Dunn to fulfill chancellor duties

By Luke Nozicka

In addition to presiding over three campuses, the university’s president will assume chancellor responsibilities in Carbondale.

President Randy Dunn will add chancellor duties to his presidential role as a short term solution following the death of then-interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela. Sarvela died Nov. 9 at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, increasing the urgency of a chancellor search to begin.

“I anticipate the [SIU Board of] Trustees — when meeting in December — will provide some guidance regarding the parameters of the search, particularly with respect to whether or not an external search consultant is utilized,” according to an email Dunn sent to colleagues Tuesday. “While a dual chancellor-president position will present its challenges, I have no doubt… it can be workable for the period of time necessary for a thorough and comprehensive chancellor search.”


During a phone conference, Dunn said it will be difficult to find a permanent chancellor any sooner than three to four months.

“This is a critical search,” said Dunn, who was selected to be the university’s eighth president Feb. 17 and began his duties May 1. “We want to make sure we do this the right way but… we don’t want to be stretching this out nine months. It would be inappropriate for me to be serving that long.”

According to Dunn’s email, the university will continue to implement the decentralized decision-making method implemented by Sarvela, who was in office for more than four months. He assumed chancellor duties when former Chancellor Rita Cheng became president of Northern Arizona University.

“The campus has really invested heavily in decentralizing the structure, and the pushing down decision making has been critical for this duel coverage to be able to happen,” Dunn said.

Dunn said while he plans to be on other SIU campuses for larger events, he expects to be there less while assuming chancellor duties.

“I’m still fully invested in what’s going on there,” he said. “I don’t want them feeling like second class citizens.”

Dunn said the board has discussed adding a system level position to help with shared services and streamlining programs.


“The idea here is not to lose the momentum, it is to keep things moving forward using the structure that the campus, under Paul’s leadership, had created,” Dunn said.

This story will be updated online as more information becomes available.

Luke Nozicka can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @lukenozicka.