Transcript: SSU President Earl Yarbrough's speech - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Transcript: SSU President Earl Yarbrough's speech

Many of you have followed the President's journey over the past few months. For me – it has been several years of concern – reflection, and difficulty.

As President, -- I had a vision for Savannah State University. My vision wasn't much different from that of most university presidents. I believe we needed to grow, -- build and infrastructure and camps that would attract some of the best students in Georgia,  -- this country – and internationally – to work with a faculty and staff that was committed to excellence – and enhance the vision of the founders of SSU – to "Add-Value to those who needed it most --- not just African Americans, -- but all students have the desire and motivation to build a better life through a quality education.

I established four goals when I arrived, -- and I am happy to report that we achieved great success in all four categories.

My enthusiasm and desire for our students drove me to do the best --- and to work every day to make it happen. In the end, I believe our goal is to do what is best for our students.

The goal is usually the same, --- but how it is achieved will differ greatly. As President, --- I believe I needed to lead the university --- to plan – and make decisions that were criticial to reaching that goal.

Hopefully, --- the SSU team would follow --- and the University System of Georgia will support the goal – direction and methodology that will achieve the goal. However, as with all reasonable people – we offer differ in our approach.

As I serve at the pleasure of the University System – it is the System the must make the decision as to who – and how the university is … the approach.

I recognize that factor, --- but when it differs from ones believe – and basic principles of my life, --- there is conflict and that is what has been the challenge for me over the past few years.

First, --- it is important for our campus community to know I have not done anything illegal, -- violated any laws, --- policies or procedures or the University System of Georgia, --- and definitely no misconduct occurred over my four years as President.

I repeat, --- It is important for our campus community to know I have not done anything illegal, --- violated any laws, --- policies or procedures or the University System of Georgia, --- an definitely no misconduct occurred over my four years as President.

Again, I service at the pleasure of the University System and its staff. Recognizing that fact, and that I, --- as a person who is faithful to my convictions and beliefs, --- are in conflict with that of the staff at the Board. They have spoken, and thus, have not renewed my contract ---not fired or ousted as the media has reported. In my opinion--- and in this current climate--- resigning would have implied misconduct on my part. I chose to stand on my principles of what is right!

In fact,--- my fall evaluation was a very positive one that also offered suggestions for future development at SSU.

I have a great love for SSU,--- and especially our students. My desire has not waned from wanting to serve – but it must be in an environment that is more in line with my philosophy and direction.

Thus to the students, faculty, and staff who have cared about me and my wife over the past four years, --- we love you and want you to know that we are blessed.

I love my work in higher education,--- and especially believe in integrity and doing what is correct. I also believe I can again accomplish at another university what we have achieved here at SSU and more.

Thus, ----to the students, faculty,-- and staff who have cared about me over the past four years, ----I love you,--- and want you to know I am--- one of God's children,--- and am in his hands!!

I believe that if you sow a good seed, --- you will reap good seed.

I am told that Interim President Cheryl Davenport Dozier will be in place on Monday, May 9, 2011,--- and I will fully support this transition.

I will complete my duties at SSU per my contract -----with an ending date of June 30.

Again, --- to the SSU family, ---thank you all for your support ---and May God Continue to Bless Savannah State University!

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