Alan Matheson

Alan Matheson

16th ASURA President

The following material is taken from A Second Decade of Success, A History of the Arizona State University Retirees Assoication 2001-2011.

The ASURA was established in the early 1990s under the leadership of Bob Ellis.  My first contact with the organization was during the year 1991-1992, when, as an officer in the University Faculty Assembly, I served as liaison between the two organizations, attended the monthly meetings of ASURA, and became impressed with the thoughtful service provided to University retirees by the Association.  Later, I was approached by Dave Scheatzle and Elmer Gooding who persuaded me to become vice president of ASURA under the presidency of Elmer Gooding.  At the time, I was still teaching at the College of Law, and, although I had retired from full-time teaching, I was carrying almost a full load at the law school.  As a result, I was concerned about whether it was appropriate for me to serve, but these representatives were insistent, and I agreed to become an active member once again.  Grateful for their interest, I found the experience to be a very positive one, leading to my role as president during the year 2006-2007.

At ASU, I was a Professor of Law beginning in 1967 during the first year of the law school, and was, in succession, assistant dean, associate dean, and then dean.  I was named interim dean four times and was the “real dean” for five years.  As a law professor, I taught Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Community Property, and Education and the Law.  In addition, I was president of the University Faculty Senate in 1990-1991 and, as well, a member or chair of numerous University committees. My academic record includes degrees from the University of Utah (B.A., M.S., and J.D.), appointment as an Associate in Law at Columbia Law School, and as Assistant to the President at Utah State University.

The most significant event of the year was “the move.”  After residing in the Visitors Information Center on campus (the Golden Dome—a geodesic dome built by the Valley National Bank in 1962) for 14 years, the Association was notified by the University that it was necessary to change locations because the Center was slated for demolition.  Dates for the move were scheduled and rescheduled, and, over the course of several months, ASURA officers visited several possible sites for the new location.  The overwhelming consensus was in favor of a suite of offices in the Community Services Building off Curry Road in Tempe, north of the Town Lake and Downtown Tempe.  The structure was at one time a children’s hospital, but in 1984, it was deeded to ASU and, soon, became the home of as many as 37 academic programs.  With the University’s concurrence, the Association selected this option.  On December 21, 2006, staff members and officers packed belongings and furniture, and movers took them to the new location the same day.  . . .

Alan was interviewed by ASURA's Video History project team on October 23, 2003. Both the full interview and a short clip from the interview are available for on-line viewing.