James M. Hartley, II, an architect who resided in Hollywood, Florida had a huge impact on the design and aesthetic of Nova Southeastern University from the very beginning. In 1965, Jim Hartley offered his services to the trustees of the then, Nova University of Advanced Technology, Inc., as an architectural consultant to assist in the initial planning stages of the campus.
In an oral interview with NSU President Abraham S. Fischler (held in the NSU Archives), Hartley said, "Since I had done schools my entire practice, working with Nova was a labor of love. I got so involved in it, I couldn't have let go it I wanted to. I was bound and determined to see it through to its fruition."