San Marcos,
13:46 PM

Celebrating Bold Leadership

By Christine Vaughan

Faculty and staff gathered on Tuesday, April 9 to honor the long and distinguished careers of President Karen Haynes and First Gentleman Jim Mickelson at a campus-wide retirement celebration.

Haynes, the longest-serving president in the California State University system, announced last fall that she will be retiring at the end of June along with her husband, Mickelson, the director of ACE Scholars Services, CSUSM’s cutting-edge program for former foster youth.

Five speakers shared the stage with Haynes and Mickelson, sharing memories and stories of impact.

On behalf of Academic Senate, professors Suzanne Moineau and Jackie Trischman unveiled the Dr. Karen Haynes Collegiality Award, in tribute to Haynes’ tireless dedication to campus climate. The moment brought Haynes to tears.

"This award recognizes, as did President Haynes, that our ability to excel is a function of our ability to work together as a team," Trishman said.

Funded for the first two years through the generous donations of current and former Academic Senate Officers, the award will alternate between faculty and staff who consciously and consistently promote a climate of belonging, mutual respect, and trust for all members of the university.

Two videos offered personal reflections from Haynes and Mickelson.

“I probably cannot thank the campus enough,” Mickelson said in his video.

“I would not have stayed if I did not care deeply about the people on this campus,” Haynes said. “And that’s what makes it so hard to leave.”

Share messages of thanks and relive memories at