BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Ferris State University President David L. Eisler has announced his upcoming retirement in June 2022, capping a 47-year career in higher education.
He began his presidency at Ferris in 2003 and is the university’s longest-serving president after its founder, Woodbridge N. Ferris, according to a news release Monday.
Student retention and graduation rates have sharply increased since Eisler took office, the latter by 65%.
Fifteen major building projects totaling $400 million were begun during this period, including the former Federal Building in Grand Rapids, the Michigan College of Optometry building, the University Center, the newest residence hall on campus, North Hall and most recently the Center for Virtual Learning.
During this time, the university’s presence has increased across Michigan, including through partnerships with 22 community colleges across the state.
“President Eisler’s remarkable tenure has encapsulated many successes and challenges for higher education, and his vision and commitment to Ferris State University have been unwavering,” said Amna P. Seibold, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees. “My fellow board members and university community appreciate his strong leadership and advocacy for higher education, and will join me in offering Dr. Eisler our deepest gratitude for his service to Ferris.”
Eisler shared his appreciation of the opportunity to serve as president.
“Working at Ferris State University is a privilege, and it has been my honor to serve as president,” he said. “This is a great university, with a unique and special mission, one that truly changes lives. When I speak with our alumni, I often hear the phrase, ‘if it weren’t for Ferris...’ My experience at Ferris has been so much more than I could have ever imagined. While I may be retiring, I will always be a Bulldog.”
A search for the university’s 19th president is expected to begin in the coming months.