Charles R. Matthews

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Charles Ray Matthews

In office
Governor George W. Bush (1995-2000)
Rick Perry (2000-2005)
Preceded by James E. Nugent
Succeeded by Elizabeth Ames Jones

Chancellor of the
Texas State University System
In office
Preceded by Lamar Urbanovsky
Succeeded by Brian McCall

Mayor of Garland, Texas
In office

Born May 19, 1939
Waco, McLennan County
Texas, USA
Resting place Texas State Cemetery in Austin (upon his death)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Julia Freeman Matthews
Children Four children
Residence Aquilla, Hill County, Texas
Alma mater University of Texas at Dallas

Texas State University-San Marcos
University of Texas at Austin

Occupation Businessman; Educator

Charles Ray Matthews (born May 19, 1939) is a Republican former member and chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission and the chancellor-emeritus of the Texas State University System, both based in the capital city of Austin, Texas. His Railroad Commission tenure extended from 1995 to 2005, when he began a five-year stint as chancellor of the TSU system,[1]

Railroad commissioner

A native of Waco in McLennan County in north central Texas,[2] Matthews was initially elected to the Railroad Commission in 1994, when he narrowly unseated veteran Democratic incumbent James E. Nugent of Kerrville. The Republican ticket was headed that year by incumbent U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and gubernatorial standard-bearer George W. Bush, both of whom won considerable margins of victory. Matthews outpolled Nugent, 2,046,614 votes (49.8 percent) to 1,978,759 (48.1 percent). The remaining 84,769 votes cast (2.1 percent) went to the Libertarian Party nominee, Rich Draheim.[3] In 2000, Matthews won reelection to the Railroad Commission without Democratic opposition. He received 3,633,901 votes (77 percent), with the remaining 23 percent split between two minor party contenders.[4] As railroad commissioner, Matthews advocated increasing the supply of natural gas in Texas to meet future electricity needs.[5]

Early in 2005, Matthews stepped down from the Railroad Commission to succeed Lamar Urbanovsky as the university system chancellor.[6] Governor Rick Perry then appointed State Representative Elizabeth Ames Jones of San Antonio to succeed Matthews on the Railroad Commission. In 2006, Ames won a six-year term in her own right on the commission,[7] but she stepped down in February 2012, and Governor Perry named Buddy Garcia as her interim replacement.

Educational and civic leadership

Originally established in 1911 to supervise the normal schools of Texas, the TSU system consists of these nine institutions: Texas State University-San Marcos. Angelo State University in San Angelo. Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Lamar University in Beaumont, the Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College-Orange, Lamar State College-Port Arthur, Sul Ross State University in Alpine, and Sul Ross State University-Rio Grande College. These schools enroll more than seventy thousand students.[6]

Prior to his university chancellorship and Railroad Commission tenure, Matthews was a business entrepreneur, civic leader, and from 1984 to 1986 the mayor of Garland outside Dallas, where he worked to reduce the municipal tax rate and the costs of government. In 1986, he ran unsuccessfully for the position of administrative judge of Dallas County.[2] Matthews served on the Texas Turnpike Authority under appointment from Republican Governor Bill Clements.[8] He is a former director, president, and chief executive officer of the Texas Municipal Power Agency.[6]

Matthews is the former president of Housing Administrators, Inc., president and CEO of M Mortgage Company, a director of Southern Bank and Trust/Texas Commerce Bank, and the owner/operator of Matthews Investments. He is a former member of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the National Coal Council.[1]

Receiving his higher education later in life, Matthews graduated with a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies in 1994 from the University of Texas at Dallas. In 1999, he received a master's degree in public administration from Texas State University in San Marcos, then known as Southwest Texas State University, and the alma mater of Lyndon B. Johnson. In 2006, Matthews was awarded a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Texas at Austin.[1]

Matthews has been active in Rotary International, the Lion's Club, Young Men's Christian Association, and the Boy Scouts of America. He served as chairman of the Garland Chamber of Commerce and received the highest honor of the Garland business community, the Tall Texan Award. He and his wife, Julia, reside in rural Aquilla near Hillsboro, Texas. They have four grown children.[1][8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Charles R. Matthews. Retrieved on February 25, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Voter's Guide, 2000.
  3. General Election returns, November 8, 1994. Retrieved on February 25, 2012.
  4. General Election returns, November 7, 2000. Retrieved on February 25, 2012.
  5. Matthews touts increase in gas production. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, October 30, 1999. Retrieved on February 25, 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Railroad commissioner tapped as finalist for Texas State chancellorship, January 7, 2005. Austin Business Journal. Retrieved on February 25, 2012.
  7. Texas Secretary of State, General election returns, 2006
  8. 8.0 8.1 Biography of Charles R. Matthews. Retrieved on February 25, 2012.