Dr. David Eisler has served as Ferris State University president for nearly 10 years. Before his current title, President Eisler spent more than 25 years teaching with administrative duties at various universities. He has degrees from both the University of Michigan and Yale University, with distinctions at each degree level. President Eisler has two daughters, and each are doctors as well.
Q: What is more enjoyable: being a professor or a president of a university?
Dr. Eisler: One about being a faculty member is that you get to know students really well; you get to watch them mature over the course of a few years. The piece about students that I enjoy is that I get to participate in any number of student activities. Students are really committed to helping others, and I think this generation of students is the best that I have ever seen.
Q: A source said that you were a croquet player. Is there any truth to that?
Dr. Eisler: I have been out and seen a croquet tournament, but actually I’m a runner. I’ve done two marathons, and last January I ran a half marathon and a full marathon back to back.
Q: Think back to when you were a freshman at the University of Michigan. What was going through your mind walking around the campus for the first time?
Dr. Eisler: No one in my family had ever gone to college, and I was a long way from home being from New Jersey. I remember my first day going to band practice; I didn’t know where the field was and I actually went a few miles in the wrong direction.
Q: As a Michigan graduate, who do you cheer for when the Ferris hockey team plays Michigan?
Dr. Eisler: That’s easy, I cheer for Ferris. I love Ferris hockey.
Q: Fill in the blank: A new Ferris student should go ____ after they’re done unpacking.
Dr. Eisler: There’s a whole series of events that we offer for Welcome Week. They should go to their hall meetings, and they might like to go out to the Meijer Madness, and to the first ball game.
Q: Both yourself and your wife have contributed to the osprey camera; what makes the project interesting?
Dr. Eisler: That was really my wife’s passion. She did that in honor of both of our mothers, and she is a naturalist. She has been captivated by the osprey. She funded the osprey app so you can watch it on your cell phone.
Q: You have two daughters who are also doctors; does it get confusing having three Dr. Eislers in the family?
Dr. Eisler: No, it doesn’t, and we always think of my wife as being Dr. Mom, but both of my daughters have 14 years of college and I only have seven. So when we are all together, I sometimes think that everyone else has more education than me some days.
Q: In your spare time, you play the clarinet for the Ferris Pep Band; do the students see you as another member of the group or as the president of the university?
Dr. Eisler: The band has always been very accepting of me. Clearly they do a lot more preparation than I do, and the commitment they make to the athletic department is significant.
Q: Lastly, this July will be your 10 year mark as president of Ferris State. What do you think your legacy will be here at Ferris?
Dr. Eisler: When we think of the university, we don’t think about ourselves personally. Ferris State has become a first choice for students; they come here because they want the career-oriented education that we provide.