CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The Board of Trustees at Southern Illinois University has chosen its acting chancellor for the Carbondale campus.
Dr. Paul Sarvela was chosen on Tuesday afternoon.
He says he was approached about the position just a couple of weeks ago. He says he thought about a little, and then thought, "You betcha!"
Dr. Sarvela has more than 28 years of experience with SIU.
He says that he will address problems with the university at a different standpoint then Dr. Cheng had.
Focusing more on retention, and getting students to finish out their degrees and not so much on advertising for new students.
"Dr. Sarvela has my full confidence," said SIU System President Randy J. Dunn. "I know he has the leadership skills to unite and shepherd positive growth on the SIUC campus. I look forward to a great partnership as we work together to strengthen the SIU System and to meet SIUC's goal of being a leader in higher education and serving as an economic engine for Southern Illinois."
Sarvela recently served as the vice president for Academic Affairs of the Southern Illinois University system. Previously, he served as Dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, chairman of the Department of Health Care Professions and director of the Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
He is a tenured professor of Health Care Management, professor of Health Education and clinical professor of Family and Community Medicine who has published more than 70 articles in the professional literature and secured more than $4 million in grants and contracts for SIU as well as regional and state agencies.
The board met in a special meeting at the SIU Stone Center. The only item on the agenda was naming a temporary replacement for Rita Cheng.
Cheng recently left SIU to take over as president of Northern Arizona University.
A permanent successor should be named after an SIU board meeting later in July.
Dr. Sarvela will get the opportunity to throw his hat in the ring when the board will need to appoint a full-time chancellor. When asked if he will, he says only time will tell.