Karen S. Haynes
image of Dr. Karen S. Haynes

Karen S. Haynes has served as the third president of California State University, San Marcos since 2004. Guided by a comprehensive strategic plan, Haynes has overseen tremendous growth at Cal State San Marcos, from a larger, more diverse student population to the physical expansion of the campus. Under her leadership, the university has won acclaim for excellence in 21st-century learning: building educational access and equity, institutional accountability, community engagement, and making a transformational regional impact.

Haynes, a former dean and professor of social work, has authored articles on political social work and, with her husband Jim Mickelson, co-authored the landmark text, Affecting Change: Social Workers in the Political Arena, now in its seventh edition.

Haynes is currently the Presidential Sponsor for the American Council on Education's Southern California Network of Women in Higher Education and serves on the regional board of the San Diego Economic Development Corporation. She was honored in 2007 with the San Diego YWCA's Top Women in Industry Award and the San Diego Business Journal's "Women Who Mean Business" Award. In 2010, she was a recipient of the San Diego Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEO” award as well as a “Women Who Move the City” honorable mention by San Diego Magazine.

Academic Experience

President, California State University, San Marcos, 2004 to date.

President, University of Houston-Victoria, 1995-2003.

Dean and Professor, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Houston, Houston, 1985-95.

Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Indiana University, 1981-85.

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Indiana University, 1978-81.

Assistant Professor, Institute of Social Work, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, 1972-74.


Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
M.S.W., McGill University (Canada)
B.A., Goucher College, Maryland