As a public educator for thirty-eight years Les committed himself to innovation, academic excellence and organizational change. As an administrator, he raised standards, streamlined structures, opened doors of communication, reduced expenditures to balance budgets and reallocated funds for new ventures.


  •  President, Youngstown State University—1992-2000

Dr. Cochran reinvigorated an institution that had experienced a decade of decline.  A campus-wide strategic plan was used to guide the streamlining of academic and administrative structures, increase academic accreditations, eliminate a $6.7 million shortfall, create a fully computerized electronic campus, raise over $30 million in outside gifting, add eight new buildings, double the scope of the women’s athletic programs and implement a program to award more “academic full-rides” than athletic scholarships.

  • Provost, Southeast Missouri State University—1980-1992
  • Professor, Dean, Vice Provost, Central Michigan University—1970-1980
  • Instructor, Wayne State University—1969
  • Teacher, Detroit Public Schools—1963-1968


  • Ed D., Wayne State University
  • M.A., Western Michigan University
  • B.S., Western Michigan University