Rollins Announces Minor in Leadership at Hamilton Holt School

August 19, 2022

By Laura J. Cole ’04 ’08MLS

Anchored in Rollins’ liberal arts ethos, the new leadership minor is designed to help students actively understand and address ever-evolving, multidimensional issues across disciplines and organizations.

Beginning this term, Rollins is offering a minor in leadership for students in the Hamilton Holt School of Professional Advancement. Designed to bolster professional skills that can be used in all aspects of one’s life, the new minor was created to help students tackle ever-evolving challenges in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous—or VUCA—world.

Based on the leadership theories of Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, the acronym was first used in 1987 when the collapse of the USSR resulted in the U.S. no longer having one clearly defined enemy and thus needing new ways of understanding the world. The acronym is just as applicable in our post-pandemic, post-truth political world—as is the need for multidimensional leadership in business, politics, and interpersonal relationships.

“The world is calling for individuals with a deep understanding of how to be impactful, responsible leaders,” says Rick Bommelje, program director and professor of communication studies. “Our program is based on the approach that leadership is not about title, position, or authority. It’s much broader and, quite frankly, even more significant than that. It’s about tackling tough, adaptive challenges that we all experience on a fairly regular basis.”

The new program draws on the strength of a Rollins liberal arts education and is strongly rooted in the College’s mission to educate for global citizenship and responsible leadership. After completing the program, students will have gained skills in problem solving, including how to design, evaluate, and implement strategies that address complex organizational needs and goals; ethical reasoning, including how to recognize and assess right and wrong human conduct and consider the ramifications of alternative actions; and civic engagement, including how to make a difference in professional, civic, and community life.

Students are required to complete six courses. As part of the requirements, students can select three elective courses in disciplines ranging from communication and psychology to business management and health-care management, including Listening, Persuasion Theory, Ethics, Responsible Business Leadership, and Health Strategic Management and Leadership. The three core courses include Foundations in Leadership, Leadership and Citizenship in Action, and Capstone in Leadership. For the latter, students will develop a personal philosophy statement and put it in action by working with a local nonprofit to address adaptive challenges in the organization.

Current students interested in more information or starting the minor this semester, please contact Rick Bommelje at

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