Strategic Plan 2018-2023

The Roanoke Difference: Live on Purpose

Today’s higher education environment is challenging, competitive and ever-evolving. Who attends college is changing. How students pay for college is changing. Public perception about the value of college is changing. How education is delivered is changing.  Federal and state regulations that govern colleges and universities are changing.

And in numerous, obvious ways, Roanoke College—with its rich 176-year history, unique setting, supportive community, exceptional faculty and staff, and distinct Lutheran approach to the Liberals Arts tradition—is changing.

To ensure the College is prepared to provide another 176 years of quality education, we must weigh the impact of these changes and develop comprehensive, thoughtful strategies to meet this changing, challenging world.

This plan maps a proactive response to the challenges we face.  It, too, maps a response to opportunities to enhance the student experience, build on our past successes, increase our reputation, assume a stronger position in the marketplace, and become one of the leading residential undergraduate liberal arts colleges in the United States.

How Roanoke College will rise to meet these challenges and pursue these opportunities is at the core of this plan for the College’s next five years.


Goal 1: Develop and Refine the Roanoke Difference

Roanoke is a student-centered college.  For decades, Roanoke has provided strong educational experiences for students, and the College has increased the level of excellence in all areas.  Now our challenge is to differentiate and deepen the educational opportunities that define The Roanoke Difference and allow for a unique experience for each student. 

Goal 2: Affirm that People Make the Roanoke Difference

In the long history of the College, Roanoke's foundation comes to life through student-centered relationships—student-to-student, student-to-faculty, student-to-staff, student-to-alumni and student-to-community.  Our programs can only be as good as the people who imagine, develop and enact them. Our programs depend on quality interactions among faculty, staff, students and alumni, and a diverse community that fosters adaptability, innovation, and excellence. It is fitting, then, to uplift and support people at every level of the College with on-going initiatives.

Goal 3: Strengthen Roanoke’s Financial Health

The College’s financial health allows us to fulfill our ambitions and support our quality and mission. With the major economic and demographic challenges of our times, Roanoke will strengthen our financial position.

Goal 4: Enhance the Physical Environment and Accessibility to Community Resources

To continue to provide high-quality experiences that foster preparation for success in the world, Roanoke College must provide a high-quality living and learning physical environment and access to community resources. The College has been on an aggressive path to do so over the past three decades. Now, the College must ensure it does not stray from that path by maintaining a residential campus that enhances student learning, supports student success and provides safe, healthful housing for 75 percent or more of the student body.

Goal 5: Capitalize on the Roanoke Difference

Roanoke builds on its tradition by offering the finest educational experience in the history of the College. The challenge for the College is broadcasting that message to a media-saturated world with fewer college-bound students. We commit to using the most effective methods of marketing and promoting The Roanoke Difference over the next five years. Those methods will focus on media that are relevant and accessible to students.  The College will use authentic, accurate, compelling messages to attract the students who best fit and will benefit from the Difference found at Roanoke.


Complete Version of the Roanoke College Strategic Plan