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Sustained growth and unity have made Nova Southeastern University (NSU) the largest independent university in the state of Florida. This growth culminated in January 1994, when Nova University and Southeastern University of the Health Sciences merged to form Nova Southeastern University.

Nova University was chartered in 1964 as a graduate institution in the physical and social sciences. Over time, Nova added programs in law, education, business, psychology, computer science, oceanography, social and systemic studies, and hospitality, and, in 1972, introduced its first off-campus course of study, in education. Soon, Nova became nationally recognized for its innovative distance learning programs throughout Florida and the United States.

While Nova continued to expand its educational reach, Southeastern University of the Health Sciences also was on an expansion course. Southeastern was created by osteopathic physicians committed to establishing a College of Osteopathic Medicine in the Southeast. As a result, Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine, as it was first known, opened in 1981.

Between 1987 and 1994, Southeastern added Colleges of Pharmacy, Optometry, Allied Health, and Medical Sciences. This growth was unprecedented, but not unsurpassed. There was still more to come.

Prior to 1994, Nova had evolved with innovative technology and Southeastern expanded to provide much-needed health care education. With the merger, Nova Southeastern University's resources made possible a more transdisciplinary education. Students have an opportunity to integrate across the disciplines and understand how their professions relate to society.

NSU continued to expand into essential areas of health care with the addition of a College of Dental Medicine and College of Nursing in the early 2000s.

The university created a College of Allopathic Medicine to offer Doctor of Medicine degrees in 2016 and welcomed its first class in 2018, becoming one of only four universities nationwide to offer degrees in both osteopathic (DO) and allopathic (MD) medicine.

In September 2017, NSU received the largest philanthropic gift in its history from Dr. Kiran C. Patel and his wife, Dr. Pallavi Patel, which included a $50-million gift and an additional $150-million real estate and facility investment in Clearwater, Florida. The gifts resulted in naming three colleges: Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine, Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences. In January 2018, the Patels provided additional gifts to support the HPD academic and programmatic infrastructure.

In 2018, Ron Assaf, former Chair of the NSU Board of Trustees, and his wife, Kathy Assaf made a substantial contribution to name the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing.

These exciting developments—with more on the horizon—will ensure that our students receive a well-rounded education at an academic institution that prides itself on being dynamic, innovative, and interprofessional in its academic approach.


HPD Leadership History


Morton Terry*, D.O.

Founding Chancellor, 1994 - 2004


Frederick Lippman, R.Ph., Ed.D.

Chancellor, 2004 – 2022

Chancellor Emeritus, 2022 – Present


Irving Rosenbaum, D.P.A., Ed.D.

Vice President of Operations, 2022 – Present



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