In a continued effort to advance health and wellness initiatives for students at the University of Michigan, Robert Ernst has been named associate vice president for student life and executive director of the University Health Service.

In this dual role, Ernst, a physician, will oversee the University Health Service, Counseling and Psychological Services, Sexual Assault Prevention & Awareness Center, and Services for Students with Disabilities.

Robert Ernst

His appointment was effective June 1.

“Dr. Ernst has demonstrated a strong track record for advancing health and wellness initiatives, strategic planning and extensive involvement on committees both medical and administrative,” says E. Royster Harper, vice president for student life.

“His comprehensive experience encompasses academic, administrative and clinical appointments that span a professional career of more than 20 years at the University of Michigan, 12 of which took place in key leadership roles at University Health Service.”

Primary responsibilities of the new role include coordination, direction and oversight of both auxiliary and general fund operations; coordination and execution of strategic plans and goals; assessment of, and revision to, programs and services; and support for Student Life goals, plans, initiatives and mission.

“I am excited about returning to UHS. The role provides the chance to approach campus health and wellness services in a way that is more comprehensive and collaborative with students, so they are better equipped to make healthy choices throughout their lives,” says Ernst. “The ultimate goal is to promote a strong culture of wellness on campus.”

Ernst previously served as medical director at UHS from 2005-14 and associate executive director and medical director from 2014-15. He now returns to UHS from the Department of Internal Medicine at Michigan Medicine.

In his most recent position as the senior associate division chief for ambulatory care at Michigan Medicine, Ernst provided leadership and oversight for more than 70 clinical faculty and also helped lead institutional efforts in service to primary care transformation, while also providing direct clinical care and teaching in internal medicine.

Ernst earned his bachelor of science in biology from the University of Notre Dame, and his medical degree from U-M. He completed his internal medicine residency training at U-M hospital where he also served as chief medical resident.