National University

Dr. Michael R. Cunningham named President of National University

Dr. Michael R. Cunningham has been named President of National University effective July 1, 2013, Dr. Jerry C. Lee, Chancellor of the National University System, announced.

Dr. Cunningham is joining National University from San Diego State University (SDSU), where he has been serving as Dean of the College of Business Administration since June 2011.

Dr. Cunningham replaces retiring Interim President Patricia E. Potter and will lead the University’s commitment to providing a world-class education for its 23,000 full-time students working toward one of National’s 133 graduate or undergraduate degrees, or one of its 23 credential programs.

“Dr. Cunningham’s distinguished list of achievements and accomplishments in both academics and as an entrepreneur have resulted in him being ideally suited for the role of President of National University,” said Dr. Jerry C. Lee, Chancellor of the National University System. “He has consistently exhibited the core values and beliefs which are the foundation for National University’s successes. I am confident that National University will continue to achieve the highest levels of academic rigor and quality under his direction and leadership.”

“We are certain that Dr. Cunningham is the best person to continue to build on the legacy of success that Dr. Lee has achieved, first as President of National University and then as Chancellor of the National University System,” said Herbert Meistrich, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National University System. “We anticipate that Dr. Cunningham will make a significant contribution to the future of National University as we continue to respond to the evolution of higher education. The current University community as well as future generations of students, faculty, alumni, administrators and staff will clearly benefit from his experience, talent, energy and vision. The Board of Trustees is looking forward to working with Dr. Cunningham in the future.”

Prior to being named Dean at SDSU, Dr. Cunningham had been teaching strategy and entrepreneurship courses at SDSU, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and New York University. He entered the education industry after a highly successful business career that included 25 years as an entrepreneur and successful business leader. He was the Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President of Cunningham Graphics International (CGII; NASDAQ) from 1989-2000, a multinational graphics communications company which operated out of seven countries and employed approximately 2,000 employees.

Additional experience in business includes positions as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President of DG3 – Diversified Global Graphics Group, headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey; and Group President and Corporate Vice President of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) in Jersey City.

“Higher education is experiencing a period of profound change, brought about by changing demographics, technological advances, increased competition from for-profit institutions, and globalization. I feel that National University is well poised to embrace this paradigm shift and continue its leadership position in quality online learning and accelerated pace education and emerge as an exemplar of excellence of contemporary higher education. I am very thankful for this opportunity and look forward to working with and learning from Chancellor Lee, the Board, and all the extraordinary faculty and staff at National University,” said Dr. Cunningham.

Cunningham earned his Ph.D. and master’s degrees from New York University, and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


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