SIU Interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela dies
November 10, 2014
It is with a heavy heart, a deep and great sadness that I share this shocking news with you - Interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela passed away unexpectedly yesterday evening. Please keep his family in our prayers. Please join me in extending condolences to his wife, Debbie, their son and daughter, and the other members of their family.
Dr. Sarvela had served as Dean of our College from 2002 to 2008 before he became the SIU System Vice President for Academic Affairs. During Dean Sarvela’s tenure, the College of Applied Sciences and Arts began offering graduate education programs in the fields of architecture, physician assistant, and medical dosimetry. Faculty members grew steadily during this time period, as did on-campus enrollment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students brought national recognition to the college and university through competitions in fields ranging from aviation to robotics. Faculty research activity more than doubled on an annual basis. Faculty and students engaged in significant community service during this time, such as community development activities provided by the architecture program and the Community Dental Service, which provided free dental care to thousands of public aid patients. During his service as Interim Chancellor of SIUC since July, Dr. Sarvela has been working tirelessly for the University. He has been a strong supporter for CASA. Last Thursday he addressed to the SIU Graduate Council suggesting ways to strengthen the graduate programs. The day before yesterday, he was thinking how to support our Aviation Flight program to purchase new aircraft. In order to have a good financial plan to convince the Board of Trustee to support our fleet update plan, the Chancellor’s Office will commit $100,000 - which is the first time as far as I know in the SIU history that the Chancellor provides direct cash support to our purchasing plan for new aircraft to better serve our students and strengthen our Aviation programs. The day before yesterday, Interim Chancellor Sarvela agreed to attend our college Research Symposium on November 22 and to give a remark at the opening session. At the time like this, it is difficult to find the appropriate words to express my sadness. As much as we value his many contributions as a dean and a colleague, it is his friendship and compassion for those around him that we will miss the most.
Andy Ju An Wang, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Applied Sciences and Arts