(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) After a little more than a year as Missouri Western State University's fifth president, Matthew Wilson is stepping down.
The university announced Wilson's resignation Wednesday morning. Missouri Western's Board of Governors met behind closed doors on Tuesday night and voted to accept Wilson's resignation.
Wilson cited a job opportunity from Temple University for his leave. Wilson will serve as Dean of Temple University's campus in Tokyo, 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.”
Wilson said he will remain at Western as needed to ensure a smooth transition.
“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."
Wilson's resignation comes more than two months after the board approved a proposal by Wilson to cut $6 million from the university's annual budget. The cuts include phasing out multiple majors and programs and eliminating 61 faculty positions.
“Through the efforts of many, we have made considerable progress amidst challenging times and unexpected circumstances,” President Wilson said. "I know that the Board of Governors, the leadership team and our supporters are fully committed to the plan and strategies we have developed.”
Wilson became Missouri Western's fifth president on July 1, 2019 replacing the retiring Dr. Robert Vartabedian. Wilson formerly served as president at the University of Akron from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that 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.