The University of Colorado at Boulder on Tuesday, May 18, named Donald Misch, M.D., as assistant vice chancellor for health and wellness and director of the campus's Wardenburg Health Center effective July 1. Misch currently serves as executive director of Northwestern University Health Service in Evanston, Ill., a post he has held since 2003.
The assistant vice chancellor for health and wellness reports to Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Julie Wong. Gary Chadwick, who is retiring July 1, is the current assistant vice chancellor for health and wellness.
Misch also will direct campus activities concerning alcohol and other drugs and will be the key liaison within the campus and to the city on these issues. A key component of coordinating health and wellness efforts on campus is the recent creation of the CU Impact Coalition – an action-oriented task force to examine student wellness, health promotion, and alcohol and other drug issues on campus – which Misch will chair.
The coalition includes members from Wardenburg Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Victim Assistance, Recreation Services, the Office of the Dean of Students, Judicial Affairs, Residence Life and student government. In addition, the responsibilities for coordinating programs concerning alcohol and other drugs have been assigned to the assistant vice chancellor for health and wellness.
"By consolidating campus efforts on health, wellness and alcohol, and elevating this role to a position of leadership, CU-Boulder will be able to deliver a comprehensive, new approach to health promotion," Wong said. "With his experience in both internal medicine and psychiatry and his successful track record of addressing these issues on a college campus, Dr. Misch is the right person to help us continue to move in this new direction.
"We will be taking a more environmental approach to issues related to alcohol and other drugs. We will have a coordinated coalition of campus stakeholders working to address this important public health issue."
Besides serving as director of Wardenburg Health Center and chairing the Impact Coalition, Misch will directly oversee the departments of counseling and psychological services, the Recreation Center and the Office of Victim Assistance. He will be responsible for a $20 million budget, 200 professional and classified staff and approximately 300 student staff.
He also will co-chair the CU/Community Alcohol Coalition, be a member of the CU/City Oversight Committee, attend a yearly city council study session and meet with the liquor licensing board or other relevant community boards as needed.
"I have a longstanding interest in, and I'm personally committed to, addressing the issues faced at CU, which are issues on college campuses across the country," Misch said. "Alcohol is the No. 1 public health hazard on a college campus."
Prior to serving at Northwestern, Misch was the medical student education director, psychiatry residency training director and, ultimately, director of education for the department of psychiatry and health behavior at the Medical College of Georgia (1992-2002). Besides co-directing the Governor's Teaching Fellows Program at the University of Georgia (2001-03), he also was selected to be a Carnegie Fellow for the 2001-02 class of the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. From 1981 to 1992, Misch practiced internal medicine and psychiatry in private practice and hospital settings in Chicago.
"The students at CU-Boulder are very active in making decisions about what health and recreation services they want and which services should be funded – that's a great opportunity," Misch said. "I'm very excited about working with the students."
Misch earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Harvard and a doctor of medicine degree from Rush Medical College.