Second day. Groups lacked focus and were too large. Summary didn't match discussion. Train facilitators.
Smaller groups were needed. Perhaps 2 or 3 smaller groups on each area would have been better.
First day was overwhelming- too "content" oriented, not process oriented.
Preparation for strategic thinking. Breakout groups were too large. Facilitators needed some training. Summary and presentation of discussion sessions.
Breakout sessions were a bit unwieldy 20 would be ideal. Get better facilitators (Group #5 lacked meaningful direction) I was a bit disappointed by Mr. Dickey- he was touted as an expert but wasn't that impressive.
Time. Second day activities needed more time (possibly 2 days). No minority students represented.
Community and student input would have been valuable.
Some participants do not have the background to understand and fully participate (engage) in some of the "academic" concepts, approaches, etc.
Inherent skepticism of past must be overcome.
Blending of academics and administrators.
A bit more of a "tent revival" than I would prefer.
We didn't spend any time on the weaknesses of UA.
Goals from breakout groups seemed unclear. Hard to see where the process was going. It seemed we went nowhere but back to the original draft of superlatives.
Very little diversity, almost none! Everyone here is in the "academic bubble" too much agreement; because everyone thinks alike! Not many "original" creative ideas. It seems most opinions expressed were formed before retreat (Probably, in conversation with other attendants). I wonder what we missed from people not associated with U of Akron, that could have participated?
Too little discipline in breakout discussions. I cannot tell whether these sections are too large or too small. Need clearer focus-more limited objectives- for both presentations and discussions.
Did not explain the process how vision effects mission effects strategic plans.
Have the retreat in late August or during semester break or end at 3 so that we can get some of our daily work done. (It's not just hours, but timelines that matter)
On second day, far too much scribbling on sheets and not enough fuller development of ideas.
The first day in the afternoon, was not as organized as the morning, we seemed to lose the "edge" on the discussion.
Groups too large to allow for focused discussion.
Could have used more specifics of what is each expected in/out of each session as it fits into the larger process (we did get much of the overall info/descriptions of process, but could have emphasized, "in this session do x specifically")
Breakout groups were very large Would have liked a "homework assignment" prior to the retreat so that I felt more prepared
Professional facilitators who were not stakeholders would have been useful.
The session from 1-2:30 on the second day ran out of steam. Group 3 sort of spun its wheels, going over lots of ground it had covered from 10:30-noon.
The breakout groups seemed too large. Led to a little bit of problems with getting off task. Involve more diverse students for greater student perspective.
Groups too large- train facilitators better to structure conversation more productively need to be more on task but free-flow within task
Dolence had a very valuable perspective but he could have condensed the information into 2 hours. It would have been good to have a 2nd guest speaker with a 2nd set of facts and a 2nd perspective. Name labels didn't stick well.
Expectations not defined clearly enough.
None that I can think of.
Lack of time to interact with speakers. Being able to get deeper into his ideas and ask questions.
No Faculty Involvement. Most of the ideas are abstract & un-reachable.
Not sufficiently focused.
The scope of the content was overwhelming, but I believe just starting the process and seeing the level of complication was important.
Final presentations were long and not energizing. A more inspirational ending would be a great send off!
Afternoon of the first day could have been broken up so that mental awareness did not diminish the longer we sat.
Too much data/info in the small of a time phase. Too many people in breakout groups.
Small group presentations. Very unorganized, unfocused. Should have been more structured-There should have been a prescribed outline for them to follow.
Not enough time.
Inability of some to open up to new ideas. Get over the old problems.
Too long in one group on second day.
The same diversity that results in unique solutions, also "bogs down" the process and results in territoriality in problem solving. First day presentations got a little "off touch" during the last hour away from strategies and more show & tell.
Lack of clarity in exploration of the key terms, concepts, & overall shape of the process, e.g. "Forces."
Too much time allocated for breakout group sessions. Discussion lagged & became boring, redundant.
I would have liked to have had an opportunity to review materials before our meeting (i.e. book by Prahalad). All participants should have read this book in advance.
Lack of resources and staff. Lack of staff training. Lack of coordination between disciplines.
A lot of information to get through in a short time. This isn't necessarily bad!
Lack of 2 opinions on way to go. Mr. Dolence was good, but are there any other expert opinions to solicit.
Too much time on curriculum planning during Wednesday session. The Thursday "pm" agenda was too much-too quickly-too soon. "Turf" issues were very evident in our group-lack of trust within the academy.
Lack of focus/uncertainty of goals. Inability to see outside our area. Can't expect faculty to administrate.
The make up of the group was designed for diversity of backgrounds & experience. Much of the discussion was involved in admissions policy, registration concerns. Academic concerns & some participants in service areas were sort of out of their element.
Time to focus . . . need more to refine. Breakouts too big. Hard to come together.
Tried to focus on too many points, got "fuzzified."
Too much dwelling on details rather than big picture in breakout session.
Facilitator should have kept group more on task-discussion became too personal.
Needs to know up front what will happen beyond today-not the specifics just a general idea of where the information gathered here will go next & a general time-line for us to expect to see results, i.e. Council of Deans, etc. will review list selected for immediate attention will be discussed with Kirkland to determine possibilities for funding. Do this at once!!
Input of Ken Dickey-somewhat inconsistent.
Too much emphasis on the classroom with no attention to the balance of the campus, i.e,: student life, faculty, staff, alums, citizens, taxpayers, business leaders. Not entrepreneurial enough-too bureaucratic.
The entire faculty must hear this message. They must implement needed changes. No one was willing to talk about the biggest change at this University in recent years - the political takeover of the BOT. The lawyers that the University must employ contribute to the political campaigns of the politicians in power (Beacon Journal). At times they cause more problems than they solve. Is the object of this extensive building programs being done for the same purpose - to contribute to campaign funds? What is the significance of the resulting debt service? What will be the effect of higher fees to the students even with better facilities-lower or higher enrollment? Will higher fees and lower pay raises to faculty cause a union in the near future? These questions for obvious reasons were not discussed but are extremely critical to the future of the University; the students and the careers of those employed here as well as the issues that were discussed.
Not enough focus & direction for groups. (Needed some "standing" breaks during the first day so blood could circulate).
Focus groups needed some direction.
Needs a secondary breakdown of the focus groups to further discuss each aspect.
Dolence was in the box. In the time he had be should have been able to talk more broadly about emerging ideas in the field of education.
Groups may be a bit too large-20 or less may be a bit more manageable.
Facilitator training, guidelines & focus. Ours did very well, but could have kept us on track better with training.
Smaller discussion groups at some points that would allow more comments.
Nothing in particular comes to mind, although some folks commented on comfort of the furniture & closeness of tables in the large meeting room.
The discussion groups were too large. The discussion topics were too broad. Facilitators were too flexible.
First day all lectures.
Research is not visible in the agenda. Are we moving forwards to become a strong research university?
Need to exposure prior retreat to University's funding and regulatory framework. Do inviolable conditions exist? Breakout groups were too large. Some did not talk, some talked too much, a smaller group would facilitate discussion, e.g. 15 people in the group, not 30.
Trained facilitators in strategy to lead the groups.
Maybe too large groups. First day focus on online course seemed unbalanced as far as opportunities.
Good Speaker (Dolence) but I felt that there was too much emphasis on the Internet as the solution to everything.
Should have been each year in August. No weaknesses.
Too much sitting. Lack of focus & structure for breakout groups. One facilitator was too directive in her approach. Too much food - while enjoyable, it encourages prolonged breaks, and the effect was sleepy participants.
Breakout sessions too nebulous, and contained too many people. Need more targeted mission.
Since 93 percent of the budget comes from enrollment, perhaps more time should have been spent on the strategy to increase enrollment.
Discomfort at crawling out of boxes. Need to think bigger.
Briefings on firstt day. Dickey briefing was too general. Dolence briefing was highly informed, however, he really could have presented it in 1-1/2 or 2 hours. Final plenary briefings detailed. More time should be given to them.
Not always certain that we were doing. (But thinking as opposed to planning had liberating effects.) Breakout session dragged towards the end.
Need more representation of newer faculty on campus.
Dolence, while good, needed a more streamlined presentation; more focused, more Q &A!
Pet Rocks! This is unavoidable - some folks brought their personal groups agenda's that aren't necessarily for the good of the cause.