Posted by William Nunnelley on 2001-05-10

Dr. David W. Chapman, associate dean of Samford University's Howard College of Arts and Sciences since 1996, has been named Dean of the college, the largest of Samford's eight schools.

Dr. Chapman will succeed Dr. Rod Davis, who will step down this summer after 11 years as Dean. Davis will continue on the faculty as an English professor. Chapman's appointment will be effective Aug. 1.

The arts and sciences college is comprised of 17 departments. All Samford undergraduates take some courses in arts and sciences and about 1,000 of the University's 2,800 undergraduates major in one of the college's departments.

Chapman has been a leader in Samford's Problem-Based Learning initiative, serving as facilitator for the college of arts and sciences. Samford's PBL efforts, assisted by two major grants from The Pew Charitable Trusts, have received international attention in the academic community.

The new Dean has been director of Samford's Co-neXus core curriculum since 1997, and was described by Samford Provost Joe O. Lewis as "a guiding force in the development and implementation" of the innovative program.

"Dr. Chapman brings experience to the position of Dean from his Associate Dean's office and adds to that the spirit of innovation inherent in our Problem-Based Learning and Service Learning initiatives," said Dr. Lewis, who announced Chapman's appointment.

Samford President Thomas E. Corts said, "First, as a professor, and then as associate dean, Dr. Chapman has energized curriculum reform efforts in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences. He was a force behind implementation of our new Co-neXus curriculum. From the beginning, he has been a ‘mover and shaker' with our Problem-Based Learning efforts. I expect him to lead the parade in behalf of Arts and Sciences at Samford."

Chapman joined Samford in 1990 as Associate Professor of English and Director of Samford's Writing Across the Curriculum Program. He developed guidelines for writing-intensive courses. Chapman served as Professor-in-Residence in Samford's London Study Centre and became Professor of English in 1994.

A native of Tulsa, Okla., Chapman holds the Ph.D. degree in English from Texas Christian University and the M.A. in Modern Letters from the University of Tulsa. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Oklahoma, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.

He is the author of numerous journal articles and two books on writing techniques, The Power of Writing and The Power of Writing with Additional Readings, published by Mayfield Publishing. He also collaborated on books about communication arts and PBL which are in press. In addition, Chapman is a frequent speaker at university conferences and workshops on writing across the curriculum, core curriculum issues and Problem-Based Learning.

Chapman and his wife Bonnie are parents of a son, Luke, 18, and a daughter, Jennifer, 16. They are members of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.