Speaking before an estimated 500 regional leaders from government, business, and service organization at the annual President's Report to the Community on February 3, President Karen Haynes said that California State University San Marcos is moving quickly toward its 25th anniversary in 2015 with a focus on building for the future, in partnership with and to the benefit of its dynamic and growing region.

At the Report, the President honored Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region with the University’s annual Partner of the Year Award. The prestigious award recognizes a community partner that has demonstrated a collaborative spirit and community engagement in addressing regional issues of mutual or broad-reaching concern. Kaiser Permanente was recognized for its role in supporting the university’s fledgling School of Nursing as well as establishing a scholarship and loan forgiveness program, providing nursing students with forgivable loans in exchange for a two-year commitment by the student to work for the organization.

“At a time when California’s nursing shortage is at a near-crisis level and public universities are receiving less funding from the state, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region has stepped forward time and time again to lend a helping hand,” commented Haynes. “To date, they have provided over $1.5 million to support our nursing students and programs.”

“President Haynes is a transformative leader focused on the future, expecting academic excellence and a shared engagement of community,” said Dr. Maureen Casamiquela, director of professional education, patient care services at Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region. “Our proud partnership and commitment to the CSUSM School of Nursing began with a shared vision.  Kaiser Permanente Nursing offers extraordinary care to every patient, every time.  The School of Nursing shares that vision and is preparing our nursing leaders of tomorrow with a commitment to academic excellence, compassionate quality care and service to others.”

During her remarks, Haynes said that over the last two decades the University has established itself as a leader and first responder to the challenges and changes its region has faced, citing its seven guaranteed admissions programs, Veterans program, and ACE Scholars Services program for former Foster Youth as prime examples.  In the last few years alone, the campus has seen the growth of new academic programs, the addition of new athletics facilities including new baseball and softball diamonds, and the construction of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Building.

With these and many more accomplishments, CSUSM is now focused on the future and the University’s 25th anniversary in 2015.  Haynes’ vision is that by 2015, the University will have further raised the educational attainment rates, particularly among the most educationally at risk populations, thus assuring economic vitality and social transformation throughout our region, while modeling best 21st century concepts in curriculum, pedagogy, research and community engagement.

Haynes reported that efforts are taking place now in CSUSM’s classrooms and centers, and through the research activities of its faculty, to train students for success in the community and workplace after graduation.

CSUSM is directing resources to expand remediation and summer bridge programs, develop academic planning tools, and streamline new student orientation so that more of the students who enter the university follow through to graduation.

As a vibrant campus in a growing region, CSUSM plans to continue to embrace new technology to support student learning, collaborate with other research institutions, and help regional business develop and incubate.

Additionally, the campus is looking forward to becoming an even greater destination location for students and community members alike to enjoy arts, theater, and cultural activities.

Haynes acknowledged that draconian state budget cuts will be an obstacle to overcome on the path to 2015.  However, with the support of community partners and the advocacy of the public, the University will continue to transform students’ lives and the region at large with access to quality public higher education.

To read President Haynes’ complete speech, visit www.csusm.edu/president/documents/rtc2011.pdf.

At the Report, the President honored Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region with the University’s annual Partner of the Year Award.