Matthews, who was honored by his colleagues in the American College Personnel Association this year as one of the 70 individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the student affairs profession over the last 75 years, has overseen sweeping changes at ECU.
He has been responsible for virtually all non-academic student activities and programs on campus, including residence halls, dining services, recreation and intramurals, student health services, orientation, the student center, financial aid, career services, testing, counseling and minority student affairs. Chancellor Richard Eakin said, "Al Matthews has been a true and valued leader at East Carolina. He has assembled an exceptionally able team and his division has always operated with the benefit of students uppermost in mind.
For more than a decade, ECU students have been exceptionally well served by his vision and his dedication, and I have depended on his wise counsel."
Matthews was cited by the American College Personnel Association for developing "a model student affairs division at ECU." Matthews said, "I will truly miss the university. It is a dynamic, exciting institution, and I don't think I've ever gotten up in the morning and not wanted to go to work. It has been a pleasure to work with an outstanding staff who have developed a quality program at East Carolina University."
He is currently on leave while caring for his wife, who was injured in an automobile accident in Virginia last month.
Eakin named Dr. Garrie Moore, director of equal employment opportunity at ECU, to serve as interim vice chancellor while Matthews is on leave. During Matthews' tenure at ECU, the university has opened some of its most impressive student life facilities, including the Student Recreation Center, the Blount Fields and Todd Dining Hall. The expansion of Mendenhall Student Center, including the dining room, was completed. Extensive improvements were made in the residence halls, including complete renovations of Slay and Umstead and major improvements to Scott, Jones and Aycock. Jarvis Residence Hall is closed for renovation now. In addition, an expansion and renovation of the Student Health Center will begin this summer and plans are nearly complete for a west end dining hall.
Other highlights of his ECU years include: Establishing a comprehensive food service, with annual revenues growing from $1.5 million 10 years ago to $11 million today. Establishing a mental health division in the Student Health Service. Initiating a development program to raise private funds for the Student Life Division. Establishing an Office of Research, Assessment and Testing. Establishing the Office for Student Leadership Development. Adding the position of judicial affairs officer. Developing the Office of Minority Student Affairs and moving the Ledonia Wright African-American Cultural Center to the Bloxton House and expanding its programs.
Expanding the Career Services center, adding career exploration services, and moving the office to the renovated President's House. Expanding the staff and services of the Financial Aid Office. Matthews came to ECU from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, where he was vice president for student affairs. He previously held student life positions at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University and UCLA. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Northern Colorado University and a Ph.D. from Indiana University.
ECU News Bureau