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Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning 2020:

Rollins' Response to COVID-19

In spring 2020, President Cornwell convened three strategic task forces focused on delivering the College's mission in the face of COVID-19.

  • The College’s COVID-19 Response Team, appointed in January 2020, meets twice a week, providing recommendations and assessments, and applying Federal, State, and local guidelines and emergency orders to keep our campus community safe and informed. This task force focuses its expertise on risk management, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, and the security of our campus. To learn more about the work of the Response Team, please visit Keeping Tars Safe.

  • In April 2020, President Cornwell charged the Strategic Financial Planning Task Force, composed of faculty and staff, and led by Vice Presidents Ed Kania and Laurie Houck, with assessing the potential financial impacts of COVID-19 on Rollins and developing possible responses. The President’s Cabinet will review the recommendations of the Financial Strategic Planning Task Force and present an integrated plan to the Board of Trustees in May 2020. Click here to see the task force charge and membership list.

  • President Cornwell convened a third task force in April 2020, with the charge of developing plans for the fall 2020 semester to deliver the College’s core educational mission with the highest integrity while adhering to the best public health practices and guidance. Task Force Fall 2020: Delivering on Our Mission, chaired by Vice Presidents Mamta Accapadi and Susan Rundell Singer and comprising a cross-divisional team of faculty and staff, will consider scenarios for delivering our educational program under a range of conditions. The task force will submit its recommendations to the President’s Cabinet for review and integration into the comprehensive plan presented to the Board of Trustees in May 2020. The task force charge and membership list are available here.

Our 2017 Strategic Framework: An Overview

In May 2017, at the conclusion of a year of rigorous research to establish our benchmark institutions, diligent work by 13 strategic planning task forces, and collaboration among all constituencies, the Rollins College Board of Trustees approved the College’s 2017 Strategic Framework.

The framework structures the initiatives proposed in response to the strategic questions posed by President Cornwell at the start of the 2016-17 academic year, undergirded by the three purposes of our strategic planning (strengthening the integrity of our mission, strengthening our market position, and building a strong sense of shared vision) and defined by the three themes that emerged in the planning process: engaging our students, delivering on our promises, and strengthening our strategic assets.

Implementation of initiatives began in 2017-18. The framework serves as both a roadmap for implementation and a gauge for measuring progress and success. It is not a fixed plan, but an organic, iterative process where initiatives may generate new initiatives as we move forward with strategic planning always in mind.

To keep all of the College’s constituents informed of our plans, the framework’s themes and main initiatives are provided below. Please click the links to view examples of action milestones associated with the main themes. 

Engage Our Students
We will build upon our tradition of innovation in our educational programs so that we become a national model for engaged learning.

  • Assure that students find Rollins intellectually and professionally rewarding, with a thoughtful process for selection of major.
  • Establish Center for Global Initiatives, elevating and manifesting our commitment to comprehensive educational preparation for global citizenship.
  • Establish Center for Civic Engagement, elevating and unifying our robust programs in civic and community engagement, social innovation, and social entrepreneurship.
  • Assure that all students engage in experiential learning, creating essential connections between knowledge and practice.
  • Increase options for on-campus student housing, enabling more students to experience the full potential of living and learning in a campus community.

Deliver on Our Promises
We will commit to the academic and post-graduate success of each of our students.

  • Increase commitment to diversity and inclusion, building a campus community that reflects the world our alumni will lead.
  • Assure that students are prepared to make a successful transition from their Rollins educational experiences to their post-graduate aspirations, with an integrated approach to academic, career, and life planning and advising throughout their four years.
  • Renew our commitment to the Hamilton Holt School and its foundation in the essential quality and rigor associated with a Rollins education.

Strengthen Our Strategic Assets
We will invest in areas essential to our prosperity and competitive advantage: our people, our workplace culture, our campus, and our strategic information.

  • Develop the unique synergies of the Innovation Triangle:
      - Expand The Alfond Inn to provide additional scholarship support and capacity for participants in executive education and cultural programs.
      - Plan a new Crummer School facility with leading-edge spaces for contemporary business teaching, learning, and research.
      - Plan a new art museum to enhance engagement with the critical and creative study of art across all disciplines.
  • Develop guidelines to assure competitive, objectively derived compensation for our talented and dedicated faculty and staff.
  • Invest resources in data analytics, collection, and analysis to improve the integration of our strategic information. 

About Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is not an event, or even a process with a beginning and an end, but rather an organizational mindset, a way of thinking about Rollins as a college in a perpetual process of change. With the College's mission squarely in focus, this perpetual process is rigorously informed by research, assessment, data collection and analysis, innovation, and decisive action. 

A Conversation with the President

President Cornwell’s reflected recently on the College’s new Strategic Framework, it’s initial implementation and the power of a shared direction. To learn more, read A Shared Vision for our Future.

Planning Progress Update Reports Posted

All StrategyBlocks Planning Progress Reports are posted to the College's Canvas Strategic Planning Site.  Members of the Strategic Planning Team meet with representatives from each Strategic Task Force once each semester to confirm action items and obtain completion updates.

Strategic Framework and Implementation Plans Approved by Board of Trustees

Following a process of rigorous research, honest appraisal of our strengths and weaknesses, creative problem solving, and collaborative deliberation, the College's 2017 Strategic Framework was approved by the Board of Trustees on May 12, 2017. A presentation slide deck, Strategic Framework, and detailed Strategic Planning Implementation Matrix are posted to the Canvas Strategic Planning Site: Strategic Framework page. A Town Hall meeting for the community to announce the goals and objectives for this cycle of planning initiatives was held on May 18, 2017.

Where We've Been; Where We're Going with Planning

Where We’re Going

2019-2020:  Ongoing implementation and progress tracking; assessment of initiatives and the planning process; preparation of final report on 2017 Strategic Framework Initiatives to Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff. Review, approval, and implementation of Strategic Planning 2020 task force initiatives and recommendations.

Fall 2020:  Implementation and tracking of Strategic Planning 2020 initiatives and recommendations.

Spring 2021: Conditions permitting, renew the planning process.

Where We’ve Been


August:  Mission reaffirmed

September:  Mission alignment reports, campus-wide SWOT analyses, and early research analytics

October-November:  Strategic questions framed; task forces named and working. Task forces hold open forums for input and ideas in proposed recommendations.

December:  Taskforce progress reports, including recommendations, submitted and posted. Chairs and co-chairs collaborate to coordinate overlapping recommendations.


January:  Taskforce recommendations vetted with the campus community to create an inclusive list of recommendations to advance the College’s mission.

February:  Sharing and prioritization of recommendations. Faculty governance review and approval for curricular matters, if required. Recommendations shared with the Board of Trustees.

March:  Alignment of proposed initiatives with resources. Learning outcomes or administrative effectiveness assessment plans for proposed initiatives developed.

May:  Board of Trustees reviews and approves proposed strategic initiatives.

September:  Implementation of strategic initiatives begins.

October:  Strategic Planning Team members meet with Task Force chairs and prepare progress reports to the Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff.

November:  Strategic Planning Team implements a process for tracking adjustments to initiatives.


January:  Ongoing implementation of strategic initiatives.

February:  Strategic Planning Team members meet with Task Force chairs and prepare progress reports for Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff.

May:  Update reports to Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff.


January:  Ongoing implementation of strategic initiatives.

February:  Strategic Planning Team members meet with Task Force chairs and prepare progress reports for Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff.

March:  Strategic Planning Team assessment of the planning process. The decision to continue implementation and assessment for a fourth year to accommodate major capital projects.


January:  Ongoing implementation and progress tracking for 2017 Strategic Framework initiatives; assessment of implemented initiatives and the planning process. Appointment of Strategic Planning 2020 COVID-19 Response Team.

March-April:  Preparation of 2017 Strategic Planning Framework final results report. Appointment of Strategic Planning 2020 Financial Planning and Fall 2020: Delivering on Our Mission task forces.

Planning Projects Archive

Strategic Capital Projects Well Underway

As part of the planning process, four significant capital projects were identified as strategic priorities for the College: renovation of Mills Memorial Hall, a new Student Residential Complex, a new Black Box Theater, and development of an Innovation Triangle that integrates an expansion of The Alfond Inn with new facilities for the Crummer Graduate School of Business and art museum. To see architectural renderings and learn more about progress, please visit the College’s Capital Projects website.

Strategic Task Force Report Update

Thank you to all members of the College’s 13 Strategic Task Forces for completing thorough and systematic preliminary or final reports in December.  There is no question that these efforts provided substantive guidance in charting the way forward for Rollins. President Cornwell provided feedback to all Task Force chairs and met individually with each group to review the work.  Final reports are posted to the Canvas Strategic Planning Site as completed and Town Hall meetings for community feedback were held.

Benchmarking Peer Group

After much work and consultation, a methodology and criterion for establishing the College's peer benchmarking group was approved by the College of Liberal Arts faculty in December 2016. To learn more, read the Peer Benchmarking Criterion Whitepaper.

Final Report on SWOT Analysis

In Fall 2016, the Strategy Team completed work to analyze fully the campus strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats through SWOT exercises.  Campus results are triangulated to independent research studies completed by Generation in the Final Report of SWOT Exercises now posted to the Canvas Strategic Planning Community Site.

Strategic Planning Task Force Open Forums

Four strategic planning task forces held open forums to share progress in November 2016. 

Task Force 1: Undergraduate Curriculum: Balancing of Majors and Elaborating the Mission

Specifically seeking input on:
1) What should the distribution of majors be? How should we envision what distribution of majors we would like to steer toward?
2) How might we try to move toward an envisioned distribution of majors?

        Weds., Nov. 2, 4:00 p.m., Bush 176
        Fri., Nov. 4, 4:00 p.m., Reeves Lodge

 Task Force 7: Civic Engagement & Community-Based Learning

        Weds. Nov. 9, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Bieberbach-Reed
        Mon., Nov. 14, 2:00-3:00 p.m., Bieberbach-Reed

 Task Force 8: Post Graduate Direction and Success

        Thurs., Nov. 10, 11:00 a.m., Olin 230

 Task Force 2: Integration of Global Learning Experiences

        Mon., Nov. 14, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Location: SunTrust Auditorium

Planning Update Forums

Updates on strategic planning are presented periodically to faculty/staff, the Faculty Executive Council, the President's Administrative Council, the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the Board of Trustees. 
Click Here to See the Presentation Slides
Click Here to Visit the Canvas Community Site and Learn More About the Aggregate SWOT Reports

Academic and Student Affairs Mission Reports Available

Each academic and student affairs department prepared a brief connecting our educational programs to our institutional mission.
Click Here to Visit the Canvas Community Site and View the Reports

External Scan to Inform Strategic Planning Released

The updated external environmental scan for Rollins now available on the Canvas Community Site (campus log-in required) along with selected higher education literature intended to inform the planning process.
Click here to View the Report

Strategic Questions Framed and Task Forces Established

Twelve strategic questions grounded in the campus SWOT exercises, informed by the external scan and Admissions market position research data were announced by Dr. Cornwell in mid-September 2016.  Task forces have been established to explore these questions and report back to the community as we craft a plan for how best to move Rollins forward.
Click Here to See a List of Task Forces and Chairs/Co-Chairs

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Strategic Planning
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