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From the Desk of Dr. Karen Haynes

President's Welcome

This webpage of presidential updates delivers on my pledge of open and clear communication with the Cal State San Marcos campus community. Along with my speeches, open forums, and video messages, these timely web reports will convey my thoughts about pressing issues and recent events directly to all of you, and this new avenue of communications seems fitting for our tech-savvy 21st-century campus! As I am a firm believer in two-way communication, I hope you will send me your thoughts via my e-mailbox. I'm eager to hear what's on your mind and learn which topics you might like me to address in future reports.

July 25, 2016

Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers

Many people have described teaching as a calling. And great teachers share common traits: They’re caring, determined, enthusiastic and tireless. They have a passion for serving their community and nurturing young minds.

It’s easy to understand why teaching is so often referred to as the noblest profession.

But we’re facing a critical time in education. To put it simply: We need more teachers.

The teaching shortage is a national problem, but nowhere is it more prevalent than California. The California Teachers Association has highlighted some alarming statistics. Among its findings:

  • California is last in the country in student-to-teacher ratio.
  • The state must replace 106,000 teachers over the next 10 years just to maintain current staffing levels.
  • Nearly one in three teachers leaves the profession within seven years.

But steps are being taken to address these issues.

At CSUSM, our commitment to preparing teachers goes back to the University’s founding 26 years ago.

We’ve grown from preparing elementary school teachers to an impressive list that includes programs for middle level education, high school education, bilingual education, special education and school administration.

Take Elliott Powell, CSUSM’s recipient of the Dean’s Award as the Outstanding Student in the College of Education, Health and Human Services in 2014.

Powell came to CSUSM after a distinguished career in the Navy that included directing the White House Situation Room. He has always had a strong commitment to education and chose to pursue his middle level credential after retiring from the Navy. Today, he is helping to prepare tomorrow’s leaders as a teacher at San Marcos Middle School.

Our Distinguished Teachers in Residence program continues to be a valuable partnership between the University and the community, allowing local school districts to be directly involved in teacher preparation.

Our Robert Noyce Teacher Scholars program, funded by the National Science Foundation, is increasing the number of students completing the math or science single subject credential program and entering into careers as high school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers.

And on July 29, we’re proud to be one of nearly 40 locations throughout the state hosting the second annual Better Together: California Teachers Summit. The summit is organized by the California State University, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities and the New Teacher Center.

There’s promise for the future throughout the state. In June, the state legislature passed a budget for the new fiscal year that includes a number of measures to begin addressing the teacher shortage.
Among those measures is $10 million in grants for colleges and universities to establish programs that will allow students to earn their bachelor’s and teaching credential in four years rather than the current five-year plan. EdSource, a nonprofit group that works to educate the public on California’s schools, notes that we’re the only state with a four-year bachelor’s program followed by a fifth year to acquire a teaching credential.

Those grants won’t be a cure-all for the teacher shortage, but it’s a step in the right direction as CSUSM continues our work to encourage future generations to see if teaching is their calling.

January 29, 2015
Showcasing CSUSM on the Journalist Roundtable


Welcome (and welcome back for everyone who is returning) to CSUSM for our Spring 2016 semester! Earlier this month, I was invited to sit with local journalists Kent Davy and Alison St. John for an interview about Cal State San Marcos for the Journalist Roundtable program on KOCT The Oceanside Channel which airs on Cox Cable channels 18 and 19.

I was pleased to talk about CSUSM and the people, programs, and achievements that set us apart. I shared some thoughts on the future of our University.

You can click on this link to see my interview. Best wishes for a productive and successful spring semester!

December 22, 2015
The Promise of the Higher Education Act

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Higher Education Act (HEA), signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on November 8, 1965. Though not often the subject of campus or community conversations, the HEA has a profound and positive impact on students at Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM), as well as on college and university students throughout the San Diego region and across the nation.

The HEA is the source of federal student financial aid programs, including Pell Grants for low- and middle-income students, federal student loans, and various other programs that help disadvantaged students access higher education. With the HEA past due for reauthorization, it is important to appreciate its importance in the current higher education environment and to hold our Federal legislators accountable for giving it the support our nation’s students deserve. (Read about the Higher Education Act)

December 2, 2015
Statement on Diversity

Students from universities across the United States are speaking. From Missouri, to New Haven, to Norman, and locally at Claremont, a diversity of student voices are being heard. They feel unwelcome, unsafe and unappreciated.

The common, shared experience being voiced is that universities are ignoring complaints of ongoing hostility toward students of color at these campuses. In reaction mode the universities are forced to take last-minute measures to navigate the delicate balance of a strategic and respectful vision of what diversity means in an academic institution.

I am pleased that at California State University San Marcos our commitment to diversity and inclusion is not just window dressing but transparent through our long-standing commitment to implement best practices designed to help all students feel safe, valued and appreciated. Rather than reacting, we choose to hold ourselves accountable by being proactive and strategic in our efforts.

As the president of CSUSM, I am personally committed to and fully support our students, faculty and staff as we move forward together to protect and nurture an environment where racism and marginalization cannot flourish. I trust that you know that I am committed to ensuring diversity and inclusion stay central to our mission, vision, core values and strategic priorities. As testament to this transparency, I proudly share a few examples of how we have approached and sustained diversity through several strategic efforts just in the last year alone. (Read our Statement on Diversity)

September 2, 2015
Kicking off Fall Semester with Cuba...and the Campaign

Leave Your Mark - Class of 2019

Fall semester is under way, and the campus is alive with the energy of more than 14,000 students – our largest student body ever! Here’s a picture of me on September 1st with our energetic first-year students at the annual CSUSM ‘Leave Your Mark’ event. Several exciting things are happening just in the month of September alone, and I wanted to share a few of them with you. (Read about our Campaign)