Emotion ran high at a faculty farewell breakfast buffet for Fred Yaffe, the outgoing dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Yaffe is stepping down from his position and he will join the faculty at the University of La Verne in the fall.
About 90 faculty and staff members from across the campus came to the President’s Dining Room on Wednesday morning to honor Yaffe and the work he has done over the past six years.
Al Clark, associate vice president for academic affairs, said that he enjoyed working with Yaffe as the dean.
“I’m impressed with his love of the arts and the performing arts,” Clark said.
The celebration breakfast event included many speeches by faculty members.
Yaffe also received sentimental gifts to commorate his time as dean.
Sharon K. Davis, professor of sociology, who emceed the event, said that Yaffe was not just a dean, but a colleague and a friend.
That theme was echoed by other speakers at the breakfast held for Yaffe.
Davis said that Yaffe’s inclusive style of leadership made every faculty member feel important.
“Even though he made the final decisions, he did so with our thoughts in mind,” Davis said.
“He really respected his faculty and treated us with dignity,” Davis added.
Jay Jones, professor of biology and biochemistry, presented Yaffe with a small trophy, which resembled an eyeball.
He presented Yaffe with the trophy on behalf of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences.
He started his speech with a joke.
“Most people think being a dean is an easy job, you have no classes to teach and food at every meeting,” Jones said.
However, in his speech, Jones pointed out that being a dean is a very difficult job.
Jones thanked Yaffe for all of his hard work during his time as dean.
Some of the other gifts included a poem written by Provost Alden Reimonenq, a doll of Yaffe himself, presented by Davis, and a scrapbook filled with notes, pictures and memorabilia.
The scrapbook was presented by Aghop Der-Karabetian, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
He told Yaffe to think of it as a collective hug from the whole faculty.
“He is more than a dean, he is a friend to the whole faculty,” Der-Karabetian said.
Yaffe seemed overwhelmed by the affection shown to him at the breakfast.
He thanked Denise Shiokari, his executive assistant, for organizing the event and for putting the scrapbook together.
He said she was a pleasure to work with.
He also thanked all of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Yaffe said it was a pleasure to have worked with everyone in the college.
Yaffe also thanked his wife, Abbie Adams-Yaffe, for supporting him over the years.
“I am flabbergasted and overwhelmed,” Yaffe said. “It has just been a very emotional day.”
“I don’t tear up easily but this has been very heart-warming and humbling,” Yaffe said.
Yaffe said that he plans to stay at the University for two more years as the director of the Institutional Review Board for human subjects’ research.
“I’m glad I will still be able to work with him at the University for a few more years,” Clark said.
Diane Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.