Dr. Deborah Crown: Providing the Best Education to Transform You


One of the most crucial elements of a college education is a dean who is imaginative, strategic, and dedicated to academic success. The dean’s job is to oversee the academic initiatives and so ensure that the standard of education is upheld at all costs. Because it is not an easy task to prepare the next generation of economists, industrialists, and businesspeople.

The Successful Journey of Dr. Crown

In addition to holding academic chairs in strategic leadership for the most of her career, Dr. Crown has maintained leadership positions in business schools for more than twenty years. Rollins College has received numerous accolades throughout her time there, including being named the top MBA programme in Florida by Forbes Magazine and the nation’s top leadership programme for four years running by HR.com. Deborah led the creation and execution of a new strategic plan for Crummer in addition to overseeing the School’s successful re-accreditation procedure through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International—a distinction earned by less than five percent of the world’s business schools.

Dr. Crown served as dean of the College of Business at Hawaii’s largest private university before to taking the helm at Rollins College. She was also dean of San Jose State University’s Lucas Graduate School of Business and a Lucas Endowed Professor of Strategic Leadership. In the past, Dr. Crown has also held positions at Ohio University’s Voinovich School for Leadership & Public Affairs and the College of Business as faculty director of the Appalachian Regional Entrepreneurial Group and director of graduate programmes.

Prior to this, Dr. Crown worked for 13 years as the Miles-Rose Professor of Leadership and Ph.D. Coordinator for Management at the University of Alabama. Additionally, performance improvements in other industry sectors have been a result of her research on long-term performance, which was initially undertaken in football, basketball, and baseball.  Deborah’s main areas of interest in research are ethics and social responsibility, organisational work teams, professional and college athletic teams, leadership, performance challenges, with a focus on international and multicultural cultures.

Her work has been highlighted in scholarly journals and books as well as national press outlets like the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC National News, the New York Times, USA Weekend, and Entrepreneur.  She has also won numerous national prizes for her research as well as accolades from universities and colleges for her service, mentoring, and teaching.  She earned a Master of Science from the University of Colorado, Denver, a Ph.D. from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, as well as Executive Education at Harvard.

In order to ensure the long-term success of the School and fulfil its mission, Crummer’s ability to compete with contemporary offerings at other schools is absolutely crucial. Business schools around the world are rapidly evolving to meet the expectations of a new, tech-savvy, collaborative, and community-engaged student population in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

“Working in partnership with other units at Rollins College, we are focused on raising funds for a new Crummer building—part of the Rollins Innovation Triangle project.”

The Crummer Graduate School of Business will be able to strengthen its connections with the business world in novel and creative ways thanks to the new Crummer Executive and Entrepreneurial Centre, which is essential to maintaining and enhancing Crummer’s reputation for innovative training. The building, which is close to an expanded Alfond Inn and a new Rollins College Fine Art Museum, will help the organisation achieve its goals by luring professionals to Winter Park from all over the world, equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the workplace of the future, and serving as a hub for not only Rollins College and Winter Park but also the larger Central Florida business community.  

About Rollins College

Rollins College, a comprehensive institution that pioneered liberal arts education in the country, was established in 1885. The College bases its goal on two separate pillars—educating students for responsible leadership and global citizenship—and adheres to the guiding principles of excellence, innovation, and community.

The precursor to the Crummer School was founded in 1957 as a result of Rollins College’s dedication to innovation and achievement. As it stands now, the Crummer Graduate School of Business was established in 1980 after the institution decided to exclusively accept master’s-level applicants for both its full-time and part-time programmes. The Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (EDBA) programme was introduced by the School in the autumn of 2013 as part of an expansion of its doctoral-level programmes.

“All Crummer’s programs are fully accredited by AACSB, the preeminent accreditation distinction awarded to only five percent of the world’s business schools.”

An Outstanding Team

“We have exceptional faculty and staff members here at Crummer who are all uniquely committed to providing a highly personal and collaborative experience for our students.”

For the faculty, this entails considering the full learner lifecycle, from outreach to potential learners to involvement with alumni.  Employees that function successfully as a team must be able to accomplish that, and the experts at Crummer consistently meet this requirement.   

Making Her Way to Be the Dean

“When I first arrived, I became aware that one thing we could do to better deliver on our mission would be to increase, enhance, and encourage greater collaboration among our professional staff.”

There were numerous units within the institute working admirably, but doing so within their own units created communication issues and wasted opportunities. They proceeded swiftly to improve employee integration, beginning with the concentration of their marketing initiatives so that the team could be confident they were totally focused on sharing their objective.  

In order to maximise resources and guarantee a seamless student experience, Dr. Crown and her colleagues combined all the groups that work directly with students into a single cluster.  In order to best serve all of the external clients, including executive learners, entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, and Crummer’s enormous alumni network, they lastly coordinated their externally facing centres and groups.

“Our vision has remained consistent through the years. We strive to be recognized as a world-class graduate business school.”

The excellence of Crummer Rollins College’s preparation of diverse, creative, and ethical business executives is well known. And they anticipate that they will have a favourable effect on both their communities and their organisations.  

“Since I joined Crummer close to six years ago, we have recommitted ourselves to that vision and mission to ensure we are providing the best education possible while also creating a mission-driven financial model that enables us to better focus on delivering on our vision and mission.”

What the Future Holds?

By design, Crummer is a boutique business school. You won’t find a personalised, concierge environment like Crummer’s at larger business schools for students and clients. Its cohort structure and lower class sizes result in a highly collaborative learning environment. Additionally, the business school recruits qualified, experienced professors who are first and foremost excellent teachers and who share the Crummer purpose of developing leaders in business who are inventive, responsible, and have a positive impact on their organisations and communities.

“They are also fully committed to providing students with the personalized, collaborative experience for which Crummer is known.”

The Changing Form of Entrepreneurship

The pandemic caused the workplace to undergo an unheard-of period of transformation. Everybody had to swiftly adjust to daily life in the virtual world. Many professions have now transitioned to becoming remote permanently after being required to provide remote work options for employees during the epidemic, while other jobs have changed back to being in-person positions. In addition to being aware of and adapting to this mixed-mode environment, Crummer must also ensure that their educational programmes reflect the workplace and equip graduates with the skills they need to succeed in these settings.  

“At the same time, these changes are providing enormous new opportunities for entrepreneurs.”

In Central Florida, there has been a rise in both entrepreneurial activity and interest in supporting these endeavours. The largest and most thorough yearly business plan competition in the area is the institute’s own Crummer Venture Plan Competition. They teamed up with Orange County last year to dramatically boost their reward fund.

Dr. Crown’s Message to the Budding Entrepreneurs

“As people work persistently to create their enterprises, entrepreneurs need to be experts in all areas of business, which can be overwhelming. It’s critical for business owners to take advantage of opportunities for additional education and training as well as relationships with other business owners.

The Crummer School may be a useful resource for local entrepreneurs because to our large and active alumni group, as well as our knowledge, stated Dean Crown. We offer resources and assistance to entrepreneurs through our Crummer Centre for Advanced Entrepreneurship.  Additionally, a lot of business owners decide to participate in one of our MBA programmes because we offer unrivalled educational possibilities that are specially designed for the business sector.”

Most Popular Stories