Dr. Harold Abel (1926-2002) was the eighth Central Michigan University president (1975-85). Dr. Abel was born in New York City. He obtained his BA in psychology (1949), MA in special education (1951), and Ph. D in psychology (1957) from Syracuse University. Before Central, Dr. Abel was a faculty member at the University of Nebraska (1956-65), a faculty member at the University of Oregon (1965-70), and president of Castleton State College in Vermont (1970-75).
While Dr. Abel was president, the first doctoral program, which was in psychology, was introduced. The University also began organizing into colleges during Dr. Abel’s tenure. In 1985, President Abel resigned and later accepted the position of President at Walden University Institute for Advanced Studies. After a brief stint as a member of the psychology faculty at CMU, Dr. Abel accepted the presidency of the Graduate School of America in Minneapolis (now Capella University).