculty/staff and community


Win NCAA CWS in Baseball


Raise money for current student scholarship support


Increase student retention – mentoring and partnering


Add opportunities for continuing students as they improve.


Value proposition – Invest in high demand/high net income academic programs; re-imagine current programs to be more applied.


Stop growing; stabilize at what we do well.


Articulate things we are already doing well – staffing plans, self-development plans


Find new sources of revenue


Get Stetson on the map.


QEP – accreditation; student success; resources; wider dissemination/communication


Get better with non-traditional student needs


Strengthen what we have with the Brown gift for health and science initiative – interdisciplinary opportunities


Align identity with market demand; Communicate more clearly.


Increase institutional self-esteem


Invest energy and time in people: retrain, identify internal pathways


Have structure for advising students to full employment


Be forward thinking – future students


Get better quality students – better retention/rigor


Make Stetson #1 private school based on strengths: music therapy; health and sciences; interdisciplinary; art therapy.


Have accelerated degree programs


Have enrollment and sustainability programs



Integrate health care programs with as many applicable programs as possible.


Want for teamwork – THILT (Trust, Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty, Transparency); Sacrifice “me” for “we.”


Staff Sessions, December 19, 2018, Question #4

Question 4: How can we (all parts of the university) work better together to achieve outcomes that help Stetson thrive?

Session “A”

  • Move students continually toward their goals.
  • Communication between staff/faculty.
  • Ownership of one's own role at college. Knowledge of not only job, but understand and aid other staff in their roles.
  • Make personal decisions to fully immerse oneself into the Stetson experience.
  • Accountability: one goal with timelines and outcomes. Own it.
  • Be knowledgeable of more events that occur for staff, faculty, and students.
  • Work as a team; be cooperative; accept differences; share experiences; agree to disagree; move forward; accountability – own it.
  • Ensure, to the best of our ability, that we invite collaboration, are open to conversations outside of our daily work.
  • Administration, staff, faculty, and students meeting together vs. separately developing goals/visions/ tasks together.
  • Identify individuals who are passionate about the same issues and have them look at feasibility of implementing strategies (to move them forward or remove them from action list). Don't put people on committees who don't want to be involved in finding solutions.
  • Improve internal communications.
  • Focus on building trust and developing functional relationships across campus. Aim to inspire and support one another.
  • More interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Become more comfortable as a university having difficult conversations (inviting them sometimes).
  • Develop a college council:
    • 8 faculty – elected
    • 8 administrator – by office
    • 8 staff positions – elected
  • Collegiality: Make our first reaction to new ideas, “How can I help?” Assume possibilities not obstacles or impositions.
  • Assume positive intent; collegiality.
  • Community building:
    • Events to celebrate accomplishments
    • Spotlights on what is currently receiving attention
  • Understanding how our different departments connect together. We need to see each other as people and not just as positions to get the work done.
  • Get out of our offices more often. Meet with co-workers across campus face-to-face over lunch or in other possible events. Instead of emailing, call or walk over.
  • Hone in on a few shared goals.
  • Create more time together.
  • Assume positive intent.
  • See each other (faculty and staff) as internal customers.
  • Must improve trust – find common ground.
  • Vision for the university; vision for customer (students). What are we there for?
  • Ownership of issues and questions. Provide assistance, even if you don't know the whole answer.
  • Build a sense of team around our common ground/mission.
  • Meet with others on campus. Communication between/among faculty, staff, and students.
  • Share information about Stetson successes.
  • Single goal (even if multiple routes) with focus on all actions toward that goal (e.g., my individual work should help those I interface with thrive; my office's work should help other offices thrive; our collective work will then already focus on thriving. As an institution of learning, I approach my work as a way to teach and learn.
  • Promote positive university-minded mentality.
  • Communication between offices, staff, faculty, etc.
  • Set common goals and articulate them.
  • Communicate timely and on important matters.
  • Let go of ego.
  • Foster a truly inclusive community where all thoughts and beliefs are welcomed.
  • Articulation/clarity of goals/procedures/responsibilities (duties).
  • Respect and value all others in the community. They are just as important and valued as I, and are working towards betterment of the university.
  • Value, appreciate, and respect the work and effort of each other. Assume that other areas are working as diligently, as long, as hard, and as frugally as you are.
  • Trust your colleagues (Harry Price); assume good intentions. Change the question: “How can I work better . . . “
  • Listen more.
  • Develop better connections to establish trust between faculty/staff.
  • Know the “common goal.” What is it?

Session “B”

  • Create a University Council: faculty, staff, administrators, and possibly students.
  • Be the best – Pick 1?
  • Sense of pride
  • Understanding the mission and taking part in it.
  • Provide skill development (leadership) within the institution.
  • Focus more on developing more positive, constructive leaders.
  • Communication. Allocation of resources.
  • Assume positive intent; communicate in a collegial manner; constructively disagree.
  • Communication: create time without the pressure of the job to get to know one another.
  • Teach, encourage individuals to have grace, patience, and love for one another.
  • Get everyone on the same page, or pushing together, or rowing in the same direction.
  • Once-a-month get-togethers – light agenda, celebrate success, communicate.
  • Communication outside departments; cooperation of departments; respect; adopt that we are “One Stetson.”
  • Check the organizational ego; be willing to reallocate or defer to the identified priority/strategy. See it as contributing or sharing in the greater good.
  • Knowing each other personally and professionally better. Understanding what each department does.
  • Focus on community-building.
  • Interdepartmental communication; understanding the goals and needs of other departments and collaborating to achieve those goals and fulfill needs. For example, one department should not have multiple university-funded retreats if another department lacks funds for normal operational expenses.
  • Get rid of the “us vs. them” attitude. Work with other areas to promote community.
  • Harry Price – “Trust your colleagues.” Sue Ryan – “Assume good intentions.” They are really the same answer.
  • Host events encouraging all peoples on campus; workshops with time allowed for these conversations (so they stop falling on deaf ears).
  • Consistency in support for various offices.
  • Communication – clear, concise plan.
  • Accountability – when we say something, we have to follow through. Do it.
  • Focus on one plan at a time.
  • More collaboration through open sessions where people share what they are working on.
  • Whatever the goal, we need to assign “owners” of the initiatives and set desired outcomes, timelines, and accountability standards.
  • Understand each other's departments better. Bigger thinking. We are all working on the same goal.
  • Customer service and learning focused.
  • Keep bigger picture in mind.
  • Employable students, etc.
  • Invest in meaningful, high-impact organizational development activity.
  • Encourage and support (incentivize) cross-boundary partnerships and experiences. Punish divisiveness and territorialism.
  • Build Stetson “citizenship” by requiring everyone to have broad understanding of the University and what other people do.
  • Hiring practices that are inclusive, diverse with passionate people that will drive our vision and what we say is Stetson's identity.
  • Eliminating disconnect and really tackling the campus climate, not just talking about it.
  • We market that Stetson is about the people; we need to question the mindset and willingness to evolve our current structure. Remain teachable. How much conversation do we need to have before we start driving the needle and community common theme being campus climate; begins with people identity in community, but are we great at it? Seems we are falling short of everyone's expectations.
  • Eliminate barriers; create a large community that values respect and the input from each other.
  • Make time to connect/prioritize community.
  • Assume positive intent.
  • Communication, participation, and innovation.
  • Utilize our resources within our departments and one another. We are each experts in our own areas; we should use that expertise to its fullest potential.
  • Communication.
  • Understanding each other's impact (importance) on the overall goal. Each puzzle piece is important.

Staff Sessions, December 19, 2018, Question #5

Question 5: What action steps do we take to continue today's conversation?

Session “A”

  • Continue to cycle through faculty, staff, and students to expand these conversations. Report at all faculty/staff meetings on content and action items taken from them.
  • Choose a direction(s) and move . . . stop talking only. Stop the conversation and act.
  • Review the Strategic Map/Plan related to the SACS visit. Spruce it up; do a new one.
  • Open an online blog community page for ongoing comments.
  • “Cloud Source” feedback to support priorities.
  • Clearly communicate the outcomes of the various Deltona meetings.
  • Identify strong common themes.
  • Devise a workable plan to address those themes (the top few).
  • Set up 4:00 sessions once per month with minimalist agenda: Social Time.
    • What's been happening?
    • Celebrations
    • Socializing
  • Have department heads, deans, VPs, etc., share the conversation with their respective departments. Continue to share information on what other departments do and how we can work together for a common goal – to make the students love Stetson.
  • Spread the word among our co-workers and encourage each other with positive feedback.
  • Provide feedback after taken to/discussed at Cabinet. Determine the top three strategies and move forward with them to see them through. Create environment where we are all on the same goal.
  • Group discussion to identify which topics to continue with and then specify what action should be taken to complete them (then complete them). Identify which topics are not a goal at this time and set them aside so that the discussion can remain purposeful and forward-driven towards a final result.
  • Take the lead on scheduling a regular community event. Focus on positive affirmation about university and stop negative reference by staff.
  • These have been community-building events, at least primarily. Maybe there is some (limited) need for venting sessions: people need to know that their unhappiness is acknowledged. MORE IMPORTANT, future sessions need to be goal-oriented. They should have specific results (not narrowly defined, but specific).
  • More groupings like today, not based on positions.
  • Identify goals from these discussions and set deadlines for working on/achieving them.
  • Identify and recognize/reward the good work being done.
  • Develop opportunities for more faculty/staff/student engagement.
  • Create space/time for more cross-pollination – all of us individually and collectively.
  • Create a process to develop more trust and place to? budgetary process.
  • Set time to get together.
  • Celebrate accomplishments.
  • Come up with a greeting.
  • Examples of shared service
  • Cross-pollinate – get different groups together to experience each other's passion (e.g., faculty to football game; athletic staff to lecture).
  • Adjust our perspective. Learn to listen to co-workers; appreciate each other.
  • Don't assume malice or that others don't care.
  • Each interaction with each other is its own event.
  • Be intentional.
  • Monthly community events.
  • Individually, have these conversations with those in our areas and start formulating micro-actions, behaviors to change once we leave this room. As a group, less formal follow-up among the people here today; maybe facilitate a lunch for smaller groups or form small groups (three to four people) to meet again in x days to discuss what we've done differently.
  • Communicate strategic committee decisions about these discussion and financial decisions.
  • Bring together faculty/staff/students to share this information.
  • Set up meeting and communication opportunities.
  • Celebrate accomplishments, staff publications, faculty accomplishments.
  • Action steps:
    • Define goals
    • Prioritize goals and anticipated outcomes
    • Assign owners
    • Develop timelines
    • Report outcomes.
  • Identify goals from these meetings; develop a priority and core list; compile a steering group; set goal and work to that end.
  • Have an email sent out with the tallies for the suggested short-term key activities to the group. Are there any that you feel either you or your department could contribute/help in seeing those key activities come to light? Share the thoughts with the team.
  • Disseminate action items that received the most support. Ask all participants to select the top two items. Then, administration needs to develop a plan to fund, staff, and complete these items.
  • Implement today's actions. Disseminate information.
  • Consider a follow-up meeting and/or take information to our departments. Share those conversations are happening.
  • Move forward by us individually walking the talk outside these doors and model to our areas/community.
  • Continue with off-campus sessions, but put plans in place to show how these conversations are helping us as a community. Thus ensuring that individuals will want to continue to share their thoughts because they see where doing so is making a difference. Show results – make people see value in having conversations.
  • Choose the ideas most relevant to us as individuals and build it into daily practice.
  • Call, don't email.
  • Give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
  • Host gathering opportunities. 

Session “B”

  • Identify themes and formulate a path for moving from ideas to action.
  • Compile the raw data from these meetings and let several people take a shot at working through and identifying themes.
  • Follow-up summary to group; group share messages; consolidate discussion into most important.
  • Start to move the needle on the common theme that is affecting our community. As we talk, it seems we may have an assumed identity, community, that is impacting student, faculty, and staff perception of Stetson.
  • As we take steps, discuss what has worked and what hasn't, but that we are actually looking to make movement.
  • Remain teachable and intentional.
  • Define and prioritize goals.
  • Assign “owners.”
  • Be accountable for timelines and outcomes.
  • Seek health-related proposals from all university units. Seek a program wish list from current, prospective, and alumni. (program RFPS – informal).
  • Collaborative sessions on the books. Fill with 10- to 15-minute case studies of current initiatives or ideas.
  • Set a goal and go!
  • Define what will be focused on and implemented.
  • Identify the measurables.
  • Intentional accountability.
  • Higher up leadership doesn't just collect, but shows how we can implement, etc.
  • Find and show campus-wide conversation, discussion, communication. PRIDE.
  • Follow-up; continue these meetings and discuss the progress we are making on the concerns mentioned today.
  • Share with our departments and get their input. Encourage their participation in future events.
  • Use the “dot” issue to organize campus-wide discussions. Make those discussions action-oriented.
  • Practice, practice, practice so we get 5% better per month in community-building. Learn techniques. Develop community muscle and exercise them.
  • Open forums – perhaps still smaller groups, then move those ideas forward to larger groups, and then encompass the entire campus.
  • Say “hello.” Take time out of the day to recognize individuals.
  • Keep open the lines of communication.
  • Go the extra mile; start out with a positive note.
  • Share positive ideas generated in this meeting with others not present today.
  • Focus on positives and practice intentionality and collegiality in daily interactions.
  • Regularly scheduled meetings a least two times a year.
  • Include others to enlist greater buy-in and ideas.
  • Communicate updates on process and decisions and ongoing feedback via “cloud sourcing” message.
  • Identify focus and move forward.
  • Faculty/staff gatherings at off-campus location; focus groups; student viewpoints.
  • Common hour.
  • Make final decision.
  • A note from the leadership on what they want to emphasize, what is important to them, so that we can build accountability.
  • A global view of our schedule – Is it possible to create a common time? 90 minutes in a week?
  • Compile results; communicate results; identify top issues; focus on those; get buy-in; resource the issue.
  • Set attainable goals, timeline, reconvene, assess; repeat.
  • Report on these meetings to the community. Select three action areas and make it happen.
  • Continue group meetings; mix faculty/staff/students; break out of our offices and get to know one another (e.g., spotlight series; 5 minutes with _____; Captain's Table).
  • Break silos – include staff, faculty, and students in next conversation.
  • Timeline?
  • Have the student session and then invite all participants of the sessions back to a cross-pollinating meeting to report out and volunteer to plan. 

Staff Sessions, December 19, 2018, Question #6

Session “A”

To enable Stetson to thrive, if the University would ____________________________,


then I could contribute to Stetson by _______________________________.

adapt to change and help current employees learn,

fostering an environment of learning and sharing.


set a vision,

reinforcing that vision to everyone, both “of” Stetson and “outside” Stetson, getting everyone on board.


build a better sense of community,

engaging in that community.


be clearer with a few goals,


better focus my work.

treat each staff (regardless of position) with the same level of importance, in terms of compensation and recognition for work,


being even more motivated to do work outside of my immediate area.

continue to be open-minded and open to all thoughts and opinions,


feeling more support in my job and in what I do and actually enjoy coming to work every day.


set some new strategic map goals,


assisting in a strategic map team formation.

better communicate strategic priorities,

funneling those priorities into my area of work.


allow everyone to be a part of the conversation,


being honest without worrying about how my words are taken.

choose a bold (but clear) strategic direction,

putting my passion and energy into that direction.


more readily explain the goals and initiatives that are important to individual departments,


providing the resources and people to help them achieve.

provide its staff/faculty the needed resources,


being my best self, which in turn will help make me my best employee/worker.



To enable Stetson to thrive, if the University would ____________________________,


then I could contribute to Stetson by _______________________________.

be a place that prioritized community engagement,

providing/organizing those events. I would encourage connectedness within and throughout all university groups (faculty, staff, and students).


implement a structured on-boarding specific to job responsibilities,

performing my duties more efficiently and be brought up to speed more quickly.


break down personal agendas and broaden its vision for future programs,


giving of myself through time and labor to see the future happen.

listen to all voices,

being a good steward of the mission.


express the reasons for campus changes, whether faculty-, staff-, or student-driven,

encouraging the Stetson community to express their ideas and let them know their ideas can turn into real world applications.


implement football scholarships,

raising more money through gifts and other revenue sources.


grow revenue,

being able to better support faculty and staff talent by compensation and improve student learning and experience.


consider additional expansion and upgrading of residential facilities,

enrolling students who are willing to invest more into better accommodations, stay on campus longer, generating more of a community feel.


communicate goals and procedures in a clear and timely manner,

sharing the information with those around me and follow the procedures in the most efficient way that I can.


be open to ideas to move forward regardless of the “amount of work,”

developing new ideas and trying to get things implemented through teamwork.


fire the Faculty Senate,

helping form a new entity to replace the Senate.


set three clearly defined and articulated goals that are regularly communicated,

building my office's and team members' goals to support the university's goals to ensure we are moving forward in partnership.



To enable Stetson to thrive, if the University would ____________________________,


then I could contribute to Stetson by _______________________________.

create space to make changes,

volunteering my time/abilities to research and implement change.


create community days,

participating. This would create ways to bring faculty/staff/students together to know each other better and celebrate achievements.


Session “B” 

To enable Stetson to thrive, if the University would ____________________________,


then I could contribute to Stetson by _______________________________.

define (re-define) itself,

selling the Stetson product more effectively.


continue to be transparent and give raises to hourly,


continuing to get my team to do their best.

choose a strategic initiative,

ensuring my unit got on board.


everyone moving in the same general direction,


helping it thrive.

make clear priorities,

being more effective by getting on board and providing support.


provide more support staff,

serving more constituents, seeking more financial resources, and representing the university off campus.


define goals and purpose,

understanding and communicating this to others and moving myself in the common direction.


provide the adequate and necessary resources,

providing a safe service to the faculty, staff, and student community.


continue to desire to be the best place/university for our students, faculty, and staff,

continuing to work hard and being thankful that I work at such a great place. I feel blessed to be here.


To enable Stetson to thrive, if the University would ____________________________,


then I could contribute to Stetson by _______________________________.

invest more in staff development,

bringing more to my position as it is so public-focused.


Stop evaluating each other,

achieving much more as I would not have to defend against my colleagues.


create opportunities for faculty/staff interaction

leading workshops for faculty, creating dialogue regarding students they may be concerned about.


challenge itself,



offer more professional development opportunities,


Feeling confident in my skills.

appreciate my contributions,

staying longer than planned and/or donating financially.


invest in culture (our image, attitude, accountability),

bringing energy and well would be motivated to be great.


invest in campus-wide communication, respect, and adherence,


having more pride in being a Stetson Hatter and what I do for and with the community.

intentionally set and communicate a cohesive identity,


following through.

set a cohesive goal for our next big step,

leaning in and doing everything that I could to be a practitioner and evangelist for that goal to my fellow faculty and staff members, my student workers, and all with whom I interact.


purposefully identify and eliminate sacred cows,

operating unimpeded to create programs that bring significant, positive attention to Stetson.


support the staff/faculty with talent that can make an impact,

continuing to build a community of excellence.


assign more money to attract more, better students and increase retention,


raising more endowment money to fund scholarships.