By a 5-0 vote on March 12, the Board of Governors named Matthew Wilson, J.D., as Missouri Western’s president. He will succeed Dr. Robert Vartabedian, who will retire July 1 after 11 years as Missouri Western’s president.
“With a long track record in higher education, including previous experience as a university president, Matt Wilson is prepared to serve Missouri Western well,” said David Liechti, chair of the Board of Governors. “Under his leadership, Missouri Western will continue to be a crucial part of t
he economic and cultural vitality of our region.”
“I am honored that the Governors have put their faith in me and incredibly excited to be joining the Missouri Western family,” President-Designate Wilson said. “I look forward to serving and working closely with outstanding MWSU faculty, students, staff and alumni, as well as members of the St. Joseph community.”
Wilson is currently a professor of law at the University of Akron School of Law after serving as president of the University of Akron 2016-18. While president, he helped lead the university to a two-year budgetary turnaround, eliminating a projected $30 million deficit in 2016-17 and add
ing $12 million to reserves. Wilson also participated in fundraising efforts that saw a substantial increase in donations including a $20 million student scholarship campaign and the largest single gift in university history. He also oversaw innovative approaches to student recruitment, retention and internationalization.
Prior to serving as president, Wilson was dean of the University of Akron School of Law, where he oversaw a successful $21 million debt-free renovation and fundraising campaign for the law school facilities and helped achieve a 40 percent increase in new student enrollment over two years. He also served as associate dean of the University of Wyoming College of Law and senior associate dean and general counsel of Temple University Japan. He taught a wide variety of law courses at all three schools. He also served as a visiting professor at three universities in Asia and lectured extensively across the country and world.
He and his wife have four children and three grandchildren.