Dr. Leonard Branson was the Chairman of the Accountancy Department at UIS from 1993-2000 and 2007-2017. He started at Sangamon State University, now University of Illinois Springfield, as an Assistant Professor in 1987. Professor Branson received his MBA from Illinois State University in 1983 and his PhD in Business Administration, with a major in Accounting and a minor in Finance, from St. Louis University in 1990. He is both a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant, and holds professional memberships in the Institute of Management Accounting and the American Accounting Association. He is also a member of the academic honor societies of Beta Gamma Sigma and Sigma Beta Delta.
In 2014 he received the Faculty Excellence Award which recognizes mid- and late-career colleagues who best exemplify the ideal of the teacher-scholar and whom the faculty recognize as role models, based on sustained accomplishments in teaching and scholarship at the University of Illinois Springfield.
In 2011 Dr. Branson received the William E. Winters Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership Award. This award is given by the University of Illinois Foundation for individuals who have played a significant role in securing private support for the University of Illinois. Dr. Branson has not only given of his own resources to help students financially at UIS, but he also encouraged fellow faculty, staff and alumni and friends to do the same. His efforts have focused on creating/endowing scholarships for students.
Professor Branson is recognized by his colleagues as one of the most effective and well-respected faculty in the College of Business & Management. His courses are known as being both challenging and engaging for students, and he has developed a number of innovative active learning exercises and team-based approaches to help students bridge the potential gap between classroom learning and real world applications. Student perceptions of his courses are outstanding. Colleagues also describe him as a wonderful mentor for early career faculty members. He demonstrates leadership on behalf of the Accountancy Department by helping to ensure that the program reflects current standard sand best practices.
Dr. Branson is also an active scholar in his field. His research which has won numerous awards is interdisciplinary and is recognized both nationally and internationally. He has published 19 journal articles and presented 43 papers at refereed conferences over the last seven years. He has published on information processing in individuals, face-to-face teams, and virtual teams; on factors associated with moral reasoning development in relation to business education; on the relationship between equity markets and stock-based compensation accounting changes; and on stereotyping in performance appraisal. Colleagues note that Dr. Branson has been a strong and consistent research mentor for many faculty and students.
Professor Branson has established an admirable record of leadership and professional service, both to the university community and to external communities at the local and state levels.