San Marcos,
17:24 PM

President Haynes Kicks Off Academic Year at Convocation

By Eric Breier

Cal State San Marcos President Karen Haynes opened the 2017-18 academic year with her 14th CSUSM Convocation address on Thursday, Aug. 24.

Speaking to hundreds of CSUSM faculty and staff members, she highlighted recent University achievements and set the tone for the new school year.

“Now, on the cusp of a new academic year, with all of the excitement, energy and new possibilities it brings, I’m proud of all that we can do and all that we will do to challenge the status quo, disrupt the traditional models of higher education, and propel our students and our region forward,” Haynes told attendees.

Haynes, CSUSM’s longest-serving president and the most senior president in the 23-campus CSU system, said the University has become a vital cultural and intellectual resource for the region. The myriad milestones Haynes noted at Convocation included:

  • CSUSM received over 16,000 first-time freshmen applications for this fall — an almost 8 percent increase from last year and a 21 percent increase from two years ago. It’s the highest increase in the CSU system.
  • Between June 2016 and July 2017, CSUSM received 54 awards totaling $17.5 million, a 90 percent year-over-year increase in grant funds awarded to the University and a 120 percent increase in just two years.
  • CSUSM’s Office for Training, Research & Education reported that last academic year OTRES scholars gave 87 scientific presentations and were co-authors on six publications in peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, seven OTRES scholars were selected to represent CSUSM at the CSU Statewide Research Competition, with two receiving statewide awards.

Haynes also shared an update on CSUSM’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, Forward Together, an ambitious effort to raise $50 million in support of students, community engagement initiatives, research and other programs.

Individuals, corporations and foundations have contributed more than $38 million since the campaign was publicly launched in September 2015, putting CSUSM more than 77 percent of the way toward its goal.

Haynes highlighted a number of campaign gifts, including a recent $1 million pledge from the Epstein family to physically expand the University’s Veterans Center.

The fall semester begins Monday with CSUSM preparing to welcome nearly 17,000 students, the highest enrollment in school history.

“Together, we are empowering our students to achieve a better life not just for themselves, but for their families and communities,” Haynes told Convocation attendees. “Upon graduation, they are not just fulfilling a life goal but, for many, a goal that has been many generations in the making. Goals — thanks to your teaching and mentorship — that are building on an important regional legacy. Goals that are only the beginning of imagining the possibilities of ones’ life trajectory!”