President Doti outlines a future full of projects and promise

It’s always enlightening and fun to hear President Jim Doti highlight the achievements of the past year during his State of the University presentation. And those on hand Friday in Memorial Hall enjoyed a chance to celebrate the many successes of faculty, staff, students and alumni. But it’s particularly enjoyable to find out more about what lies ahead for Chapman, so let’s start there.

There is “great progress” on four transformative projects that fall under the heading “A Path to National Stature.”

  • The university is close to bringing plans to the city of Orange for the Center for the Arts, which will include an 1,100-seat, state-of-the-art theatre. Mid-2012 is the target for groundbreaking.
  • Plans are also progressing for the 100,000-square-foot Science Center, a hotbed of interdisciplinary research scheduled to be built at the Palm Avenue site of a historic fruit packing house, which will be preserved and renovated.
  • Designs are in place for the Millennial Studios addition to Marion Knott Studios, which will include a backlot and new theatre. A filmmakers’ village, with housing for Dodge College students, is also in the works.
  • Up first is the expansion of Argyros Forum, which will grow by 25,000 square feet and include a new student union. Plans call for construction to begin in January 2011, with completion in September 2012.

Among the other highlights of President Doti’s State of the University talk:

  • Despite the economy, Chapman’s financial health is strong, with the university projecting net assets of $550 million at the end of 2010.
  • Student selectivity and average SAT scores continue to rise as Chapman maintains occupancy in the top tier of academic rankings.
  • One statistic in particular highlights “the changing cosmopolitan nature of our campus,” President Doti said. In fall 2000, 46 percent of Chapman freshmen were from Orange County. By fall 2009, that figure was 24 percent, with 40 percent coming from out of state. In addition, more students than ever are studying abroad.

Want more details? View President Doti’s presentation HERE.

Dawn Bonker

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