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Chapman University Strategic Plan

» Academic Excellence

Chapman is focused on the creation of a community of inspiring and germinal teacher-scholars. With the support of an engaged and dedicated staff, these faculty members attract talented and diverse students to an environment that challenges them academically, nurtures their intellectual curiosity and ensures their holistic development and success as lifelong learners and global citizens.

Distinguish Chapman as a community of globally impactful scholars who break new ground with their research and challenge students with their teaching, strengthening a culture that values intellectual curiosity. 

Initiatives completed to achieve goal:

  • Full-time faculty course coverage up from 52.8% in 2021-22 to 54.2% in 2022-23. 
  • Established faculty retention pool.
  • The Office of Research and Graduate Education organized a virtual workshop on federal funding trends with 25 faculty attendees.
  • Provost Fund for Interfaculty Collaboration was established in fall 2023.
  • All 11 Chapman schools and colleges established mentoring plans for faculty (fall 2023).
  • The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) developed and implemented a menu of professional development workshops for faculty and initiated CETL Faculty Fellows and Associates Program (fall 2023).
  • CETL Activated an Early Career Faculty Learning Community called Productive Pathways to Promotion. 
  • The Fowler School of Engineering and Schmid College of Science and Technology hosted a grant writing boot camp for faculty and postdocs (winter 2023).
  • The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Disability Services Office initiated the annual Innovations in Teaching and Student Success Conference.
  • Schmid College of Science and Technology offered programs to train faculty in research mentoring and piloted a cluster hire program in STEM pedagogy.

Accelerate an ongoing rise in national and specialty rankings, with a particular focus on measures of academic achievement, financial resources and graduation/retention rates.

Initiatives completed to achieve goal:

  • Dodge College of Film and Media Arts maintained the No. 4 ranking in Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap. It was also ranked No. 3 by
  • The Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRADS) continues to monitor the 2025 Carnegie Classification, in which Chapman expects to maintain R2 Classification, and the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings and any changes to the methodology.
  • #48 in best undergraduate teaching, U.S. News & World Report --up 18 spots
  • #58 (tied) Most Innovative School, U.S. News & World Report
  • #60 Best Business Schools, Argyros College of Business and Economics, U.S. News & World Report
  • #92 (tied) Best Speech-Language Pathology Programs, U.S. News & World Report
  • #96 Best Physician’s Assistant Programs, Crean College, U.S. News & World Report
  • #97 (tied) Best physical therapy programs, Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Crean College, U.S. News & World Report
  • #99 (tied) Best pharmacy schools, School of Pharmacy, U.S. News & World Report
  • #109 (tied) Best Law Schools, Dale E. Fowler School of Law, U.S. News & World Report
  • #126 Best Undergraduate Economics (newly introduced ranking) 
  • #133 Top U.S. Colleges with Greatest Economic Diversity, The New York Times’ College-Access Index
  • #159 (+ 31) Best Undergraduate Business

Support student success by developing a wraparound model of holistic advising in which students can succeed academically, even when facing personal, financial, medical or mental health concerns.

Initiatives completed to achieve goal:

  • Created reports that focus on courses with high DFW rates.
  • Implemented early assessment tools in fall 2023 to examine the quality of first-year student engagement and peer relationships.
  • Developed an early intervention strategy for first-year students who do not successfully complete 12 credits in their first semester.
  • Retention for the cohort who entered in fall 2022 is 90%.
  • Established pre-registration for students to participate in the Exploratory Majors Program. 
  • Launched a reorganized version of our Academic Advising program to align with the new wraparound vision. This changed the model from function-based to college-based, with dedicated advisors for students and faculty in each college. We also developed a training program for the new advising model. These changes allow for more in-depth support, as seen below:
    • Argyros College of Business & Economics: 2 full-time advisors
    • Attallah College of Educational Studies: 1 full-time advisor
    • College of Performing Arts: 1 full-time advisor
    • Crean College of Health & Behavioral Sciences: 1 full-time advisor
    • Dodge College of Film & Media Arts: 2 full-time advisors
    • Fowler School of Engineering: 1 full-time advisor
    • Schmid College of Science & Technology: 1 full-time advisor
    • School of Communication: 1 full-time advisor
    • Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences: 1 full-time advisor
    • Exploratory Majors Program: 1 full-time advisor
  • Launched a pilot for yearly class scheduling. 
  • Copying previous class schedule into new term class schedule.
  • Limiting the number of classes offered due to a stable number of students.
  • Developed degree audit report to detail demand for required courses.
  • Created degree audit reports that will be used to advise students who are missing requirements in majors and minors. 
  • Established having a chaplain at the Rinker Health Science Campus one day per week. 
  • Developed and implemented GUS 125: A Wellbeing Journey, a 1-credit course that focuses on identifying skills and habits that contribute to stronger mental health.
  • Provided scholarships and funding workshops with the Center for Undergraduate Excellence on Gilman Scholarship.
  • Delivered "Discover Chapman" presentations to high school students three times per semester to promote Chapman and its international opportunities.
  • Participants in travel courses rose from 171 during interterm 2023 to 228 during interterm 2024, a 39% increase.
  • Offered 15 summer travel courses in 2024, up from 12 in 2023, a 25% increase.
  • Proposed a record number of travel courses for summer 2024.
  • 341 students participated in a semester abroad program in academic year 2023-24, a 14% increase from 2022-23.
  • Began offering The Engineering Program in Korea and the Environmental Science program in Costa Rica.

Enrich the Chapman Experience by expanding opportunities for students from underrepresented communities and pursuing formal recognition as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

Initiatives completed to achieve goal:

  • Implemented the HSI Dashboard.
  • Hired Inaugural Director of LGBTQ Pride and Achievement.
  • The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Cross-Cultural Center and the Fish Interfaith Center hosted 229 programs and events in fall 2023.
  • Attallah College sponsored faculty leadership to attend Diversity and the Department Chair training from the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Supporting Racially Minoritized Faculty program from Penn State.
  • Consolidated multiple reporting websites into a single web portal location to make it easier for students, faculty and staff to report incidents.
  • The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion provided a $2,000 budget supplement to support enhanced international student programs/activities.
  • Grew Hispanic undergraduate enrollment from 18% to 19% from fall 2022 to fall 2023.

Enhance graduate student support and recruitment and track student milestones and advising.

Initiatives completed to achieve goal:

  • Established the Provost Dissertation Non-Tuition Fellowships: four fellowships every term for advanced Ph.D. students.
  • Launched a pilot graduate housing program, which can be used to recruit new graduate students for fall 2024.
  • Schmid College of Science and Technology launched the Math, Philosophy and Physics Interdisciplinary doctoral program.
  • Schmid College of Science and Technology faculty and students initiated new graduate recruitment efforts through attending, presenting and exhibiting at the meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).
  • The Graduate Management Milestone Module launched in Campus Solutions.

Optimize the university library as an academic hub promoting information literacy.

Initiatives completed to achieve goal:

  • Launched the Support of Open Access Research and Scholarship (SOARS) program to support open access research for junior-level faculty in collaboration with the Office of Research and Graduate Education and Office of the Provost.
  • Forty-three percent of all group study and multimedia rooms have been renovated and upgraded as of November 2023.
  • 100% increase in tours of the Oskar Schindler Archive (from 0 in 2022 to 28 in 2023).
  • 100% increase in social media postings highlighting specific artifacts (from 0 in 2022 to 2 in 2023).
  • Provided 12 workshops and presentations in fall 2023 semester on AI and data literacy to faculty, staff and students.
  • The Office of Research and Graduate Education (OORGE) launched the AI Sub-Taskforce on research/scholarship/creative activities.

Promote a culture of pre-eminent and sustainable research and creative and scholarly inquiry.

Initiatives completed to achieve goal:

  • The Office of Research and Graduate Education and Information Systems and Technology created a grants dashboard, enabling PIs to view available grant balances and recent expenses of their grants.
  • The Office of Research and Graduate Education, Information Systems and Technology and Financial Services collaborated on the development of grants statistics in Power BI to access real-time data, tables and diagrams of proposals and awards by fiscal year, colleges/schools, sponsor, faculty type and budget ranges.
  • Implemented cost-sharing model for the vivarium.
  • Created an advisory board for the Office of Research and Graduate Education.
  • Initiated quarterly meetings with STEM deans to align strategic initiatives and address challenges.
  • Increased federal awards received from 48 to 50 from FY 2022-2023 to Q1 and Q2 of FY 2023-24.
  • Increased federal funding from $7.18 million to $11.13 million from FY 2022-2023 to Q1 and Q2 of FY 2023-24.
  • Increased research and development expenditures in Q1 and Q2 of FY 2023-24 to $5.32 million, up from $4.98 million in the first two quarters of FY 2022-23.

Refine the portfolio of new undergraduate and graduate programs.

Initiatives completed to achieve goal:

  • Attallah College proposes replacement of IES Schools Emphasis with Liberal Studies major in response to change in state law regarding preparation of elementary-bound educators.
  • Dodge College of Film and Media Arts phased out the MFA in documentary filmmaking and the TV Writing and Production program.

Assess and reorganize academics to ensure relevance, performance and efficiency.

No updates for year one.