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March 27, 2007

Senior Administrator Named President of California University

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU Vice President for Business and Finance Dana Gibson has been named president of National University in La Jolla, Calif., effective July 1.


Dana Gibson

“SMU’s Board of Trustees and I appreciate the outstanding leadership Dana Gibson has shown in managing University finances and improving business processes,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This new position is a unique opportunity for her to use her tremendous talents and special interest in nontraditional, entrepreneurial organizations. Everything in her background and in her experience at SMU has prepared her for this challenge. We wish her well.”

Gibson supervised the areas of budgets and financial planning, human resources, risk management, police, campus planning and plant operations, and information technology services. In that capacity, she oversaw the development of several initiatives at SMU, including real estate acquisitions, most notably the purchase of Expressway Tower and other property east of Central Expressway. She also led the development of the University’s emergency operations and management procedures.

“While not one I sought, the opportunity at National University is intriguing and a fit for my personal interests in higher education,” Gibson said. “The difficult part is leaving all the wonderful individuals I have worked with at SMU.  However, as we all know, life’s opportunities don’t always occur at what would be the easiest or best time.”

National University is the second-largest, private, nonprofit institution of higher learning in California. Founded in 1971, National consists of five schools and one college. The university has 22,000 students in bachelor’s and master’s programs, an endowment approaching $300 million, and an unusual faculty structure of multiple-year contracts rather than tenure. Courses are presented in one-month blocks, allowing a student to graduate in less than three years.

“Dana Gibson’s leadership in business and finance at SMU has left us well-positioned to recruit another top administrator to fill the position,” Turner added.

Tom Barry, SMU vice president for executive affairs, will lead the search effort with a committee to be appointed.

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