Faculty Feature: Danny Siciliano, CPA, CMA UNLV– Faculty Lecturer Lee Business School - Accounting Department, EMBA 707 Financial Accounting for Managers
After two decades in public accounting and corporate gaming, Danny Siciliano, CPA, CMA walks into the same UNLV classrooms where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting and finance. Only this time, Siciliano is teaching Executive MBA and accounting courses, and is the coordinator of the university’s accounting internship program.
A faculty lecturer with the Lee Business School since 2012, Siciliano brings his real-world financial accounting experience to the classroom, frequently using business examples from his seven years as a public accountant and auditor with Deloitte & Touche and 13 years as a senior executive with slot machine maker, International Game Technology (IGT).
Siciliano has blended practice and theory to develop a unique teaching style that allows him to combine his love for accounting with his passion for educating.
“Industry experience well informs my teaching since I understand the problems and opportunities of the real world,” Siciliano said. “It means that I teach things which I know, and I’m able to relate to the issues that EMBA students are encountering on the job.”
Immediately prior to joining the UNLV faculty, Siciliano served as interim chief financial officer for IGT, where, during his tenure, he also held the positions of chief accounting officer, senior vice president of corporate finance and treasurer. During this period, the company was one of the top performers on the S&P 500 from 2003 to 2007.
Before IGT, Siciliano worked as a public accountant with Deloitte & Touche, where he represented such prestigious clients as The Howard Hughes Corporation., Clark County, American Pacific and Boyd Gaming Corporation.
Since joining the UNLV faculty, he’s been recognized with numerous honors and awards including serving as the faculty advisor to two first place winners of major accounting competitions: 2017 Student Case Competition sponsored by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and 2014 American Institute of CPA Accounting Competition. In addition, Siciliano has been selected twice as Outstanding Faculty Member Lee Business School by the UNLV CSUN-Student Government (2016/2017); Lee Business School Service Faculty of the Year (2015), and Lee Business School Teacher of the Year (2017).
As part of his EMBA course curriculum, Siciliano often invites his gaming industry colleagues as guest speakers. These prestigious names include T.J. Matthews, former chairman/CEO, IGT; Craig Billings, CFO, Wynn Resorts; Rick Arpin, senior vice president, entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and John Page, managing partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers. “They’re high-level executives who engage the EMBA cohort members in discussions on making good decisions based on numbers from the C-level perspective.”
In addition, his real-world case studies challenge cohort members to take on decision-maker roles. The resulting discussions help students think critically, understand and articulate how financial accounting functions in the real world “where accounting is more of an art than a science,” said Siciliano. “We solve real problems and delve into what the decision-makers did right and wrong.”
Practical classes like Siciliano's EMBA Financial Accounting for Managers mean that cohort members can immediately apply what they have learned to their current roles, while preparing for future C-level positions.