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Dr. Michael R. Cunningham named Chancellor of the National University System

Dr. Michael R. Cunningham was named Chancellor of the National University System effective October 10, 2013.

Dr. Cunningham joined the National University System on July 1, 2013 as President of the System’s flagship institution, National University. He added the responsibilities of Chief Operating Officer of the National University System on September 1, 2013, and will continue to serve as President of National University. He came to National University from San Diego State University (SDSU), where he had been serving as Dean of the College of Business Administration.

The National University System embodies a network of educational institutions that connect a diverse population of students to a breadth of innovative programs relevant to their lives, careers, and the marketplace, and are delivered in a format that respects competing life priorities. The affiliates of the System are: National University; John F. Kennedy University; City University of Seattle; National University International; the Division of Pre-College Programs, which includes National University Virtual High School and National University Academy; Spectrum Pacific Learning; and WestMed College. Entities related to the System include: the National University System Institute for Policy Research; the Center for Integrative Health; National University Golf Academy; and the Center for Performance Psychology. Currently the National University System employs more than 3,300 faculty and staff and serves over 41,000 students.

“Dr. Cunningham has already exhibited the leadership, vision, drive, and energy that make him the ideal candidate to guide the future strategic direction of the National University System,” said Meistrich. “He has vast experience in building and operating successful businesses as well as significant dedication in educational enterprises. We are confident Dr. Cunningham will continue to build on the tremendous success that has been achieved by the National University System.”

“The National University System is a progressive model in higher education; a network of complementary nonprofit institutions dedicated to offering innovative and relevant educational programs to a diverse population of students,” said Dr. Cunningham. “I am very thankful for this opportunity and look forward to working with the Board and all the extraordinary leadership, faculty and staff at the affiliates of the National University System as we continue to serve the needs of our most important constituency, our students.”

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 higher education 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.

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.

For more information about Dr. Cunningham and National University, visit