A Message From the Dean: Welcome Back to Crummer
As Crummer welcomes our new fall students to campus, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for your patience and cooperation over the past six months, and share a couple of updates with you.
More than a month ago, during the first week of August, Crummer welcomed back to campus our returning students for our Summer II term. Crummer’s successful reopening served as the College’s beta test for many of Rollins’ fall Covid protocols, including wellness testing, mandatory face masks, socially distanced seating, and simultaneous virtual and in-person instruction. (Please see the Rollins website on Keeping Tars Safe for a detailed description of Rollins and Crummer safety protocols and FAQs.)
During the Summer II term, Crummer students were given the option of attending in person or virtually in a synchronous classroom experience, as well as the flexibility to move between the environments as needed following safety protocols. We were also the first group on campus to implement the new CampusClear daily wellness monitoring app.
I am pleased to be able to report that we were successful in Summer II and Orientation Week with our goal of creating a safe environment in which our students were able to receive the high-touch, collaborative education for which Crummer is known. Our faculty members have been amazing in their adaptability and enthusiasm, embracing change as an opportunity to adopt new technologies and approaches. And their innovations will continue to improve upon the Crummer experience long after the pandemic has passed.
Crummer is now ready to continue delivering our mission of creating global, responsible and innovative leaders on campus for Fall.
Our students who participated in our Summer II programming and new student orientations already noticed things look a little bit different on campus; however, students’ educational journey, and our promise to deliver our mission remain the same.
We are fortunate that all throughout Rollins preparation and detailed plans for campus safety has taken place, with over 20 teams working tirelessly all summer preparing for the campus wide return of students. Again, I invite you to peruse the Rollins website on Keeping Tars Safe for a summary and updates.
In addition to a successful transition back to campus environment in Summer II and for new student orientations, we have also seen great success in attracting new students who are beginning their Crummer journeys this Fall. While many business schools have struggled to attract and retain students since the pandemic began, we are fortunate to be able to report close to a 30% increase in our fall enrollments over last year. By fully integrating our marketing and recruiting efforts, introducing new tools and processes, and starting the recruitment cycle earlier—well before the pandemic began—we were able to establish a model that has enabled us to thrive during these uncertain times. These achievements are evidence of the excellence of our Crummer faculty and staff!
This past summer, we also began a renewed community-wide journey to underline the importance of racial justice. We joined Rollins’ President, Grant Cornwell, in leveraging this opportunity to expand our efforts–in coordination with the wider campus community–to increase awareness and action around this important issue. As Crummer Dean, I asked Dr. Mary Conway Dato-on to lead a Crummer initiative to orchestrate a constellation of convening groups across all stakeholder segments of Crummer. The goal of this group, comprised of myself and other faculty, staff and student volunteers, is to provide a safe and welcoming environment to address racial justice at Crummer, as well as to consider how Crummer can be a leader in facilitating the wider racial justice conversation within the business community.
We also introduced a variety of webinar events and newsletter articles on the topic of racial justice to spark further conversation within our community. We want to continue to hear from you to expand the scope of our racial justice activities. Please reach out to me, Dr. Conway Dato-on, or Mike Brown should you wish to share further ideas.
While we take a moment to recognize what has been accomplished, we also realize that a great deal more hard work and uncertainty lies ahead. As schools across the region open their doors and welcome students back, we will be continually challenged in our efforts to provide a safe and collaborative learning environment. Our promise to our students and the entire Crummer and Rollins community is that we will do everything we can to deliver on our commitment to excellence—by providing both a high-quality Crummer education as well as a safe, collaborative learning environment.
I want to thank you all for your support, patience, and contributions during the past several months. I am confident that, together, we will continue to achieve excellence.
Deborah Crown, Ph.D.
Dean of the Crummer Graduate School of Business