President Haynes addresses future of CSUSM

Jasmine Demers, Managing Editor


CSUSM President Karen Haynes recently addressed the community about the current state and future of the university, and its commitment to “impacting tomorrow, together.”

On Thursday, Feb. 4, over 600 people gathered to hear Haynes speak at the 12th annual Report to the Community, where she called for a “revisioned American Dream.”

“We must reset our compass toward this new reality—the ‘new American Dream’ of a college education for all in our region who seek it,” said Haynes.

She explained that the university must work to increase access, embrace innovation and build global access, because the jobs of today’s world require that students experience higher education.

“The jobs of today, and certainly of tomorrow, require skill sets and experiences beyond high school levels,” she said. “Yet, projections show that at today’s enrollment rates, by the year 2030, California will suffer a 1.1 million-degree gap between the total state output of bachelor’s degrees and what our state’s workforce will require.”

Haynes noted that the student body had grown 24 percent over the past three years with a record enrollment of more than 14,000 students last year. In discussing the jobs of tomorrow and preparing students for the future economy, she mentioned the university’s effort to develop degree programs in cybersecurity, hospitality and tourism management and “engineering,” a career option that “will focus on the business of craft beer as well as brewing science.”

Haynes also mentioned several of CSUSM’s defining initiatives, including but not limited to its dedication to educational equity, innovation and diversity.

President Haynes’s speech was challenged by over a dozen students who stood outside in protest of changes made at the Office of Diversity and her announcement that former Associate Vice President Arturo Ocampo “is no longer with the University.”

Haynes did not address the student protest nor the changes made with the Office of Diversity, but did comment on the success of diversity in recent years including the “Beyond the Stereotype” Campaign, the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award, a $2.5 million award for innovation and being recognized for the second year in a row as a “Top School” by Military Advanced Education.

“Our story is different; our story is proactive—one told by our long-standing commitment to help students feel safe, valued and appreciated,” she said.

Haynes also noted that CSUSM is currently working on $50 million fundraising campaign and that it is already halfway there.

“It has been said that great achievement has no road map and there can be no gain without some risk. I stand ready, with you by our side, to go where no university has gone before, to impact tomorrow, together,” she said.