The California State University Board of Trustees Appoints Karen S. Haynes as President of Cal State San Marcos

Contact: Colleen Bentley-Adler, (562) 951-4801,

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(November 20, 2003) – Karen S. Haynes, president of the University of Houston-Victoria, today was named the president of California State University, San Marcos by the CSU Board of Trustees.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for me to work at a campus with a diverse and growing student body, dedicated administrators, faculty and staff and robust community support. I am extremely honored to be coming to Cal State San Marcos, and especially identify with its mission of quality and access,” Haynes said. “As president I look forward to working with the campus and community to further clarify the university’s strategic plan and vision statement, and to better incorporate technology to provide additional student access, especially in these times of budgetary cutbacks.”

“Karen Haynes will be an outstanding president who will strengthen the programs and continue the progress made at San Marcos since its founding in 1989,” said Debra Farar, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. “Her considerable administrative and academic skills make her the ideal person to further enhance the image and reputation of Cal State San Marcos in the region and throughout the state. We are pleased that she will become the university’s third permanent president.”

Haynes, a professor of social work, has been president of the University of Houston-Victoria since 1995. She previously was the dean of the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Houston (Houston). Prior to Houston, she was a faculty member in social work at Indiana University; the managing director, international resource development, International Business Associates in Cairo, Egypt, where she also served as a consultant; a faculty member at Southwest Texas State University; and the director of the social work division, sociology department, Mary Hardin-Baylor College in Texas.

Her degrees are all in social work: her Ph.D. is from the University of Texas at Austin; her master's degree is from McGill University in Montreal, Canada; and her bachelor's degree is from Goucher College in Maryland.

She will assume her leadership role at San Marcos on Feb. 1, 2004. Her salary will be set by the Board of Trustees at an upcoming meeting.

Haynes succeeds former President Alex Gonzalez, who assumed the presidency of California State University, Sacramento this past July. Roy McTarnaghan, president emeritus of Florida Gulf Coast University, has been serving as interim president. He was not a candidate for the permanent position.

The search for a new San Marcos president began in May 2003. The search committee was composed of trustees, the board chair, the CSU chancellor, a CSU president, San Marcos faculty, staff, student and alumni representatives and a community person.

California State University San Marcos is the higher education leader in the northern San Diego region. Founded in 1989, the campus enrolls more than 7,700 students who enjoy small classes and personal attention in a suburban environment. Cal State San Marcos emphasizes a rigorous writing requirement across the curriculum, as well as computer and second language competencies that give students an advantage when they compete in the job market or for graduate school admission. Compared to similar universities, students rank Cal State San Marcos significantly higher in the level of academic challenge, the opportunities for active and collaborative learning, and for other enriching educational experiences. See

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, more than 409,000 students and 46,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See

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Last Updated: November 20, 2003

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