How to Support Chapman’s Return to Campus

This post was updated on

In preparation for a fall reopening, Chapman University is investing millions.  This is expected as PPE, enhanced technology, improved ventilation systems, testing,  and reducing residential space, all come at a high cost.  In fact, the enormity of the financial challenges facing higher education as they contemplate a fall semester on campus was captured in The Wall Street Journal June 25, 2020 article, Colleges Spend Millions to Prepare to Reopen Amid Coronavirus. Chapman President Daniele Struppa and Executive Vice President/COO Harold Hewitt were both quoted.

Struppa and Hewitt shared that preparation efforts are estimated to cost Chapman approximately $8.3 million. This includes $1.65 million to contract with Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings for testing; $350,000 for upgraded heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment;  and $260,000 to provide all 10,000 students with three washable masks with the Chapman logo. Chapman will do more, however. In an abundance of caution, they will also need more than a million dollars to purchase and monitor infrared technology that can detect those with fevers who may inadvertently approach high-traffic areas such as Chapman’s Leatherby Libraries.

This is compounded by an anticipated 10% drop in fall enrollment due to the pandemic. Overall, Chapman faces a $57 million budget gap. As the Wall Street Journal article said, Chapman has “filled that budget hole by restricting travel, cutting senior-staff pay, freezing new hiring and stalling some capital projects.” They further shared that the budget shortfall could grow exponentially if Orange County health officials don’t authorize reopening for the fall term.

Part of Chapman’s CU Safely Back Campaign is the goal to raise $3 million in order to cover the immediate costs directly associated with our efforts.  Also reported in the Wall Street Journal was the news that Chapman has already received a $1 million unsolicited donation toward these efforts. Read the complete article here. If you’d like to help, you can make a donation here.