Chapman University has appointed Brian K. Powell, J.D., as the University’s new Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. Mr. Powell comes to Chapman from the University of California, Merced, where he was responsible for human resources since 2015. He replaces current Chapman vice president of human resources Becky Campos who is retiring. Powell begins on June 26.

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Brian K. Powell, J.D.

“Chapman University is fortunate to have Brian join the Chapman family as we move forward with the next phase of our strategic plan,” said Daniele Struppa, president at Chapman University. “Brian will be integral in leading Chapman in our continued growth in program offerings and rising national presence.”

Prior to joining Chapman, Powell served as Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor for People & Strategy at U.C. Merced. There he oversaw the university’s efforts regarding workforce planning, human capital, and organizational effectiveness initiatives.

Most recently, in March 2018 he concluded an eight-month appointment as Interim Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services, where he was commissioned by the Chancellor to partner with the senior leadership to reassess campus operations and propose a new organizational strategy to meet the needs of the U.C. Merced’s rapid growth.

Brian’s twenty years of human resources and administrative operations experience spans public and private higher education, non-profit, and corporate sectors.  He is a licensed attorney and holds a Juris Doctor with a Concentration in Employment & Labor Law.  He is the author of several publications on employee privacy and has previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Law, teaching courses on Sexual Orientation and the Law; AIDS Law; and Law, Gender, & Sexuality.

At Chapman, Powell will oversee human resources services provided to approximately 2,200 employees, including 1,135 full-time and part-time faculty, and 1,065 full-time and seasonal staff, at both of Chapman’s campuses.  Additionally, Powell will manage a team of 20 in the human resources department.

In the past five years, Chapman has opened a second campus in Irvine called the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus, where it opened the county’s first School of Pharmacy. Additionally, in that same timeframe, the University opened two new colleges: the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences and the School of Communication. In 2016, Chapman opened the Musco Center for the Arts, and later this year it will host a ribbon-cutting for its brand-new, state-of-the-art Keck Center for Science and Engineering, where is will open an 11th school – the Fowler School of Engineering in 2020.

“Brian comes to us at a critical juncture of opportunity and growth,” said Harold W. Hewitt, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Chapman University. “Brian is energized by our Strategic Plan and by our organizational ambitions for the coming years.”

About Chapman University

As an academically distinguished center of learning, Chapman University attracts extraordinary students and faculty from around the globe. Its ten schools and colleges foster a vibrant intellectual community, and provide extensive opportunities for students to learn, grow and discover alongside remarkable faculty. The University is home to some 8,000 students pursuing bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, and is alma mater to more than 40,000 alumni found throughout the United States and the world. Now celebrating its 157th year, Chapman is known for its distinguishing strengths in leadership and civic engagement, in the arts and entertainment disciplines, and in specialized sectors of technology and science. The University is comprised of its main campus in Orange, California, and the Rinker Health Science campus for graduate health science programs in Irvine, California. Visit us at

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