Education, Health Care, and Human Resources

University hires dean of health and human services

July 11, 2018
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Ron Cisler
Ron Cisler. Courtesy WMU

A university in the region has a new health and human services dean.

Ron Cisler has been named dean of Western Michigan University's College of Health and Human Services, effective Aug. 1.

Cisler currently serves as interim dean of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s College of Health Sciences, where he also is a professor of health informatics and administration.

He has served in teaching and research positions at UWM since 1984. In addition to his two appointments as full professor, he also serves as an affiliate professor or senior scientist for a number of other UWM academic and research units, including at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

Cisler's primary research interests are in population health disparities, behavioral health risk factors, and alcoholism and alcohol-related illnesses. Some of that research includes topics such as assessing recovery outcomes for alcohol treatment clinical trials, as well as improving urban infant mortality rates and reducing health care disparities.

His research has had federal and foundation support from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Economic Development, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Wisconsin Partnership Program and pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Lipha and Oy-Contral.

He has served on review panels for a number of federal grant programs, primarily for the National Institutes of Health.

Cisler has served as associate editor for the Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research and as a field reviewer for numerous other professional journals. He has co-authored a handbook series on brief assessment measures in health research and practice.

Cisler has a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and master's and doctoral degrees from UWM — all in psychology. He also did post-doctoral work in addiction and behavioral health, also at UWM.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Cisler join us in this leadership capacity,” said Susan Stapleton, WMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He brings with him extensive experience in the areas that reflect this university's strongest commitments — teaching and mentoring, research, service and community engagement. He is a wonderful match for this position.”

Cisler said WMU’s research and the role it plays in the community is what drew him to the new position.

“The College of Health and Human Services includes such a broad base of disciplines that it is uniquely situated to provide education and innovation opportunities from several perspectives,” Cisler said.

“My background has been in interdisciplinary education, research and discovery, bringing together diverse fields such as the health sciences, social services, public health, engineering and medicine. WMU and Kalamazoo are wonderfully positioned as a community to continue those efforts.”

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