WASC Accreditation Update Message From Chapman University President Daniele C. Struppa

Chapman Community —

I am pleased to inform the Chapman University community that the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) has reaffirmed our institutional accreditation for the maximum allowable timeframe—an additional ten years. The Commission confirmed that Chapman University completed the Thematic Pathway for Reaffirmation and will return for our next Accreditation Visit in spring 2033. This is a monumental milestone in the life of a university, and I want to congratulate the entire Chapman community. Each faculty member, staff member and student play a part in making Chapman an academic community worthy of this level of accreditation.

In their final report, the Commission commended Chapman University for the following: 

  1. Articulating a clear vision for the future with near- and long-term goals for elevating its recognition as a prestigious research institution focused on student and faculty outcomes, and for making clear choices in aligning resources— including financial and fundraising—to realize this objective over a clearly defined time period. 
  2. Allocating funding to STEM education and initiating investments in the facilities required to deliver these programs. 
  3. Cultivating and sustaining broad campus support for the strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. 
  4. Fostering a familiar culture of collaboration and collegiality. 
  5. Creating and maintaining an atmosphere that intentionally cultivates a supportive and nurturing relationship between faculty and students through small classes and abundant opportunities for both relationship building and student learning accomplished through collaborative research and creative projects. 
  6. Ensuring educational effectiveness through faculty commitment to an authentically strong assessment and program review process.

The Commission requires Chapman University to respond to the following issues:

  1. Consider the provost’s scope of authority and the effectiveness of reporting and oversight arrangements.  
  2. Provide timely and responsive student mental health counseling services at both the Rinker Health Science campus and the main campus.  
  3. Improve undergraduate academic advising services, ensuring students receive timely, useful, and complete information about relevant academic requirements. 
  4. Fortify undergraduate research and creative activity opportunities across all disciplines via systematic space utilization review, redesign, and facilities maintenance, as well as faculty incentives and appropriate infrastructure.  
  5. Facilitate greater engagement, shared governance, and transparency with faculty and staff to identify opportunities to better align institutional capacity and resources–including personnel–with enrollment growth and strategic priorities.

Our official effective date for this reaffirmation is July 14, 2023, and we have until November 1, 2026, to address all the requirements of the Commission Action Letter listed above. Much of the work in these required areas is underway and we will keep the campus informed of progress.

A reaccreditation process is a critical undertaking for a university and takes years to prepare for. I want to share my heartfelt appreciation to Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Faculty Advancement Joe Slowensky and his team for leading this effort, along with members of the senior leadership team and campus community that contributed to the process. I want to also thank each member of the Chapman community for the role you play in making this institution strong, and for contributing to a Chapman Experience we can all be proud of.  

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