Chapman President Daniele C. Struppa shared the following message with faculty, staff and administrators on Tuesday, March 24.

Yesterday, we met with the Board of Trustees to further our planning for the fiscal impact of the current situation. They have approved delegation to the Finance and Budget Committee to address the financial needs of our institution to support working, teaching and learning remotely, along with the refunds needed to reimburse students and their families for unused services.

Daily Update, March 24, 2020

  • We continue to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chapman students, faculty or staff.

  • Unlike many institutions across the country, Chapman University is proactively reimbursing students for unused housing, dining, parking and specialized fees that apply toward courses or activities they can no longer participate in. The value of this exceeds 50% of what they paid for the semester, and is estimated at over $13.3 million.

  • The larger financial impact to the institution is yet to be seen, but it will be significant. In the short term, you should consider postponing lower priority or non-essential projects, spending, and contract or consulting projects as we approach the end of the fiscal year.

  • To further support faculty and student efforts to contribute to the global COVID-19 response through research, the Office of Research—through the generous support of the Kay Family Foundation—is providing seed funding through the COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Program to work related to COVID-19 and using data to analyze its impact on health, society and the economy.

  • Vice President for Research Thomas Piechota will be hosting an Ask the Experts – COVID-19 Town Hall on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 2:00 p.m., with several faculty (Dr. Jerika Lam, Pharmacy; Dr. Steven Gjerstad, Economic Science Institute; Dr. Andrea Molle, Political Science; and Dr. Hesham El-Askary, Schmid Science and Technology) already working on COVID-19 research and outreach. All faculty, staff and students are welcome to join with this link and learn more about their fascinating work.

  • There is a lot of concern regarding Commencement. We all know this is a monumental event that represents the culmination of significant academic achievement for Chapman students. Given its significance, the decision to postpone the ceremony is being weighed very carefully. Over the next week or so, we will monitor the evolving situation with COVID-19, speak to members of our community and determine the best approach, while planning for the high likelihood that an alternate date will be necessary. Our goal is to communicate the decision by the beginning of April so that students and families can plan accordingly. There are no plans to either cancel or move to an online format.

  • The Office of Human Resources continues to provide additional guidance and tools. I suggest you visit their website to review the recently published guidance for remote work, as well as a deeper set of FAQs for supervisors, staff and administrators. Their content is also linked to from the Coronavirus website for ease of access. If you have additional questions you like to  submit for the FAQs, please send to hroffice@chapman.edu.

  • Campus mail and packages continue to be received at Central Receiving (625 West Palm). Notifications are being sent with pickup information, or they can be delivered to your campus facility, if that is preferred. All requests for service or changes in delivery should be sent to Sukbae Kim at skim@chapman.edu. Vice President for Facilities Management Rick Turner is also available for questions or concerns at raturner@chapman.edu.

Thank you for all your work as we move forward through this. Have a great day and stay connected.