Letter From President Underwood

August 15, 2012


Mercer University Family,William D. Underwood

As this new academic year begins, I want to invite your participation in an important University process. Mercer University is beginning its preparations for the next reaffirmation of our accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), scheduled for spring 2015. A central part of this preparation is the selection and development of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) – a five-year plan for an initiative that will enhance student learning. The topic selection process will begin in earnest this fall semester and your input is valued and needed.

A successful QEP topic will reflect Mercer's mission and core values. It will be consistent with our vision of Mercer's future, as laid out in our ten-year strategic plan. And it will be informed by our institutional assessment processes. Most importantly, the QEP is more than a SACSCOC requirement, because enhancing the quality of student learning is at the heart of what we do at Mercer. An effective QEP begins with broad-based institutional involvement, and I encourage the entire University community to participate in the process of identifying the focus of this important initiative. Discuss your ideas with your colleagues; join campus conversations about student learning and the learning environment; submit your ideas for an initiative that has the potential to enhance significantly the student learning experience at Mercer.

Please visit the Office of Institutional Effectiveness Website (oie.mercer.edu/qep) for more information about the topic selection process and QEP resources. Proposals are due by November 15 and will be reviewed by a QEP Screening Committee, who will recommend three-five topics to the SACSCOC Leadership Team. I hope to announce the focused topic of our QEP by mid-March and charge a QEP Steering Committee with its development at that time. Your involvement is key to helping Mercer University invest its resources and energies in a student learning initiative that will build on our strengths and increase our effectiveness.

Bill Underwood
Mercer University