Neufeldt Starts First Day as CSUSM’s New President


Dr. Ellen J. Neufeldt officially has begun her tenure as Cal State Marcos’ new president as the university on Monday welcomed the fourth leader in its history for her first day on campus.

Neufeldt was appointed to the presidency in March by the CSU Board of Trustees. She comes to CSUSM from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., where she served as vice president of student engagement and enrollment services.

Neufeldt is replacing Dr. Karen Haynes, who retired at the end of June after more than 15 years as CSUSM’s president.

“As I begin my first day on campus, I feel so fortunate to be a part of this tremendous community,” Neufeldt said. “Students, faculty and staff have made me feel like a member of the family ever since my appointment was announced, and I am thrilled to officially start as the university’s fourth president today.”

Neufeldt visited CSUSM as its incoming president in April, spending two days touring the campus and meeting students, faculty and staff. Later this summer, she plans to begin a listening and learning tour to broaden her understanding of the university and to foster relationships with people on campus and in the community.

“CSUSM is an institution that has become a gem of California, an in-demand university with a student-centered focus, quality academic programs, and strong community relations and initiatives,” Neufeldt said. “I also know CSUSM has a longstanding commitment to diversity, educational equity and social justice. I am proud to be joining in this important work as we continue to advance our inclusive excellence.”

Before her time at Old Dominion, Neufeldt was vice president of student affairs at Salisbury University in Maryland and assistant vice chancellor for student development and dean of student life at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in educational psychology and counselor education from Tennessee Technological University, and a doctorate of education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

About California State University San Marcos

Building on an innovative 29-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the City of San Marcos, it is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego, Southwest Riverside and South Orange counties.

The University enrolls 17,000 students. With approximately 2,000 employees, the institution is a Great College to Work For® (The Chronicle of Higher Education). As a recipient of the annual HEED Award since 2014 — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — CSUSM is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment.


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