Tarbox came to WSU from the Utah System of Higher Education, where he was assistant and then associate commissioner for finance and facilities and assistant commissioner for student financial aid. Previously, he was interim deputy director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. He was a budget and planning analyst at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget and has been a director of the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority, a member of the State of Utah Privatization Policy Board and a part-time faculty member of the Intermountain Academy for Leadership in Higher Education at the University of Utah.
Tarbox received his Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and his master’s degree in business administration from Brigham Young University. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from the University of Utah.