“I remember very well being here, giving my State of the University address, pretending to have a big audience in front of me. There were only three people,” Struppa said, drawing laughs at the address at Musco Center for the Arts Feb. 10.
“Now this is the real thing. So thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking the time. This is a great day for the university.”
The strategic new plan, “Our Path to Greatness,” kicks off in the 2022-23 academic year and will culminate in 2028. Before Struppa detailed the new plan, he introduced a video celebrating Chapman’s growth during the previous strategic plan, “Engineering our Future.”
Among the high points of the past five years: increasing endowment, assets and faculty chairs; rising in national rankings; becoming an R2-research class institution; establishing Fowler School of Engineering; producing Chapman’s first Rhodes Scholar; and diversifying the student profile.
Those and other achievements of the previous strategic plan period are the culmination of a decision 15 years ago to bring Chapman to the next level by focusing on research, Struppa said.
“What we have done demonstrates that we took the right direction, and we can continue that way. And when I say continue that way I think it’s obvious at this point to say hey, things are going so well. Let’s relax for a moment. But let’s say no – this is the moment that we make the next jump,” he said.
The next jump – “Our Path to Greatness” – has five strategic priorities:
- Academic excellence, which includes pursuing Hispanic Serving Institution designation.
- Expanding graduate health science programs, which includes expanding Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine.
- Organizational excellence.
- Campus projects enhancing community-building, which includes opening a Student Success Center and adding facilities to support research growth.
- Finish a $500 million comprehensive giving campaign focused on increasing the endowment, with the goal of $2 billion by 2037. More than $300 million was already raised during the campaign’s silent phase in the past five years.
Struppa concluded with the reminder that “the job of inspiring belongs to all of us – to faculty, to staff, to administrators, to our trustees, our friends in the community – and I think that’s what brings us together and inspires us to create a better university.”
Struppa also thanked top employers of Chapman graduates for “thinking Chapman first.”