Back to school: Cal State San Marcos opens year with record enrollment

Time for books, no dirty looks at California State University San Marcos/CSUSM

The fall semester at Cal State San Marcos kicked off Monday with nearly three dozen new faculty, several new programs and the highest enrollment in campus history.

President Karen Haynes, the most senior president in the CSU system, opened the 2017-18 academic year with her 14th CSUSM Convocation address on Thursday, Aug. 24.

Speaking to hundreds of CSUSM faculty and staff members, she highlighted recent University achievements and set the tone for the new school year.

“Now, on the cusp of a new academic year, with all of the excitement, energy and new possibilities it brings, I’m proud of all that we can do and all that we will do to challenge the status quo, disrupt the traditional models of higher education, and propel our students and our region forward,” Haynes told attendees.

CSUSM is welcoming nearly 17,000 students as classes begin Monday, Aug. 28, the highest anticipated enrollment in the University’s 27-year history. Among those students are more than 2,500 freshmen, an increase of 17 percent compared to last year, and 1,900 transfers, a 21 percent increase. All enrollment figures are still considered preliminary with final totals determined after the end of the fourth week of classes.

Other updates, additions and changes for the fall semester include:

New faculty, staff and programs

CSUSM has 32 new tenure-track faculty members this fall, plus one who will start in fall 2018.

Julia Johnson began her appointment as the dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences on July 1. Johnson came to CSUSM from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse where she served as dean of the College of Liberal Studies.

Lorna Kendrick began her appointment as the new director of the School of Nursing on July 1. Additionally, Amy Carney began a one-year appointment as Associate Director of the School of Nursing on July 1.

Scott Ybarrondo was sworn in as CSUSM’s new police chief on June 20. Ybarrondo previously worked for the San Diego Sheriff’s Department for more than 26 years, including the past five as a captain.

An American Indian Studies major is being offered for the first time this fall.

Jennifer Moore Ballentine has been appointed the new executive director of the CSU Institute for Palliative Care effective Sept. 25. She succeeds Helen McNeal, the founding executive director of the Institute, who is retiring Oct. 6.

The Center for Research and Engagement in STEM Education (CRESE) officially launched July 1. Physics professor Ed Price is the center’s faculty director.

A stackable certificate program in EngiBeering will launch in spring 2018. Further cementing CSUSM’s place as a hub for hops, the University Library recently launched the Brewchives, an archive documenting the history of dozens of craft breweries in San Diego County through photographs, brewing notes, marketing materials, recordings and more.

NCAA Division II

The athletics department successfully completed its transition to NCAA Division II membership. Haynes and Director of Athletics Jennifer Milo received confirmation from the NCAA on July 14 that the University is now a full-fledged Division II member.

Completing the transition means CSUSM teams are eligible for Division II postseason play beginning with the 2017-18 academic year. Schools aren’t eligible for the postseason during the transition process. For the 2016-17 academic year, 10 of CSUSM’s 13 teams would have made the postseason had the University been eligible.

The athletics department will host a public celebration for students, faculty, staff and the community at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31 at The Sports Center to mark the milestone.

Weeks of Welcome

The annual Weeks of Welcome started Aug. 25 and runs through Sept. 9. There are more than 40 events scheduled to welcome students back to campus. Weeks of Welcome events are free and open to all CSUSM students.

See the Weeks of Welcome calendar for a complete schedule.

Campaign update

CSUSM has entered the final 16-month stretch of its historic fundraising campaign, Forward Together. The University has raised more than $38 million, putting it more than 77 percent of the way to its goal of $50 million by the end of 2018.

Visit the Forward Together page for more information about the campaign.

Smoke- and tobacco-free campus

CSUSM became a completely smoke- and tobacco-free campus on Monday. Electronic cigarettes also are banned.

CSU Chancellor Tim White issued an Executive Order in April implementing a systemwide smoke- and tobacco-free environment for all campuses effective this fall.

Summer snippets

  • A $225,000 dollar gift from Malin and Roberta Burnham is establishing the Burnham Leadership Experience in the College of Business Administration. The Burnham Leadership Experience will operate under the umbrella of the Senior Experience Program and will fund three teams of students every semester for nonprofits that may otherwise not be able to afford to participate.
  • CSUSM’s annual gala, co-hosted by Haynes and the CSUSM Foundation Board, raised $167,000 to support scholarships, student programming and the professional development of faculty.
  • In June, the College of Business Administration, in partnership with the San Diego Business Journal, launched an online Economic Dashboard that provides key economic indicators and trends regarding business and community organizations in San Diego County. The project uses students from the Senior Experience Program to create an online survey and distribute it throughout the county.

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