President Haynes Touts University’s Accomplishments, Impact in Region
By Eric Breier
Cal State San Marcos President Karen Haynes highlighted the University’s accomplishments in meeting the challenges facing higher education during her 14th annual Report to the Community address on Thursday morning.
“Although we find public higher education at the crossroads, I am optimistic for the future of our University,” Haynes told attendees. “I am optimistic because I see the impact CSUSM is having and the niche we are filling that no other institution can satisfy.
“In only 28 years, Cal State San Marcos has cemented itself as a vital cultural and intellectual resource, and as an indispensable force for individual opportunity and regional prosperity.”
The sold-out event brought together more than 600 individuals representing a broad cross section of regional business, nonprofit, education and government leadership.
Haynes’ remarks included the announcement that Carlsbad-based global communications company Viasat, together with several employees, has invested $1.5 million to become the founding partner of CSUSM’s engineering program.
“Their visionary support will create the future Viasat Engineering Pavilion,” Haynes said, “with funding to renovate classroom and lab space, purchase new equipment and instrumentation, and support the work of our faculty and students — quite literally creating pathways to educate the next generation of talented engineers.”
Other private-sector partners are also investing in engineering at CSUSM. San Marcos-based Hunter Industries has made a $100,000 gift to fund a design lab.
“Viasat and Hunter Industries are sending a strong message that an investment in CSUSM is a strong one, with qualified, workforce-ready graduates as the almost immediate return,” Haynes said. “Together, we are stepping forward to expand the boundaries of what is possible, for our University and for our region.”
Among other gifts highlighted by Haynes was The David T. and Dorris E. Staples Foundation joining with the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation and other individual philanthropists to provide $300,000 to fully fund CSUSM’s “All-Steinway School” initiative. This achievement builds on the private gifts that allowed the University to purchase its first Steinway D concert grand piano for the music program late last year.
Haynes noted that CSUSM will be the only university in Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties with the All-Steinway School distinction, and among only 200 colleges, universities and conservatories in the world.
Among CSUSM’s numerous accolades and awards, Haynes highlighted some of the many ways the University serves its growing population of nearly 17,000 students, including:
- ACE Scholar Services provides vital services that help former foster youth succeed and become productive citizens at a rate three times higher than the national average.
- CSUSM’s Veterans Services serves the highest percentage of veterans and military-affiliated students in the CSU system. In recognition of CSUSM’s efforts to serve those who served, the University ranked 24th in the nation in the “Military Times Best: Colleges 2018 Ranking.”
- CSUSM serves not only the highest per capita number of American Indian students in the CSU system but the only growing number with more than 400 students who self-identify as American Indian.
Despite CSUSM’s growth and achievements, a lack of state funding remains a concern.
In the mid-1990s, the state provided about 80 percent of the CSU’s operating costs. That funding has fallen to 55 percent, with student tuition and fees accounting for the rest. Haynes noted the initial budget proposal from Gov. Jerry Brown in January provides less than a third of what the CSU requested – just a 1.4 percent increase to the entire CSU operating budget, and nothing for increased compensation, mandatory costs and growth.
In response to ongoing insufficient public funding, CSUSM launched a major fundraising campaign, Forward Together, in 2015. More than 90 percent of the $50 million goal has been raised. The many recent gifts include:
- A $1 million gift from the Epstein Family Foundation, the most significant gift in support of CSUSM’s student veterans since the donation of the Veterans Center in 2014. Their gift will not only physically expand the Veterans Center but will provide an endowment to fund critical programs.
- The Price Philanthropies Foundation awarded the University a three-year, $325,000 grant in support of CSUSM’s Alliance to Accelerate Excellence in Education, which guarantees admission to students in 10 partner school districts if they meet established benchmarks and admission requirements.
- Philanthropists Malin and Roberta Burnham made a $225,000 gift through the Burnham Foundation to establish the Burnham Leadership Experience, which funds three Senior Experience teams of students every semester to work as consultants on real-world projects for nonprofits that may otherwise not be able to afford to participate.
“When we invest in our students, when we break down barriers, when we pursue knowledge, when we invigorate our region with a shared purpose, we continue to chart a bold pathway of prosperity and social change,” Haynes said.
“There has never been a more critical time than now. Let us step forward with our passion, our voices and our actions for this University.”
Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist
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