October 23, 2008

Sarvela named vice president for academic affairs


CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard today (Oct. 23) announced that Paul Sarvela, dean of the SIUC College of Applied Sciences and Arts, has been selected as the University’s next vice president for academic affairs.

“Dean Sarvela is an educational innovator with an impressive administrative track record of developing nationally recognized programs,” Poshard said. “Paul is an experienced professional, well-prepared for the challenge of cultivating strong academic programs in an era of reduced state support and increased competition for public universities.”

The vice president for academic affairs functions as the chief academic officer of the University, providing university-wide leadership and consultation to campus chancellors and the president on all academic matters. He or she is the University’s spokesperson and representative in discussing academic programs with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). The vice president also staffs the Academic Matters Committee of the SIU Board of Trustees.

“The opportunity to work with this institution’s dedicated faculty and administrators, who each and every day help grow and strengthen the educational and research programs of this great University, is truly an honor,” Sarvela said.

Sarvela, who has earned three degrees from the University of Michigan (Ph.D. in health education, 1984; M.S in educational psychology, 1983; A.B. psyschology, 1981), has been a professor at SIUC since 1986. During his tenure at SIUC, he has held key administrative positions, including being selected as dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA) in 2002. CASA enrolls approximately 2,600 students each year, including 600 off-campus students at 18 sites throughout the United States. Under Sarvela’s direction, CASA has been at the forefront of creating successful off-campus programs with Illinois community colleges.

Sarvela’s experience also includes serving as chair of the Department of Health Care Professions within CASA and as director of the Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development. Sarvela has lectured, researched and published extensively on the subject of health care with a particular emphasis on rural health care problems. He holds a tenured professorship in the School of Allied Health and also serves as a clinical professor with the SIU School of Medicine.

“Paul’s broad administrative experience, his excellent research background, and his thorough knowledge of the SIU system, especially its health care components, will allow him to hit the ground running in this very important position,” Poshard said.

“Since assuming the role of dean of the School of Nursing at Southern Illinois University, Dr. Paul Sarvela was and continues to be one of the first persons to reach out to me,” said Dr. Marcia Maurer, dean of the SIUE School of Nursing. “He is a strong advocate of baccalaureate nursing and providing the best health care services to the Southern Illinois region. His background and experience in the allied health professions will be an important addition to a University with one of the most comprehensive array of health care professions programs in the nation.”

Sarvela replaces retiring SIU Academic Vice President John Haller, who has served in the position since 1990.

“Dr. Sarvela is an excellent choice,” Haller said. “Paul couples the administrative experience necessary for this position with an extensive working knowledge of many of the University’s academic programs. He has demonstrated a willingness to collaborate with his colleagues on both campuses, including the School of Medicine, which will serve him well in his new position.”

Sarvela was one of three finalists recommended for the position by an internal search committee made up of faculty and administrators from the Edwardsville and Carbondale campuses. Sarvela was chosen by Poshard after receiving high marks from campus-level interviews and a personal interview with Poshard.

(Note: For more information, contact Dave Gross, Office of the President, 217/545-8080.)