Dr. Julian Pleasants



Download Transcript (827 KB)

Download June 9, 2009 Interview (1915.4 MB)

Download June 11, 2009 Interview (2120.3 MB)

Date of Interview



NSU History, NSU Board of Directors, NSU innovative programs, finances, diversity, NSU Law School, Winstead, Formans, airfield, Rosenthal, Mailman, Mickey Segal, Leo Goodwin, Ray Pepinsky, James Farquhar, Mary McCahill, Broward County, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Gordon Sweet, New York Institute of Technology, Dr. Alex Schure, Behavioral Science Center, Louis Parker, William Richardson, Oceanography, R/V Gulfstream, Educational Leadership Program, clusters, Doctorate of Public Administration, Doctorate in Business Administration, Panama, Tinsley Ellis, Shirley Chisholm, Dental School, Shepard Broad, Shepard Broad Law Center, Ray Ferrero, William Horvitz, Mailman Family Center Building, Clinical Psychology, Jack LaBonte, Oral School, Theresa Castro, the Royal Dames, Della-Donna, Terry Russell, the Goodwin Uni-trust, Geico, Dr. Joel Warren, Bio-feedback lab, Gold Circle, Gold Key, Ovid Lewis, executive committee, Dr. Steve Goldstein, Maxwell Maltz, Anna Maltz, David Barone, Josephine Leiser, Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins, Dr. Stephen Feldman, Health Professions Division, Osteopathic Medicine, institute for Retired People, Paul Rogers, Dave Aucamp

Interviewee(s) Bio

Abraham S. Fischler was born in Brooklyn, New York on January 21, 1928. Over the years, he worked as a public school teacher, university professor, and author before his appointment as President of Nova University. He graduated from City College of New York in 1951 with a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences before pursuing graduate degrees. He earned a Master’s in Science Education from New York University (1952) and an Ed.D. from Teacher’s College at Columbia University (1959).

His career in academia began in 1959 as an assistant professor of education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 1962, he moved with his family to work as an associate professor (later professor) at the University of California Berkeley. Through a colleague, he learned of the new education experiment taking place in Broward County, Florida and thus his future aligned with Nova University.

In 1965, he was appointed the James Donn Professor of Education in charge of the science education Ph.D. program in the Behavioral Sciences Center. His appointment officially began on July 1966. He also served concurrently as Dean of Graduate Studies.

In late 1969, he was appointed Executive Vice President by the Board of Trustees after the first university president resigned suddenly. In September 1970, he was appointed President of Nova University by the Board of Trustees. He served in this capacity for twenty-two years until his resignation in July 1992.

Fischler married wife Shirley Balter on April 5, 1949. They raised three children together: Bruce, Michael, and Lori.


This series of interviews was conducted by Dr. Julian Pleasants during the period of 2009-2012 for research in compiling the 50th Anniversary book, The Making of Nova Southeastern University: A Tradition of Innovation, 1964-2014. To read more about the completed book, click here.

Host Institution

Nova Southeastern University - NSU Archives

Archives Location

NSU Archives, Row B, 5, 6.

Format Type


Length of Audio/Video

Disc 1: Part 1, 62 minutes; Part 2, 61 minutes; Part 3, 57 minutes; Part 4, 42 minutes. Disc 2: Part 1, 61 minutes; Part 2, 60 minutes; Part 3, 50 minutes.

File Size

June 9, 2009: 1.87 GB. June 11, 2009: 2.07 GB.

Number of Copies

1st disc: 10 DVD copies, 1 DVD Time Coded copy, 4 part .WAV file discs. 2nd disc: 10 DVD copies, 1 DVD Time Coded copy, 3 part .WAV file discs.

Date Digitized



These oral histories express the personal views, memories, and opinions of the interviewee. They do not represent the policy, views, or official history of Nova Southeastern University.


Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce these oral histories must be obtained in writing from the Nova Southeastern University Archives. No use (beyond limited quotation) should be made of the transcripts of these interviews without authorization.

Interview with President Abraham S. Fischler - President