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From the Desk of Dr. Karen Haynes

Marching into 2014

March 18, 2014

Arthur Silverstein III, Matt Walsh and Andrew Reed at the Student Union Opening.We are less than three full months into the New Year, but Cal State San Marcos has been full of energy and excitement since the first days of January. Perhaps it has something to do with the new Student Union that opened just after the semester began. Or maybe it’s because our men’s basketball team won its first-ever Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Division I Conference Championship. Whatever the reason, there's no denying that CSUSM is the campus to be on right now.

Recipients of the President's Faculty and Staff AwardsI know this to be true because I have heard it repeatedly as I have met with various groups and delivered remarks across campus and in our community. January started with a lively Q&A session with Vivienne Bennett, chair of the Academic Senate, at the Academic Spring Assembly, where faculty gather to discuss the semester. I followed that with our annual Faculty and Staff Awards, a celebration of the best of our employees. It's always good energy and a good way to start the year.

After that, it was full speed into February and March. My annual Report to the Community in February saw our largest crowd ever -- more than 600 guests, and resulted in extensive media coverage. Next, I hosted full professors for a luncheon, where we talked about our growing and diverse student body. That was followed by a thank you reception for staff and students involved in making the University Student Union a reality.

Campus Connect Alumni Lunch in the Ballroom at the new Student UnionMarch began with an inspiring afternoon with Campus Connect alumni, who gathered to talk about how the program has enabled them to approach their work differently. You can find out more about that program here.

I also had an opportunity to welcome faculty from other CSUs and from local colleges and universities for the CSU Teaching and Learning Symposium. That same day, I gathered with first and second year students before they headed off to Julian for a leadership retreat. I shared with them the culture of leadership that exists at our university and how they can apply the principles to their roles as student leaders.

Leadership Education and Development RetreatIn between attending and speaking at events, I met with several university donors and potential supporters of the university. I was also honored to deliver the keynote address at the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network's General Assembly, which was held in downtown san Diego. I spoke about the launch of the CSU Institute for Palliative Care and my personal background in social work and how those skills have translated into my leadership style.

It has clearly been a busy start to the year, and these are just a few of the events that have kept me busy these past few months. As we move toward commencement, the days here will only get busier. But that's a good thing. It means that we are a spirited university, a university with a positive campus climate. Together, we are ensuring that the secret is out: CSUSM is university in demand.