SIU Carbondale interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela dies, was battling cancer
Interim SIU Carbondale Chancellor Dr. Paul Sarvela died Sunday, according to email from university President Randy Dunn. Sarvela had been acting as chancellor since July. He took over for Dr. Rita Cheng who left the university to become the President of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. In October, we reported he had cancer, but the extent of it was unknown.
President Dunn’s email is below:
Dear Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni and Friends of SIU: It is with deep sadness that I share with you the news that Interim SIU Carbondale Chancellor Paul Sarvela passed away unexpectedly earlier this evening. Our hearts go out to his wife, Debbie, their son and daughter, and the other members of their family. Over the past 28 years, Dr. Sarvela has served our university with distinction as a faculty member, department chair, center director, dean, associate system vice president, and since July, interim chancellor. As much as we value his many contributions as a mentor and a colleague, it is his friendship and compassion for those around him that we will miss the most. We will ensure that information about any arrangements will be shared with the campus community when they are available. I would ask that you keep the Sarvela family in your thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Randy Dunn, President