President Matt WilsonJuly 8, 2020–President Matt Wilson will leave his position at Missouri Western State University to become the next dean of Temple University Japan

“You hear people talking about dream jobs, but this is literally my greatest hope come true,” Wilson said. “My roots at Temple University run deep. Not only did I earn my Juris Doctor degree there, but I also spent part of my law school career as a student at Temple University Japan and worked there in various capacities for six years. Temple University Japan helped shape me, and I feel like I’m going home.” 

TUJ, founded in 1982, is the oldest and largest foreign university in Japan. It serves more than 1300 undergraduate students from approximately 60 countries, and a total student population of approximately 3,000.

Matthew Wilson, J.D., became the fifth president of Missouri Western State University on July 1, 2019. The year since then has been marked by innovation, with the launch of initiatives like the Griffon Guarantee Scholarship, Gold Fridays, the Center for Service and more, all while addressing serious financial challenges. 

“Through the efforts of many, we have made considerable progress amidst challenging times and unexpected circumstances,” President Wilson said. “We have prioritized students, facilitated student success and helped strengthen community relationships. We have reminded the community, region and state about the many advantages of a Missouri Western education. Albeit difficult, we have made progress on the budgetary front as well. I know that the Board of Governors, the leadership team and our supporters are fully committed to the plan and strategies we have developed.”

While we are saddened at Matt’s departure, we certainly understand this unique opportunity presented to his family and we are extremely grateful for the outstanding leadership he has provided during these challenging times,” said Lee Tieman, chair of the Missouri Western Board of Governors. “The foundation laid by President Wilson and the blueprint established for Missouri Western to move forward have all been done with unanimous Board support and our Board is committed to continuing this plan with our next President. This University truly is a special place with an incredibly bright future.”

President Wilson plans to remain at Missouri Western as needed to ensure a smooth transition. The Board of Governors will meet again soon to discuss the search process for Missouri Western’s next president.

Wilson came to Missouri Western after serving two years as president of the University of Akron. He had previously served as dean of the University of Akron School of Law, associate dean of the University of Wyoming College of Law and senior associate dean and general counsel of Temple University Japan. 

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. 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