President Doti reflects on past, looks to future in State of the University address
In his 20th State of the University address Friday, President Jim Doti reflected not just on the year’s accomplishments, including the announcement of former U.S. Congressman Tom Campbell as the new dean of the Law School, but also on the legacy of the leaders who shaped the university and the responsibility to continue that commitment as the university nears its 150th anniversary next month.
“Somebody somewhere in 150 years will be saying, ‘We stand on the shoulders of giants.’ And you know those shoulders — we’re the shoulders they’ll be standing on. We’re the ones creating the future of Chapman University,” President Doti told the audience gathered in Memorial Hall for the annual presentation. “Knowing you as I do, I know you’re not only up to the challenge, you’re champing at the bit to mold and shape that future for the generations to come.”
In the wide-ranging talk illustrated with a slide show and peppered with jokes about free gelato to be dished up on “the coldest day of the year in Orange County,” President Doti celebrated special successes among faculty and students, outlined building plans for the campus and explained a variety of statistics that show an increasingly selective and successful student body.
Among the academic highlights demonstrating the university’s ability to attract “the best and brightest faculty and students” President Doti said were:
- Dramatic shifts in the numbers and quality of student applicants were one of his first topics. The university received a record 10,500 applications for Fall 2011, up from 6,159 for Fall 2009. As a result Chapman’s acceptance rate for this fall is at about 44 percent, further enhancing the university’s selectivity ranking. Freshman retention rates have also risen to 93 percent.
- More students than ever are studying abroad, and the number of international students attending Chapman continues to rise.
- The Experimental Economics Institute now ranks in the top 10 of academic institutions for its number of citations and publications in the field of experimental economics research.
President Doti also reviewed building plans and recent property purchases which help link the entire campus.
Among the new property purchases noted were:
- The church property on Sycamore Avenue, near the School of Law.
- The Time Warner Building on Palm Avenue.
“It’s no longer an east and west campus,” he said. “We are now a connected campus.”