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Spring 2009 Blog Entires

From the Desk of Dr. Karen Haynes
Spring 2009

May 28, 2009

Update to President Haynes' May 20th Budget Message

The President's May 20th Budget Message referenced a June 1st meeting called by Chancellor Reed for all CSU Presidents. The Chancellor was called to testify before the state legislature, requiring the meeting to be rescheduled to June 3rd.   Following the June 3rd meeting, Executive Council will review and assess CSUSM's position on June 4th and will do whatever appropriate to begin discussions and consultation about next steps.  Please continue to visit Budget Central for the latest news and information.  

Read the full May 20th Budget Message sent by President Haynes.

April 14, 2009

Budget Update

Forum Scheduled for May 7th at 3:30 p.m. in Arts 240

We learned in the last few weeks that California will not receive enough federal stimulus money to avoid $948 million in cuts to specific programs in the 2009-10 budget, including a $50 million reduction to the CSU's 2009-10 budget.  A determination by the state treasurer and state finance director as to whether or not the state would receive a specified amount of the federal funds was one of the requirements included in the recently enacted state budget.  The treasurer and finance director's March 27 decision means the cuts to specific programs are occurring. It also means the personal income tax rates will increase by 0.25 percent rather than 0.125 percent.

As I have indicated in earlier communications, CSUSM's portion of the $50 million reduction is $1.2 million.  We had anticipated this reduction in our earlier scenarios, and we believe we are in a position to absorb it on the assumption we will use money held for compensation increases without implementing additional reductions.  We are continuously monitoring the fiscal situation and will continue to develop scenarios based on what we know and after carefully reviewing decisions made by the Governor and state legislature, California Department of Finance and the CSU Board of Trustees. 

Given that the legislative analyst's office recently predicted that the current budget is already $8 billion short and likely to grow due to California's deteriorating economy, the CSU's continued emphasis is on persuading the legislature and governor to avoid further cuts.

Please continue to visit Budget Central for updated news and information. I will also hold a Budget Forum on May 7th at 3:30 p.m. in Arts 240.

April 14, 2009

CSUSM Shines in SD Science Festival

SD Science FestivalOur region can take pride in the fact that this month's 2009 San Diego Science Festival was the biggest science festival ever held in the United States.  And our university can take pride in knowing that Cal State San Marcos made a very impressive Festival showing, both here on campus and at the culminating Expo Day in Balboa Park.

On Wednesday, April 1st, nearly 300 people, including busloads of K-12 schoolchildren, came to Cal State San Marcos to enjoy 17 interactive science exhibits.  Faculty, students, and staff made magic happen with phenomena from Biological Sciences (climate change), Chemistry & Biochemistry (dry ice), Computer Science and Information Systems (computer games), Kinesiology (biomechanics), Instructional and Information Technology (digital audio), Physics (a rocket car race), Psychology (visual illusions), and Visual and Performing Arts (the art of chemistry).  And the CSUSM Police Department showed how detectives use chemistry to solve crimes in ingenious ways.

On Sunday, April 4th, a record crowd of 50,000 people filled Balboa Park for the Expo Day celebration, and our CSUSM Science Exhibition Booth was one of the most popular displays. The surprise hit of the day was "RecycleCat," our CSUSM trophy for being national champions in the Environmental Protection Agency's "Recyclemania" competition for the fourth consecutive year.  Local environmentalists of all ages were delighted to learn that a CSU university from this region outperformed major research universities in pioneering sustainability practices.  And prospective students were introduced to the quality of CSUSM's cutting-edge educational technology and the breadth of our science curricula.

Perhaps best of all, the new friends we made at the San Diego Science Festival saw how people from units across campus - Academic Affairs, Community Engagement, Facilities Management, Student Services and University Advancement - showed our trademark "University First" teamwork in organizing exhibits.  Thanks go to everyone who helped Cal State San Marcos shine at the Science Festival.

March 10, 2009

It's Official! CSUSM Temecula Opens

ribbon cuttingAt a gathering yesterday of more than 100 jubilant supporters, Cal State San Marcos at Temecula was officially launched at the Paul Goldring Garrett Institute for Higher Learning. I joined with Temecula Mayor Maryann Edwards and Council Members Mike Naggar and Chuck Washington in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and guests were taken on tours of the sparkling new facility's classrooms, including patient care rooms for Nursing students. The Mayor proclaimed, "This is a red-letter day for Temecula! When a university comes to town, things really begin to happen." Mr. Washington predicted that, with the magnet of a local CSU presence, "we'll become an attraction for some of the best and the brightest." And Mr. Naggar reported that the Temecula Foundation for Higher Education has long-range plans for a 50-acre campus. "If we've learned anything from you folks at Cal State San Marcos," he said, "it's that dreaming big is OK!" We also paid special tribute to Suzanne Lingold, our Extended Learning Assistant Dean for Southwest Riverside and the guiding light for the new branch, by presenting her with the first official "Cal State San Marcos at Temecula" logo.

I cannot imagine a more visionary town-gown partnership than the one that produced this new university branch in less than two years, and I look forward to watching our alliance, and our new campus branch, flourish in the years to come. For more background about Cal State San Marcos Temecula, please visit my posted opening ceremony remarks on my "Speeches" Webpage.

February 23, 2009

Update on the Enacted California Budget

I am writing to let you know how the state budget approved last week by the California legislature will affect CSU and CSU San Marcos.  The enacted budget is generally consistent with the information I shared with you at the University Budget Forum in January.   As we anticipated, the Governor's mid-year fiscal reductions will be restored in 2009/10.The budget package also reduces the CSU's state support base by $66.3 million in 2008-09 and continues that reduction into 2009-10.  

The most important change from the Governor's prior proposal, and one that we did not anticipate in January, is a contingent cut of $50 million for 2009-10 to the CSU. This reduction, which is contingent upon the allocation of federal stimulus funds, will be rescinded on or before April 1st if the State Treasurer and the Director of the Department of Finance determine that California will receive at least $9.1 billion of federal stimulus funds by June 30, 2010.

What this budget means for CSU San Marcos is as follows:

  • For 2008-2009, the CSUSM budget is reduced by $2.2 million.
  • $748,400 of the $2.2 million will be restored in 2009-10.
  • In 2009-10, the reduction will be at least $1.5 million.
  • The budget further assumes that the Trustees will increase student fees by 10 percent in 2009-10.

Because of the decisions our campus made last year to curtail spending, at this time, we believe that CSUSM should be able to weather the coming year without additional permanent reductions at the division level.  Nevertheless, uncertainty continues to surround the state's budget; major pieces of the budget depend upon actions by voters in a special election scheduled for May 19th, as well as upon actual state revenues over the next 17 months.  Thus, the campus's budget situation is dependent upon factors related to the broader fiscal context and subject to change.

At the University Budget Forum, I issued a "call to action" for us all.  I will reiterate that, in this extraordinary time in our campus's history, we must stay focused on our historic mission - to serve a diverse and educationally at risk student population-and move forward with a sense of urgency to engage in conversations that serve students, create efficiencies, and enhance revenues. I hope that you will join me on March 11th at the Campus Conversation on Strategic Planning where we will examine our priorities and engage in these important and creative discussions.

In the meantime, I ask that you continue to visit the Budget Central Webpage for the latest news on the CSUSM budget. Thank you for your dedication to our mission of providing access to higher education and its promise of economic opportunity.

February 2, 2009

Spring Diversity Forum

I invite everyone to attend our Spring Diversity Town Hall Forum on Monday, February 16 at 11:30 a.m., in the Grand Salon of the Clarke Field House.  We will continue the dialogue that we began at our very successful November 10 Fall Diversity Forum, and we will explore ways to implement ideas resulting from the Fall Forum; a full list is available online.  

January 30, 2009

Budget Forum Update

Our January 29 campus Budget Forum was a great example of how important it is that we keep the lines of communication open, and keep our campus community united, when tough fiscal times call for institutional resilience.  

As I told the forum gathering, while Cal State San Marcos is facing a permanent annual budget reduction of $1.5 million, and stringent cost measures are in place, our campus is positioned to weather the coming year because of prudent decisions we have already made to curtail spending.  At this time, the CSU system is not planning any furloughs, and Cal State San Marcos is not planning for further permanent reductions at the division levels.

If you were not able to attend, you can learn more about the budget picture by reading my complete remarks.  With no budget call for next year, we will have to continue to do more with less.  I know that our campus community is up to the challenge, and I am confident that we will achieve significant progress in these 2009/10 priority areas:

  • We will support our first-year students and implement strategies to retain students and graduate students in a timely manner.
  • We will define and implement best practices for achieving our diversity goals.
  • We will continue to improve organizational productivity and quality. We will expand innovative programs and program delivery, and
  • We will continue to reach out to the community through visibility and support and donor development.

To attain those goals during this extraordinary time, all of us together must:

  • Stop waiting for the restoration of our former funds;
  • Stay focused on our historic mission to serve a diverse and educationally at risk student population;
  • Move forward with a sense of urgency; and
  • Engage in creative conversations that lead to innovative practices that will serve students, create efficiencies, and enhance revenues.

I invite you to bookmark our Budget Central Webpage for the latest news on the budget, and I thank you for your continued dedication to the "university first" mission of Cal State San Marcos.

January 26, 2009

Dr. Steve Nichols, Athletic Director, Steps Down to Return to Faculty

Dr. Steve Nichols has decided to leave the post of Athletic Director and return to the faculty after the 2008/09 academic year. In his five years as Athletic Director, Dr. Nichols built a strong and sustainable program and led it to become one of the top NAIA athletic departments in the nation. He established a strong funding base, added new teams in soccer, baseball and softball, and added needed staff in academic support, sports medicine and sports information. It is no doubt that Dr. Nichols' commitment to the student athlete created a program in which "winning" also included academic performance, gender equity and responsible involvement on the campus and in the community.
Steve made remarkable achievements during his tenure as our Athletic Director. I am grateful to him for taking on this role with a "university-first" perspective, and for going above and beyond to turn the program around and place Cougar Athletics on the path to continued growth and prosperity. Dr. Nichols has indicated that his heart and roots lie with the faculty, research and teaching. He is looking forward to returning and I wish him well.
I will initiate a national search in February and have asked Chief of Staff Matt Ceppi to chair the search committee. If you have any questions regarding the search, please contact him at

January 21, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009:  Reflections on a New Era

President Obama Cut-outThe first day of a new semester is always noteworthy, but nothing compares to the sense of wonder we shared as we opened the Spring 2009 semester by watching a live broadcast of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. I was delighted to join in the campus viewing hosted by the Cal State San Marcos African American Faculty Staff Association (AAFSA). A cross-section of our campus community -- faculty, students, and staff from every division - filled Commons 206 to witness this historic occasion and celebrate as a family. We cheered when the 44th President took his oath of office with vigor and confidence, and we wept at the sight of him surrounded by his beautiful wife and daughters. His inaugural speech was a stirring reminder to all Americans that, as he put it, "our patchwork heritage is a strength." And, of course, we were thrilled to hear him say that this nation "will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age."

On a more personal note, I became a social worker because I embraced the values of that profession: belief in the dignity and worth of every individual; in the self-determination of people; in social justice as a foundation of democracy. For the past two decades, I have spoken out publicly about incongruities in our national mindset, for example, why we praise Americans for volunteering in homeless shelters and food pantries but never ask why America has homeless and hungry people. As my husband, Jim Mickelson, and I write the revisions for the seventh edition of our co-authored book, Affecting Change: Social Workers in the Political Arena, we are energized to add new sections AAFSA Gatheringabout the power of hope, promise, and equality, values that President Obama embodies, values our book will convey to social work students, values that I believe form the core of a Cal State San Marcos education.

I want to thank AAFSA President Marilyn McWilliams and all the AAFSA officers for giving our campus community an opportunity to commemorate a landmark occasion in such a meaningful way. And I want to thank all of you for continuing to live the values of social justice and to exemplify in your daily actions optimism for our future and respect for others.

I invite everyone to send their own personal reflections on the Presidential Inauguration - the memories you will carry forth, the lines from the speech that resonated with you - to me at

January 12, 2009

New Year, New Semester:  Looking Ahead

President Haynes & CrashI want to begin 2009 by wishing all of you the very best as we launch a new year and a new semester. 

Cal State San Marcos embraces its public university mission of serving our students and our community, and the months ahead will provide new opportunities for us to excel at both. This month, the Spring Academic Assembly charts our semester course, and the Faculty/Staff Awards reception celebrates individual achievements. In February, my annual "Report to the Community" will brief our regional stakeholders on our expanding record of institutional success, and the Spring Diversity Forum will map out specific steps to foster multiculturalism and educational equity. In early April, the long-awaited WASC Educational Effectiveness visit will give us a chance to showcase all the ways that Cal State San Marcos turns learners into global citizens, critical thinkers, and leaders.

We embark on this ambitious agenda at a time of unprecedented resource challenges. I am confident that we will rise to these challenges as we always have. Our Budget Central Website will continue to update you on the latest budget news, and our January 29 Budget Forum will bring our campus community together to discuss how we can navigate tough times together with ingenuity and resolve.

I am excited about what's on our horizon in 2009, and I look forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2010, in large part because of the quality and the enthusiasm I see every day in our faculty, students, and staff. I hope you share my excitement, and I look forward to strengthening our "University First" spirit in collaboration with all of you throughout the year.

January 12, 2009

Budget Update
Budget Forum Moved to Thursday, January 29, 2009

 The Governor released his 2009/10 proposed budget in early January. The budget identifies a $14.8 billion revenue shortfall in 2008/09 that will grow to $41.6 billion by the end of 2009/10 if proposed solutions are not adopted by the Legislature.  

In late October, the Governor reduced the CSU 2008/09 budget by $31.3 million. CSUSM's share of this reduction was $748,400.  The Governor's 2009/10 proposed budget restores this reduction (treating it as a one-time budget action). In the fall, the Governor also proposed a $66.3 million reduction to the CSU's 2008/09 budget. CSUSM's portion of that reduction is approximately $1.6 million. The 2009/10 budget would make that reduction permanent.   The Governor's Compact was not funded.  The budget assumes that the CSU Board of Trustees will increase student fees by 10 percent.  

Last week, Chancellor Reed announced cost saving measures aimed at maintaining jobs and student access to quality programs in the midst of the state's fiscal crisis. The Chancellor implemented a salary freeze for all vice president/vice chancellor positions and above, including campus presidents and the Chancellor. He also announced a hiring freeze on all but essential positions, cancellation of non-critical equipment and supplies purchases, and travel restrictions for employees. These latter measures have already been implemented here and will be continued.

Effective immediately, I have frozen all MPP (Management Personnel Plan) employees' salaries on campus through 2008/09.  I have also asked our Vice Presidents to continue to make prudent decisions to defer or cancel non-essential purchases, curtail non-essential travel, and delay hiring where possible. I will continue to approve all personnel requisitions. Vice Presidents will continue to approve all Personnel Action Notices (PAN). All travel requires the appropriate Vice President's approval, and any international travel requires my approval. Finally, any purchases or service contracts over $10,000 require the Vice President's approval, and any over $20,000 require my approval.

The Chancellor has called all CSU Presidents to a meeting on January 26 to discuss the budget. The Budget Forum previously scheduled for that day has been rescheduled for January 29 during University Hour in ARTS 240. The forum will provide updates on the Governor's Budget proposal and its local impacts, and it will provide opportunity for Q&A. 

Thank you for your continued efforts to serve our students during this difficult time.     

January 12, 2009

Periodic Review of Provost Emily Cutrer

It is the practice of Cal State San Marcos to perform a review of the Provost, the Vice Presidents, and the Deans during their third year of service. The Periodic Review of Provost Emily Cutrer will be conducted this semester. I have asked Marion Reid, Dean of the Library, to chair the review committee. Other committee members will be David Barsky (Associate Vice President, Academic Programs), Soheila Jorjani (CoBA), Rosa Mora (Center for Learning and Student Academic Support Services), Garry Rolison (Special Assistant to the President for Educational Equity and Diversity), Linda Scott (Senior Director, Academic Technology), and Marie Thomas (CoAS). 

The review will include the Provost's full range of responsibilities, with particular emphasis on leadership and managerial effectiveness, and it will examine the Provost's contributions to the campus, the CSU system, the State, and regional and national higher education. The review will provide an opportunity for substantial input and consultation of faculty, staff, and students. I encourage you to provide input to this important process when requested by the committee.