president daniele struppa on stage with screen reading "strategic priorities" behind him
President Daniele Struppa addressed the Chapman University community via livesteam for the 2022 State of the University presentation.

2022 State of the University: Looking Back and Moving Forward

“These have been complicated years,” said Chapman University President Daniele Struppa at the conclusion of his 2022 State of the University address, which was live streamed to a virtual audience on Feb. 11.  For the second year in a row, due to the ongoing pandemic, the president delivered his address to an empty auditorium while hundreds of viewers tuned in to watch. But despite the obstacles overcome, the president remained positive about the university’s accomplishments. 

“It is remarkable to me that despite all of this, and despite the sense of anguish and pressure that we feel every day, we are still able to perform incredibly well,” he said.

Watch the 2022 State of the University:

The State of the University address has been an annual tradition for more than 10 years. After a brief look back at Chapman’s 160-year history, President Struppa used the opportunity to share the many successes of students, faculty and staff over the course of the past year. Of particular note, the sale of Brandman University to the University of Massachusetts resulted in a $138M addition to the university’s endowment. 

“The endowment is central to our ability to provide support to our students,” said President Struppa, with over 63% of the funds from the endowment being used to fund scholarships and loans. Net assets grew at the fastest pace ever to almost $1,400M, an indication of the stability of the university and its ability to weather a crisis. 

Strategic Plan Updates: Engineering the Future

President Struppa provided updates on the five pillars of the current five-year strategic plan, Engineering the Future. Highlights included:

  • A new internship program has been launched at the Fowler School of Engineering. The Chapman Engineering Student Accelerator (CESA) program is designed to boost industry engagement, improve corporate partnerships and provide paid internships for students.

    Erik Linstead and student with robot dog.
    The newest member of the Fowler School of Engineering comes to the university through a partnership with Boston Robotics.
  • Research expenditures continue to show dramatic growth to almost $24M annually, with increased funding coming from federal and non-profit sources. The number of citations, which demonstrates the impact of the work done by Chapman faculty, has risen to over 12,000 per year. 

    justin walsh holding model of international space station
    Associate Professor Justin Walsh has launched an archeological study of humans in space aboard the International Space station, one of many research projects highlighted during the presentation.
  • More than 100 undergraduate students participated in faculty research studies, even while remote. “You learn a little bit by listening to what people tell you,” said President Struppa.”But the only way you really learn is when you try to do something.”
  • The Sandi Simon Dance Center is expected to open by this fall, the new home of Chapman’s award-winning dance program. Along with a virtual visit to the under-construction facility, the president shared a glimpse of plans for the upcoming expansion of the Hilbert Museum and the updates planned for the Rinker Health Science Campus. 

    rending of sandi simonn dance center
    Renderings of the Sandi Simon Dance Center highlight the innovative renovations that will preserve the historic building while creating a state-of-the-art facility for Chapman’s award-winning dance department.
  • This year saw $220 million in gifts to the university, with over 4,500 donors. Giving Day 2021 set another record for  money raised and the number of contributors.

The coming academic year (2022-23) will mark the final year of the current 5-year Strategic Plan. President Struppa invited the Chapman community to participate in the development of the next strategic plan, which will operate from 2023-24 through 2027-28, by participating in upcoming town halls or by sending ideas to the administration for consideration. 

A Community of Success

Throughout the address, President Struppa hailed the success of individuals from all areas of the university community. Special callouts were made acknowledging:

  • Jacqueline Deats, for her leadership of the Student Health Services during unprecedented circumstances. 
  • Reg Stewart, Chapman’s new VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 
  • Janeen Hill, Acting Vice President of Research and Dean of Crean College, who has been named to the City of Irvine’s Innovation Council. 
  • Matt Parlow, former Dean of Fowler School of Law, on his new appointment as Executive Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer.
  • Norma Bouchard, appointed Executive Vice President, Provost and Chief Academic Officer. 
  • Faculty member Pete Simi, whose work studying hate groups has led to him testifying before congress and in civil trials involving hate crimes. 
  • Tryphena Yeboah ’21, winner of 2021 Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) and ProQuest’s Prestigious Master’s Award in Creative, Visual and Performing Arts.
  • Phumi Morare ’20, winner of the 2021 Student Academy Award for Best Short Film.  

The president also acknowledged the 2022 Top Employers, and thanked the community for all the submissions made to the Faces of Chapman project. You can view all the honorees on the Momentum website

Did you miss all or part of the presentation? Watch the 2022 State of the University now.

Staci Dumoski

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