Jim Matthews

Publication Date



A transcript of this interview is available for download above and to the right. The audio recording is embedded below. An essay summarizing themes that emerged from interviews conducted about Myers in 2016 is available: Portrait of a Collector: Reflections on an Influential Bibliophile.

This interview subject is affiliated with IWU and/or President Myers in the following ways: Associate Professor of French and Italian, 1986-present; Dean of Students, 1998-2005.


Matthews views Myers as a "well-educated liberal arts specialist...who can talk with anybody intelligently about anything that person is interested in." Myers recommended book purchases to Matthews and he summarizes the effect that and conversations about French history had on him. He recounts why and how Myers recruited him to be Dean of Students and describes changes to Student Affairs that followed, what he saw in Cabinet and Board of Trustee meetings about budget decisions, an incidence of racism involving Sodexho (ca 2000), and remarks Myers made on the first anniversary of September 11, 2001 [n.b., there are no recordings or notes of this talk in the University Archives]. Matthews also discusses the Minority Alumni Network, curricular changes, and his work with Student Senate on the Hansen Student Center. He relates the contents of the last note he received from Myers before Myers' death, concluding with reflections on Myers' family and speculations on what Myers would have done next in his presidency.

Streaming Media




leadership, book recommendations, personal characteristcs, Student Affairs, management, racism, building planning, Hansen Student Center, books, musical instrument, trains, end-of-life, Portrait of a Collector, Faculty, Administrators


United States History