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February 27,2014

Interim Dean of students is no stand-in

By Tara Harris

E. Boyd YarbroughCleveland State University recently welcomed Dr. E. Boyd Yarbrough as Interim Vice Provost of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Yarbrough has years of leadership experience in higher education. He received his doctorate degree from Florida State University and was recently employed at Furman University in South Carolina. He has received special recognition from ACPA, an organization for student affairs professionals for his exceptional service.

While Yarbrough has taken an interim position with Cleveland State, he does not plan on being a “stand-in,” he is looking to help where he can and make some changes.

“I would like to see more collaboration with different departments,” he said. “For example, the women’s center could collaborate with the veteran’s center and host an event together.”

During his first few months at Cleveland State, Yarbrough spent time observing and listening to others around campus to get a sense of how things work and what could use improvement.

“I would like to build on the strengths that the university possesses and address areas of deficiency,” he said.

Yarbrough also has an idea to create a live music series which will take place every week in the atrium or outside, andwould feature a live band or performers of different genres.
“It would give students a chance to unwind, enjoy fellowship and experience all types of music,” he said.

Student life consists of Greek life, women’s center, veteran’s center, health and wellness, student government, student media and judicial affairs.

Yarbrough has recently submitted a proposal to President Berkman that suggests the restructuring of the organizational structure to include campus dining, recreation services and residential life in student affairs.

“I see opportunities for collaboration and synergy between various services,” he said.

He would like to bring change to Cleveland State where students, student organizations and departments make Cleveland State a better place.

He suggests programs to help students deal with personal issues such as eating disorders or substance abuse.

Every day he meets with new people and enjoys making connections with them.

“It is a joy working with and meeting students who are eager to work, make change and help accomplish goals,” he said. “They are amazing people.”

He has the desire to keep students engaged and help them gain real world experience. He takes pride in working with students and helping them achieve their dreams.

“I like working with others that want to create new programs,” he said. “I like to listen to what people want and help them.”

Yarbrough suggests students make connections now to help advance later in the future.

“Connect with faculty and staff members that you admire for advice,” he said. “It’s all about relationships and connecting with people who have similar interest or experience to help achieve dreams.”

Yarbrough also takes note of the diversity on campus and how many students wear Cleveland State gear and show school pride.

“The school pride has impressed me. It speaks volumes about the institution and the students,” he said. “We’re a great school and the diversity here is amazing.”

College is hard work. He offered words of encouragement to students who may feel like giving up.

Recalling the statement made by anthropologist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”-the dean of students expressed his belief in change.

“Students are the future of our country and have the greatest opportunity to impact change. Don’t ever give up!” said Yarbrough.