Faculty members lobbied for a graduate school in engineering and improvements to the Rinker Health Science Campus at the Five-Year Strategic Plan Town Hall Meeting Oct. 13.
“We are not doing a good job yet in graduate education,” said President Daniele Struppa at the end of the meeting.
Every five years, the Chapman administration devises goals for the following five years.
About 130 faculty, staff and students attended the meeting, which built on the discussion of the newest five-year plan, which was brought up at a fall faculty meeting last month.
The plan sets goals for financial, academic and overall development at Chapman. Struppa composed the last plan while he was chancellor, and will conclude at the end of the spring 2018 semester.
Some of the goals of the last plan were completing the Musco Center for the Arts, developing the School of Pharmacy and opening the Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine and the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.
Struppa said the newest plan, which he developed with Provost Glenn Pfeiffer, will begin this summer. While the plan still needs to be approved by the Board of Trustees in early December, it’s unlikely to change by the time the board votes, Struppa told The Panther.
A common complaint from faculty was about the lack of resources at the Rinker Health Science Campus. Lawrence Brown, the associate dean of student affairs in the School of Pharmacy, said he wants to see more events held at the Rinker campus to encourage a “stronger culture” and sense of community for graduate students.
The university also needs to be more proactive for first-generation students and those with disabilities, said Chelsea Dempsey, the staff co-chair of an advisory group that deals with the status of disabilities and accessibility.
“I’ve been here for almost 16 years, and I don’t know that there’s ever been a comprehensive review on student services,” she said.
Of the approximately 10 students who attended the meeting, three were members of Net Zero Chapman, an environmental club that wants the campus to be fueled by renewable energy.
Senior business administration major Kevin Leake said he supports the faculty’s vision for the campus, but that it lacks student input.
“We were here out of curiosity and subsequently to see how we could align our own views for a renewable energy-based campus with the faculty’s,” he said. “I think it would have been helpful to have better student representation.”
Other talking points included development in science and technology wings, the Rinker campus in Irvine, and expansion.
Struppa said that there are projects that still need more funding, one priority being the engineering wing in the Keck Center for Science and Engineering. 40,000 of the 150,000 square feet in the center will be an engineering wing, a project he said will cost about $30 million.
“(The Keck Foundation) plays a very important role because it allows us to complete the campaign for the tech center,” Struppa told The Panther. “Now we need to (start) a new campaign to open up the inside where the school of engineering is going to be.”
According to Struppa, the last school year was record-breaking for fundraising, with the university collecting $109 million from donors. He said he hoped to raise around half of $1 billion over the next five years.
Executive Vice President of University Advancement Sheryl Bourgeois said the university hasn’t had a formal comprehensive fundraising campaign since 2003, making it a priority for her department.