Academics, Campus wide, Office of the President, Staff News

CSU promotes two to senior leadership team

By Jenna Johnson | June 29, 2023

Charleston Southern University has selected two of its own to serve in two new vice president roles at the university. On July 1, Janelle Fox will begin serving as the vice president for finance and operations and Dr. Scott Yarbrough in the inaugural vice president for student success position. 

Fox promoted as CSU’s new VP for finance and operations 

Janelle Fox

Having served as the university’s controller since May 2021, Fox will now be CSU’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer where she is responsible for developing and implementing organizational efficiencies, operational effectiveness, and administrative policies and procedures consistent with the university’s strategic plan and direction from the president. Her charge is to implement best practices and business process redesign to enhance the academic, administrative, and fiscal operations of CSU, while working collaboratively with university leadership, faculty, staff, and external constituents. Fox will also oversee several functional areas, including finance (accounting, accounts payable, purchasing, and student accounts), human resources, Title IX, implementation of the Institutional Priorities Project, and other related duties.  

Fox said that she has been blessed in her role as controller to work with senior officers, the president, and the board. “Working alongside some of the most faithful and wise leaders has been an absolute gift,” she said. “Not only has it allowed me to obtain an opportunity to see behind the scenes on the weight of leading this institution, it has taught me so much as a child of God and as a leader. Becoming a vice president gives me a bigger opportunity to be a part of what God is doing here at CSU. I am humbled and thankful that God has chosen me to partner with Him.” 

President Dr. Dondi Costin said, “In the increasingly complex world of higher education, Janelle Fox is exactly what Charleston Southern needs to help guide us through the maze. Having proven her fiscal savvy and strategic approach in countless ways as our forward-looking controller the last two years, she has recently led the charge to ensure the university is operating as effectively and efficiently as possible in every arena. I look forward to seeing how the Lord uses her in the coming years to help our faculty, staff, and students thrive at the highest levels.” 

As a female leader, Fox aims to be a Proverbs 31 woman. “She is a woman who honors God by seeking Him in everything she does and trusting Him wholeheartedly with her life,” stated Fox. “I pray that I continue to grow in the Lord and emulate the characteristics in the Scripture that include being trustworthy, in service to others, generous, strong, and loving while using my hands to serve a bigger purpose. Christian women in the workplace can make a tremendous impact by going to the Lord first and seeking Him in all that they do.” 

In her role as VP, Fox sets her sights on continued refining of operations to meet strategic goals. This includes the Institutional Priorities Project that will unveil CSU’s strengths and areas where improvement is needed. “The higher education industry as a whole has a responsibility to our students to continue to find ways to keep expenses down so that education continues to be affordable and meet their needs,” she said. “Development and implementation of policies and procedures will lead to better efficiencies that will increase our students’ success as well as allow our amazing faculty and staff to do what they do best and serve our students well.” 

Prior to CSU, Fox was an outsourced controller/CFO for various businesses and industries. She was an owner of a firm in Pennsylvania and sold the business before moving to South Carolina where she worked for Elliott Davis, a public accounting firm in downtown Charleston.  

Fox has been married to her husband Joel for 12 years, and they have three daughters—Taylor (a senior at CSU), Sophia, and Nora. They also have two adorable golden doodles, Zoey and Indie.  

Yarbrough becomes inaugural VP for student success 

Dr. Scott Yarbrough

In this new role for Charleston Southern University, Dr. Scott Yarbrough sets the foundation to build a strong retention model for CSU students to finish strong and graduate with purpose.  

“Dr. Scott Yarbrough has been at the forefront of student success since his arrival more than 25 years ago,” Costin said. “As a professor, academic administrator, accreditation liaison, and our most experienced retention strategist, Scott is the right leader at the right time to push our retention and student success efforts to the next level. I’m extremely confident that his advocacy as a senior officer for two of our three wildly important goals – student retention and graduation – will prepare even more servant leaders to pursue significant lives.” 

Yarbrough has served CSU for a quarter of a century with various responsibilities, and he currently serves as associate vice president for academic affairs. In this capacity, he has developed and maintained initiatives to improve student retention, graduation rates, and overall student success, working with Academic Affairs, Student Life, and other campus areas to achieve university goals. Yarbrough will continue to serve as the university’s chief compliance officer and SACSCOC liaison, while directing particular attention to CSU’s Wildly Important Goals of enhancing retention and continuing to improve graduation rates. He will also be the university’s point person for the Move the Needle project over the next five years.  

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