Longwood University has named Dr. Paul E. Chapman as its new dean of the College of Education and Human Services. Chapman will begin his new responsibilities on July 1.
Chapman is currently interim associate dean of the College for Human Resources and Education at West Virginia University, a post he has served in since 2009. At West Virginia, where he joined the faculty in 2000, Chapman has been instrumental in building several leadership institutes, including the West Virginia University Rural Superintendents Initiative, which focuses on the social and cultural aspects of rural school systems to improve student preparation programs. He has also secured substantial research funding, including a $1.8 million grant to study character education programs in rural schools.
In addition to his experience in higher education, Chapman has worked as an elementary and middle-school teacher and administrator. He is the co-author of Six Pillars of Dynamic Schools, a book used by school administrators across the country, and his articles have been published in numerous scholarly journals.
Dr. Kenneth Perkins, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said, "Dr. Chapman is perfect for this position, given his considerable experience in faculty and administrative roles. He is a very engaging person and someone with whom I believe I can work very productively. And I like his sense of humor. The search committee did an outstanding job in the recruitment of Dr. Chapman, and their strong support of his candidacy is a good sign that we have made the right choice."
"Longwood University and the number of award-winning teachers it produces are well-known in Virginia," said Chapman. "The friendliness of the folks here and the engagement of the faculty in the College of Education and Human Services speak to the ethos of the college itself, which is steeped in collaboration and congeniality."
Chapman said Longwood is moving forward while staying true to its roots in educating teachers. "I was impressed by the ability of the faculty and administrators at Longwood to think strategically about the future of education and human services and the willingness to embrace new ideas and technology that will put the university in a position to succeed," he said. "Extending the reach of Longwood’s educational and human services offerings through the expanded use of technology puts the university on the path for growth."
Chapman began his professional career in a three-room schoolhouse in Tazewell County, Va., teaching a combinedfourth- and fifth-grade class. In his nearly 20 years in the rural southwest Virginia county school system, Chapman assisted in building a program for at-risk youth focusing on providing education alternatives.
Suzy Szasz Palmer, dean of the Greenwood Library and chair of the search committee, said, "Dr. Chapman stood out from a wide range of candidates as absolutely the best person to lead the College of Education and Human Services. He brings a wealth of experience in educational leadership and organizational culture and understands the critical importance of working with stakeholders within the university, community and the commonwealth. His warmth and humility underscore his many achievements and support Longwood’s dedication to citizen leadership."
Chapman and his wife, Donna Jean, have two adult children who live in Virginia. Chapman graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1978. He earned his master’s degree in educational administration in 1989, and his Ed.S. and Ph.D., both in educational leadership and policy studies, in 1999, all from Virginia Tech.