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SIU picks Sarvela acting chancellor at Carbondale

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University on Tuesday named its vice president for academic affairs for its entire system as acting chancellor of its Carbondale campus.

Paul D. Sarvela is replacing Rita Cheng, who has been named president of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

SIU President Randy Dunn said Cheng completed her work on the Carbondale campus last week and is taking vacation leave pending the start of her new job later this month. Cheng had been the Carbondale school's chancellor since 2010.

"Dr. Sarvela has my full confidence. I know he has the leadership skills to unite and shepherd positive growth on the SIUC campus," Dunn said after the school's board of trustees selected Sarvela.

In addition to vice president, Sarvela was 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 SIU Carbondale.

Sarvela is a tenured professor of health care management, professor of health education and clinical professor of family and community medicine, according to the university.

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