Passing of Prof. Emeritus Chuck Matter

Word has been received of the death earlier today of UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Emeritus Charles F. Matter. He was 69.

Matter (pronounced MAHT-der) taught more than three decades at UW-Green Bay, leading courses including Introduction to Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Experimental Psychology, and Information Systems and Perception. He joined the Green Bay faculty in 1971. He earned his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Washington and his bachelor’s in psychology from Lycoming (Penn.) College.

He received UW-Green Bay’s Founders Association Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1991. Several years later, when the Faculty Development Council inaugurated a Featured Faculty program to showcase effective teaching strategies, their first honoree was Matter, who presented on the topic “The Power of Stories in the Classroom.”

“Former students come up to me in the supermarket and they repeat stories I told in class 15 years ago,” Matter once told an interviewer. “I came to realize that something about those everyday stories had really embedded in people’s memory, unlike things I hadn’t packaged with the narrative.”

Matter’s statewide leadership on teaching issues included a term as chairperson of the UW System Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Council. He was among UW-Green Bay’s first faculty members to receive a national teaching improvement grant, $50,000 from the Lilly foundation in 1976 to mentor new faculty. He co-authored a handbook of teaching tips, organized a conference on knowledge engineering, and was active in University governance. He was granted emeritus status in May 2003.

Matter is survived by his wife, Kathy Pletcher, stepsons Christopher and Timothy Pletcher, a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and nieces and nephews. The family extends a special thank you to caregivers during Chuck’s illness. A full obituary will appear later this week.

A scholarship fund has been established at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Friends and former students who wish to make a memorial contribution may send donations for the “Charles Matter Scholarship” to UW-Green Bay, Advancement Office, 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311.

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