Dr. Reginald Chhen Stewart, an unwavering advocate for access and opportunity in higher education, has been named Chapman’s first Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As part of President Daniele C. Struppa’s senior team, Stewart, Ph.D., will work to elevate Chapman’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and belonging. He will report directly to the provost and begin his new role on July 29.
Stewart joins Chapman after serving as Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Iowa State University. Prior to Iowa State, he held a similar role at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“Chapman University impressed me throughout the recruitment process,” said Stewart upon his appointment. “President Struppa, Provost (Glenn) Pfeiffer, Vice Provost (Joe) Slowensky and the entire search committee did an excellent job of detailing both the strengths and the growth opportunities in diversity, equity and inclusion at Chapman. The cross-section of stakeholders who were actively engaged during my campus visit underscores the breadth and scope of the appointment, and I look forward to many productive years on campus and in the community.”
Stewart is a firm believer that education at all levels is a right and not a privilege. Over the past three decades, he has provided support and leadership for a broad spectrum of equity, inclusion and diversity initiatives, having worked at both public and private institutions with student enrollments ranging from 650 to more than 36,000.
“Chapman has been advancing work in diversity, equity and inclusion for many years, and while we have had a great deal of success, it is time to double down, step up our efforts, and re-energize our diversity initiatives,” Pfeiffer said. “Reg will be the perfect person to lead our diversity programs as we head into the next five-year strategic plan.”
Stewart has received recognition from the U.S. Department of Education, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the College Board, Excelencia in Education, the NAACP, the Nevada System of Higher Education and the Ames (Iowa) Chamber of Commerce. His TEDx Talk, “Cultural (il)Literacy: What Modern America Needs to Know,” is widely used as a teaching tool in both corporate and educational settings. In 2019, Stewart was recognized with the Ames Humanitarian Award.
“Reg is an exceptionally accomplished leader who I believe will have an immeasurable impact at Chapman,” Struppa said. “He joins us at a critical time as we work to elevate and advance our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and continue to improve the experience for our students, faculty and staff.”
Stewart completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at San Francisco State University, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration at the University of Nevada. The married father of two is a fan of all forms of instrumental music, and he enjoys supporting his children as they develop their musicianship on both strings and woodwinds.