John Filler

Professor of Early Childhood Special Education
Expertise: Inclusion of people with disabilities, Educational rights for students with disabilities


John Filler received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College in 1974. Before joining the faculty at UNLV in 1989 he served as a senior research scientist at the Illinois Institute on Developmental Disabilities and as adjunct assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also was an assistant professor and coordinator of early childhood special education at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia; assistant to associate professor of special education at California State University, Hayward while also serving as that institution's assistant chair of the department of educational psychology and as the first assistant vice president for research. Finally, Filler also served as professor and chair of the department of counseling and special education at the University of Idaho. 

He has published nine book chapters and more than 30 refereed journal articles in such prestigious top tier journals as Child Development, Psychological Reports, the International Journal of Inclusive Education, the American Journal of Mental Deficiency, the Journal of the Association for Severe Handicaps, the Journal of Special Education, the Journal of Research in Childhood Education, and Research in Developmental Disabilities. He has co-edited two books and successfully competed for millions of dollars in grant funds. He is co-author of a text on individualized education program development for general and special education teachers titled Writing Educationally Relevant and Legally Compliant Individualized Education Programs for Preschool and Elementary Age Students: A Guide for General and Special Educators published by Kendall Hunt Publishers. 

He co-authored a second edition that was published in June. Since his arrival at UNLV he has been elected UNLV Faculty Senate chairman on three separate occasions, elected chair of the Nevada Council of Faculty Senate Chairs, served as faculty associate to the Nevada System of Higher Education vice chancellor for academic affairs, and held the cabinet-level position of senior adviser to former UNLV President Carol Harter. He has served as chair of the UNLV Faculty Senate University Tenure and Promotion Committee and as a member of the UNLV President’s Advisory Council. 


  • Ph.D. Vanderbilt University

John Filler In The News

September 25, 2019
The UNLV Faculty Senate voted to kill a proposed referendum Tuesday that would have recommended the Board of Regents extend the contract of interim UNLV President Marta Meana and postpone an ongoing search for a permanent replacement — a move that comes just days ahead of the first meeting Friday between the regents and the ad hoc presidential search committee.