Dr. Paul Matney became the 13th president of Amarillo College in July of 2009. He announced his plans to retire during the summer of 2014.
A lifelong Amarilloan, Matney literally got his start at Amarillo College, his place of employment for the past 35 years.
After graduating from the original Amarillo High School on Polk Street, Matney spent his first year in higher education at Amarillo College, where he says he received “a rock-solid academic foundation” for the university experiences that would follow. His next stop was the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated with honors in journalism. He went on to earn a master’s degree in speech communication from what was then West Texas State University, after which he was immediately employed at WTSU as an instructor and director of radio and television.
Throughout his six-year tenure at WTSU, Matney became a familiar face to television viewers in the High Plains by working part time as a weekend weather man, first on KVII-TV and later on KAMR-TV. He also worked in sales for KGNC Radio during that time.
Matney found his way back to Amarillo College in 1979, accepting a job as instructor of mass communications and, just one year later, he was named to chair the Language, Communication and Fine Arts Division. By 1986 he had been promoted to associate professor and in 1989, the same year he completed his doctoral studies at Texas Tech University, Matney was named a full professor at AC.
In 2004, Matney became associate vice president and dean of instruction at AC, and a year later he moved to vice president and dean of instruction following the retirement of Dr. Gene Byrd.
In May 2008, Matney was named acting president of Amarillo College, a responsibility compelled by the illness and subsequent passing of President Steven W. Jones. The AC Board of Regents officially named Matney to serve as the successor to Dr. Jones in July of 2009.
During his career as an academician Matney has received numerous awards and honors, including Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Senior Fellow, Piper Professor, John F. Mead Faculty Excellence Award and Outstanding Educator of the Year by the 10th District of the American Advertising Federation.
Matney is extremely active in the community as a member of the governing board of the United Way and the AC Foundation. He has served on boards for the Amarillo Opera, the Amarillo College Foundation, Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Panhandle Association of Broadcasters, and the Amarillo Advertising Association. He is also a member of KACV-TV (PBS), Amarillo College Ex-students Association, High Plains Public Radio, Texas Exes and many other local and area organizations.
He and his wife Sandy are the parents of three daughters and have two grandchildren. All are looking forward to his retirement.