Biography: Matthew J. Wilson
Interim President Matthew J. Wilson
Matthew Wilson was named the 17th President of The University of Akron by unanimous vote of The University of Akron Board of Trustees on October 19, 2016. He had previously served as interim president since July 11, 2016. Board Chairman Roland H. Bauer said at the October meeting, “In the months since his appointment, (Wilson) has brought new energy and enthusiasm to all corners of the campus and community. We believe now is the time to ensure stability by removing the “interim” from Matt Wilson’s title and see that he remains President of The University of Akron.”
Prior to his presidency, Wilson was dean of The University of Akron School of Law and professor of law since 2014. Under his leadership Akron Law restructured its admissions, scholarship and marketing programs. Enrollment increased more than 25 percent in 2015-16, bucking a national trend of declining law school enrollment. During this same period, Akron Law received a first-time, tier-one overall ranking (2015 Above the Law), several Top 25 specialty rankings, and national awards. In Spring 2016, two teams of Akron Law students advanced to national championships of competitions sponsored by the American Bar Association and the American Association for Justice. Wilson personally coached the client counseling team that took third place in the nation.
Wilson also led planning, oversight and fundraising for a debt-free, $21 million comprehensive renovation of the law school facilities at Wolf Ledges Parkway. Work began in December 2015 with the completion and opening of Phase I expected in Fall 2016, and full completion planned for June 2017.
He came to Akron from The University of Wyoming College of Law, where he served as associate dean of student affairs, associate dean of academic affairs, and professor of law from 2009-2014. Under his direct oversight of enrollment management, UW College of Law’s enrollment rose 20 percent in 2014, with a corresponding improvement in rankings.
In addition to his administrative background, Wilson has more than 25 years of international experience in practicing and teaching business law, intellectual property law, Japanese law, and dispute resolution.
Prior to joining The University of Wyoming College of Law in 2009, he was senior associate dean and general counsel for Temple University’s Japan campus in Tokyo. There he oversaw academic, administrative and legal matters related to all undergraduate, graduate, professional and non-degree programs. He also served as director of Temple’s Law Program in Tokyo, where he implemented new marketing strategies, diversified curriculum offerings and modified program structures. During his six years in this post, the Law Program recorded a nearly four-fold increase in enrollment and revenues.
Wilson has served as an interviewer and external evaluator for the Japan – U.S. Fulbright Program, and held a concurrent appointment as an international scholar at Kyung Hee University Law School from 2011-14. He has published articles and books both in English and Japanese since 2004, and most recently in 2016.
He earned a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Asian Studies, with a minor in Japanese, at the University of Utah in 1995, and a Juris Doctor at the Temple University Beasley School of Law in 1999. In addition to his higher education career, Wilson has worked as an attorney in Florida, New Jersey, and Japan.
He resides in Hudson with his wife, Noriko, and two youngest sons. His oldest daughter lives in the Rocky Mountain region with her husband and two children, and his oldest son is currently doing volunteer missionary work in South Korea. In his spare time, Wilson plays basketball, baseball, golf, and tennis with his children and with Akron students.