Matthew Wilson going ‘home’ as next dean of Temple University Japan

Twenty-five years ago, Matthew Wilson was attracted to the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law because of its new JD study abroad program in Tokyo. His experience at Temple University Japan inspired him to return to TUJ in 2003 as the Law Program Director. He later became TUJ’s general counsel and senior associate dean, overseeing academic, administrative, enrollment and legal matters.
Now, Wilson will leave the presidency of Missouri Western State University to become the next dean of Temple University Japan. President Richard M. Englert made the announcement today, saying Wilson was uniquely qualified for the role. 

“Matt brings his experience as a TUJ student and administrator to the role, along with an understanding of leading complex organizations. We are delighted he has agreed to take on this vital role,” said Englert. 

Executive Vice President and Provost JoAnne Epps agreed Wilson’s background, including his fluency in Japanese language and culture, makes him the right person for the role.

“Matt knows both Temple and TUJ, a very valuable perspective. His vision for the campus is to capitalize on its unique strengths for all of its students, whether they’re from the U.S., Japan or around the world,” Epps said. 

For Wilson, TUJ has been a formative place to learn and work.

“You hear people talking about dream jobs, but this is literally my greatest hope come true. Temple University Japan helped shape me, and I feel like I’m going home,” said Wilson. “While other schools have established programs in Japan, Temple’s is unique, proven and respected. The faculty and staff are dedicated to student success.

“Although located far from Philadelphia, Temple’s mission is alive and well at TUJ,” Wilson added. “I can’t wait to get started.”

Wilson noted TUJ is the oldest and largest foreign university in Japan, having been founded in 1982. 

Today, TUJ is a diverse global student body with more than 1,300 undergraduate students from approximately 60 countries, and a total student population of approximately 3,000. In addition to a full, English-speaking undergraduate program, TUJ boasts significant strengths in law, business, and education; an English-language preparation program; continuing education courses and corporate education classes. 

Previously, Wilson was at the University of Akron, where he served as dean of its law school and as president of the university. Wilson has also held visiting professor appointments at four universities in Japan, South Korea and China. 

In addition to his experiences in higher education, Wilson has worked as an attorney in Florida, New Jersey and Japan, and for manufacturing companies in Japan. He has also served as an interviewer and external reviewer for the Japan-U.S. Fulbright Program, and is currently a presidential representative on the NCAA e-sports working group.
Wilson received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies with a Japanese minor from the University of Utah. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law.

TUJ also has the distinction of being the first educational institution in Japan to be officially recognized as a Foreign University, Japan Campus by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This status allows TUJ to sponsor student visas, enabling international students to study at the university on either a short-term basis (one or two semesters) or a long-term basis (such as to complete a full four-year program).

Wilson will replace Bruce Stronach, TUJ’s longtime dean, who has overseen the campus through several changes over the last 12 years. 

Most notably, Stronach helped guide the recent transition to the Sangen-jaya area of Tokyo, and the campus of Showa Women’s University after 23 years in the Minami-Azabu District. The move not only heralds a new era in TUJ history, it also provides students a more traditional campus setting with green spaces, lounges and access to a broader range of student facilities. 

The date when Wilson will assume the dean’s post will be announced soon.