Feb. 26, 2019—The presidential search committee at Missouri Western State University has announced the names of three finalists to be the University’s fifth president. The finalists will be on campus for in-person interviews in early March. The interview process includes an open forum where all students, faculty, staff and the community can hear a presentation from the candidates and ask questions.

“We had an outstanding pool of candidates with a broad range of experiences, and are very excited to have these three finalists visit campus,” said David Liechti, chair of the Missouri Western Board of Governors and the search committee. “The feedback the campus and community provide us through the interview process will be an important consideration, so we encourage people to attend the forums and let us know what they think.”

Missouri Western is seeking a successor to Dr. Robert Vartabedian, who announced last August that he would retire at the end of June, 2019 after eleven years as president.

The three finalists are listed below. More information, including each candidate’s curriculum vitae, can be found at www.missouriwestern.edu/presidential-search.

Matthew Wilson

Matthew J. Wilson, J.D., open forum: 3:15 p.m. Monday, March 4, Kemper Recital Hall inside Spratt Hall

Wilson, formerly the president of The University of Akron, is a professor of law at The University of Akron School of Law. Previously, Wilson served as professor of law, associate dean of academic affairs and associate dean for student affairs for the University of Wyoming College of Law from 2009-2014. From 2011-2014, he concurrently served as an international scholar at Kyung Hee University Law School. Wilson began his academic career in 2003 at Temple University’s Japan Campus serving first as law program director and associate professor of law, and then as general counsel, associate dean and senior associate dean. Wilson began his legal career as an associate at Akerman Senterfitt P.A. in Orlando, Florida. He then served as general counsel for YPD.com/Advanced Telecommunication Network, Inc. before returning to Akerman as a senior associate. Wilson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a B.S. in Political Science and a B.A. in Asian Studies and holds a J.D from Temple University School of Law.

Terisa Riley

Terisa C. Riley, Ph.D., open forum: 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, Kemper Recital Hall inside Spratt Hall

Riley is the senior vice president for student affairs and university administration for Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Before assuming this position, she held the position of senior vice president for fiscal and student affairs and vice president for student affairs. Riley joined Texas A&M-Kingsville from the University of South Dakota, where she served as assistant vice president of student services and dean of students. Riley also has held various administrative positions at Saint Louis University, Greenville College (Illinois), Central Methodist College (Missouri), and the Affton and Lindbergh School Districts (Missouri). She has served on the graduate faculties of the University of South Dakota and Saint Louis University, teaching in courses in higher education and serving on dissertation committees. Riley received her Ph.D. in higher education administration from Saint Louis University. She earned her M.A. in higher education administration, as well as her B.A. in communication, from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

JuliAnn Mazachek

JuliAnn Mazachek, Ph.D., open forum: 3:15 p.m. Friday, March 8, Kemper Recital Hall inside Spratt Hall

Mazachek is the vice president of academic affairs for Washburn University. Prior to assuming this role, Mazachek served as the president and CEO of the Washburn University Foundation from 2002-2017. Previously, Mazachek was dean of the Washburn University School of Business and a professor of accounting.  Dedicated to the teaching mission of Washburn, Mazachek continues to teach accounting and leadership at the graduate level. She received the Washburn University Ned Fleming Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997 and is a Certified Management Accountant. Mazachek received her Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Kansas, where she also earned her M.B.A. in accounting and finance.  Mazachek earned her B.S. in engineering management with an emphasis in mechanical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu.