Dr. Sharon M. Lightner to Lead Newly-Created Department of Accounting at National University

September 9, 2014

Dr. Lightner, a former CSUSM dean, named department chair at National University's School of Business and Management

San Diego, Calif. – Sept. 9, 2014 - National University announces the appointment of Dr. Sharon M. Lightner, the former Dean of the College of Business Administration at California State University in San Marcos, to lead the development and management of a newly-formed Department of Accounting within the School of Business and Management. Dr. Lightner brings vast educational leadership experience to her new post, having served for seven years as the William E. Cole Director of the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy at San Diego State University. She also is a recipient of the prestigious national AWSCPA Educator of the Year Award.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Sharon to National University. I had the opportunity to work alongside her at San Diego State University during my own tenure there,” said National University President Michael R. Cunningham, who previously served as Dean of the College of Business Administration at SDSU. “Dr. Lightner is a recognized leader in the field of accountancy and has been instrumental in overseeing an impressive range of high quality academic and community outreach programs throughout her career. We are delighted that she is joining National University to build a best in class Accounting Program.”

As Dean of the College of Business Administration at CSUSM, from 2012-2014, Dr. Lightner oversaw new curriculum initiatives, including certificate programs and a self-support MBA program, increased the College’s resources, and led the efforts to seek AACSB accreditation. During her seven years as Director of the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy at SDSU from 2005-2012, Dr. Lightner oversaw highly successful fundraising initiatives, the launch of new programs, recruitment of tenure track faculty, and the maintenance of AACSB accreditation. She also significantly increased ties with businesses and employers to enhance career opportunities for students.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Lightner to National University since she brings with her deep knowledge and proven expertise in developing strategic educational initiatives to prepare students for careers in business and accounting that are immediately applicable to her position with National University,” said Provost Debra Bean. “Her track record in developing new, relevant programs and increasing industry and community ties will be of great value to the School of Business and Management as we explore enhancements and additions to the new Department of Accounting.”

A published researcher, who earned a doctor of philosophy from the University of Oregon, Eugene, and a Master of Science from San Diego State University, Dr. Lightner initially joined SDSU as an assistant professor and received numerous awards for her teaching. In 2007, she was recognized by the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants as Educator of the Year, an award that recognizes excellence in teaching and inspiration in the accounting field by a faculty member of a two- or four-year college. She was also the recipient of the AICPA/AAA Collaboration Award which was established to recognize significant collaborative efforts between academics and practitioners. She has served on numerous boards, including with the Board of Directors of the Federation of Schools of Accountancy, Beta Alpha Psi, CalCPA, and the San Diego Chapter Board of Financial Executives International.

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With 30,000 students and more than 140,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Five schools and one college – the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Education; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California.

Media contact:
Anna Cearley
Director of Public Relations