HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - A second candidate for university president was on Northern Kentucky University’s campus on Tuesday.
Dr. David Eisler is the president of Ferris State University in Michigan.
He met with administrators, deans, faculty and students as part of his campus visit.
“When you think about the vision that President Votruba has set out to do in this campus, which is to be the premiere, metropolitan, comprehensive university in the country, that’s a vision worth embracing,” Eisler said in an interview with 9 News. “That’s a type of quality and excellence that really appeals to me as a president.”
The search committee at the university is looking for a successor to James Votruba, who has been president since 1997. Votruba retires this summer.
Dr. Eisler has served as president of Ferris State University since July 2003. Under his leadership, Ferris State has experienced eight years of record enrollments and has been the fastest growing public university in Michigan. The university provides education in Big Rapids, at 19 locations throughout Michigan, and online.
As president, Dr. Eisler has worked to advance Ferris State’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, he works actively on issues of higher education and economic development through Talent 2025, which brings together 60 chief business and industry executives and 13 higher education presidents.
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.
He earned both bachelor and doctoral degrees in clarinet performance at the University of Michigan and a 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 into its Hall of Fame. He currently chairs the school’s alumni board.
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 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, Dr. Eisler was provost and vice president of academic affairs at Weber State University in Utah.
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.
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