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James Doti, Chapman University President
I was fortunate to be invited to a breakfast yesterday that included an economic forecast by Chapman University President James L. Doti, PhD. Doti is an engaging speaker and a knowledgeable economist (fellow University of Chicago Graduate School of Business Alum).

With humor and insight he laid out an economic picture for thedoti.jpg U.S. economy as well as the greater Los Angeles area. He also poked fun at the two big Los Angeles schools, UCLA and USC. Doti has created a unilateral rivalry with the economics forecasts of these universities.

He effectively explained why higher oil prices, Hurricane Katrina, and an increase in the Fed Fund rate from 1% to 4.25% hasn’t hobbled the economy despite the media’s inclination to claim “the sky is falling.”

The Chapman University forecast seemed to be in line with the report released on Monday by the White House economists as noted in the Washington Post.

"The economy has shifted from recovery to sustained expansion," the Council of Economic Advisers wrote in its annual Economic Report of the President, which was sent to Congress yesterday. "Prospects remain good for continued growth in the years ahead."

More than a studious economic forecaster, Doti is impressive as a University President and leader. He is a dynamic personality and packs a lot of energy into his small frame (he looks about 5’6”). Doti’s first full-time teaching position was at the school where he is now President. He taught economics at Chapman, later serving as dean of the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics until he was named president of Chapman University in 1991.

It looks like Doti has success wired. He was a 2003 recipient of The Chief Executive Leadership Award, bestowed by Western Region of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. The Chief Executive Leadership Award honors visionary institutional leaders for outstanding contributions to their campus communities, for efforts to promote public understanding of education and for support of advancement at their campuses.

“Doti was recognized for his ability to create a vision and inspire others, establish a positive image of the university while leading it to even higher levels of success, and increase the university's stature in the community.”

He noted that he had been content as a teacher, content as a dean, and is now content as the president of a university. He wasn’t looking for changes in his career, but he seized them when they came his way. “You don’t have to plan the opportunities that come to you,” he says, “you just have to be prepared for them.

He was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans in 2002.

“My advice is not to shy away from a new opportunity—even when you are content with your current situation. New experiences expand your horizons. If you do your best at whatever is in front of you, the opportunities will come.”

Good advice from a dynamic and successful leader.

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