San Marcos,
10:46 AM

President Haynes Honored as a Trailblazer at Leadership Award Ceremony

Press Release by Margaret Chantung

Dr. Karen Haynes, president of California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), was one of six California State University (CSU) women presidents recognized for their outstanding leadership at the Leadership California Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 27. The annual Trailblazer Award, from Leadership California, recognizes women who exemplify a spirit of exploration, passion and groundbreaking achievement that leads the way for others to innovate and succeed.

This year marked the first time in the program’s history that six women were selected to receive the award as a group. The five other CSU presidents honored were: Dr. Soraya M. Coley of Cal Poly Pomona; Dr. Jane Close Conoley of CSU Long Beach; Dr. Mildred García of CSU Fullerton; Dr. Dianne F. Harrison of CSU Northridge; and Dr. Lisa Rossbacher of Humboldt State.

“The recognition is a richly deserved honor for an accomplished group of academic leaders who have dedicated their professional and personal lives to the service of all people in California” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “As mentors, CSU’s six women presidents serve as exemplary models for women leaders in higher education and beyond. We, as a system, laud them for their commitment to transforming their campuses, our state and the nation.”

“With higher education in the forefront of state policy issues and as a desired goal of many of California’s people, the opportunity to honor the women leading higher education in our state could not be more relevant and timely,” said Pamela Hemann, executive director of Leadership California.

Haynes is CSUSM’s third president, serving in the role since 2004, and the senior female president in the CSU system. Under her leadership, the University has become a first-choice campus for the region, with a particular focus on serving educationally-at-risk student populations such as former foster youth, veterans and Native Americans. Fifty-two percent of the 2014 graduating class were the first in their families to earn a four-year degree; and well over half of the student body identifies as being a minority. Dr. Haynes’ commitment to public higher education is helping CSUSM transform the lives of students and families throughout Southern California.

“During my 30 years in academic leadership positions, I have experienced that one of the most rewarding aspects of being a leader is the opportunity to mentor and inspire the next generation of women leaders,” reflected Haynes. “While my generation has trail-blazed a path of ‘firsts’ for women, the next generations must remove the ‘token’ aspect of these achievements and make them the norm. For this to occur, I believe that it is our duty, and our reward, as female leaders to inspire and mentor those who will come after us.”