16:51 PM

Despite Budget Challenges, President Haynes Shares Optimism at Fall Convocation

Despite Budget Challenges, President Haynes Shares Optimism at Fall ConvocationAs students were preparing to return to campus, President Karen Haynes addressed faculty and staff at Convocation on Thursday, Aug. 27.  The annual event provides an opportunity for the campus community to come together as a whole to celebrate accomplishments and mark the beginning of the new academic year.Acknowledging that it has been an extraordinarily difficult year of fiscal constraints - CSUSM's budget was reduced by 14 million dollars, staff and faculty took a 10 percent pay cut due to furloughs, and students fees increased by 30 percent - Haynes borrowed a well-known motto from Cesar Chavez declaring, "Si, se peude! - Yes, it can be done!" Noted highlights of the past year included reaffirmation of accreditation from WASC with special mention of the campus's First Year Programs, placement on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for the third consecutive year, and the opening of Cal State San Marcos at Temecula."We have risen to meet many challenges many times in our short history and we have overcome them in a variety of ways.  I am confident we will do so again in the year ahead.  We will continue to focus on and to mature our five strategic priorities of academic excellence, student life, campus climate, community partnerships, and educational equity," remarked Haynes. "I am optimistic because you care about this institution, our students, and the engagement with our community.  Each year you show me that you do.  What will we look like next year - in the midst of our 20th anniversary? None of us is certain.  But I am confident that as we've done for 19 years, we will deal with the immediate and build for the future.  It can be done."President Haynes's complete Convocation remarks can be read or downloaded at http://www.csusm.edu/president/speech/convocation.pdf.