Dr. David L. Eisler
David L. Eisler has served as president of Ferris State University since July 2003.
Under his leadership, Ferris has experienced eight years of record enrollments
and has been the fastest growing public university in Michigan, providing education in Big Rapids, at nineteen locations throughout Michigan, and on-line.
As president, Dr. Eisler has worked to advance Ferris State University's mission of preparing students for successful careers, responsible citizenship and life-long learning. He stresses the importance of the University's core values of Collaboration, Diversity, Ethical Community, Excellence and Learning.
Within Michigan, Dr. Eisler works actively on issues of higher education and economic development through Talent 2025 which brings together sixty chief business and industry executives and thirteen higher education presidents. He helps build collaborative approaches to limiting post secondary education costs as a member of the Executive Board of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. In west Michigan he serves on the Steering Committee of the West Michigan Policy Conference and the West Michigan Regional Air Alliance.
Throughout his career, Dr. Eisler has been heavily involved in community service and he believes strongly that public engagement is an important component of the educational experience. With the American Association of State College and Universities and the New York Times, he helped create the American Democracy Project. He currently serves as chair of the Michigan Nonprofit Association, and serves on the boards of the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Michigan Association of United Ways and numerous charitable efforts.
President Eisler earned both bachelor and doctoral degrees in clarinet performance at the University of Michigan and his master's degree from Yale University. In 2007 the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance recognized his lifetime achievements and inducted him in their Hall of Fame. Dr. Eisler currently chairs the Alumni Board of the Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.
Dr. Eisler began his academic career as a music instructor at Troy State University in Alabama, advancing to the rank of tenured full professor and Assistant Dean of the School of Fine Arts. He then served as the Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Eastern New Mexico University. During this period ENMU was chosen by the Pew Charitable Trust to receive its Leadership Award for the Renewal of Undergraduate Education.
Before joining Ferris State University, Dr. Eisler was Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Weber State University in Utah. There he helped guide the creation of WSU Online, selected by the University Continuing Education Association as Outstanding Distance Education Program of the Year in 1998. While at Weber, Dr. Eisler presented and published on campus portals, teaching and learning with technology and the use of technology to create 21st century learning organizations.
His 37 years of academic experience have forged Dr. Eisler's belief in the importance of higher education as a catalyst for economic development, the need for convenient and affordable access to high quality education, and the role this learning can play as a gateway for individual growth, development and success. As a first generation college student he understands firsthand the transformative effect of a university education and the opportunities it can help create.
David and his wife, Patsy, a National Board certified Early Adolescent Generalist, have two daughters, Heather, Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of the Cumberlands, and Lindsay, a Chief Medical Resident in otorhinolaryngology at the University of Minnesota.