Best Mentor Ever: Saying Goodbye to Dr. Chuck Matzke

September 16, 2020

Students, colleagues and friends send well wishes to Dr. Chuck Matzke, longtime Political Science professor, who retired at the end of the summer.

"Dr. Matzke is the best mentor I have ever got in the field," said Shay Manawar.

"Though I graduated from his Government Semester Program in 2013, Professor Matzke remains an instrumental figure in my professional growth even today. I frequently seek his mentorship to ensure my career is heading in the right direction and will continue to do so. Once or twice a year, I visited Professor Matzke just to catch-up and discuss life, politics, and his favorite subject - Government Semester Program. The 3rd floor of South Kedzie will not be the same for me now that he has retired!"

Dr. Marty Jordan will be replacing Dr. Matzke as coordinator for the Michigan Government Semester Program and knows he has big shoes to fill.

"Alumni of the Michigan Government Semester Program frequently remark that it was one of the most rewarding experiences from their time at MSU. Past students value all the work that Professor Matzke has put into building a prestigious and effective program. He has introduced students to influential leaders in Michigan politics and assisted students in developing professional skills that will benefit them for years to come. And he has helped students connect their theoretical understanding of politics with the practical realities of government. Professor Matzke has had a tremendously positive impact on hundreds of public servants currently leading at the highest levels in the state and beyond. He is an exceptional educator, mentor, and advocate of MSU students," Jordan said.

Others sent their appreciation through a video:


Dr. Matzke himself said goodbye in August:

"Yesterday I submitted grades for the MSU 2020 Summer Semester. These are the last grades I will ever have to submit as I now begin my retirement. Since Fall 2003, I have had the honor of teaching approximately 4,750 students in about 100 classes for about 14 different course subjects at MSU. I am grateful to the MSU Political Science Department for giving me the opportunity to contribute to their undergraduate education program. My greatest joy, however, has been able to develop and run the Michigan Government Semester Program for the last eight years. I particularly want to thank each of the150 students who have completed this program for making my last eight years of teaching the most enjoyable ones. I feel privileged to have worked with some of the best students MSU has to offer. I am confident that you will all excel in your future endeavors and careers. The MGSP will continue in the very capable hands of Prof. Marty Jordan. Thank you again and I wish all of you the best. – Chuck Matzke.

He joined the Department in 2003 and has taught undergraduate courses in policy analysis, state politics, urban politics, American government, executive process, legislative process, American political theory, third-world politics, and African politics, as well as courses for MSUs’ Integrative Studies in Social Science and the Visiting International Professionals Program. He is currently the coordinator for the Michigan Government Semester Program, in which he teaches two classes and oversees student internships. Professor Matzke also coordinates the MPP Field Experience. His primary teaching and research interests are in state politics and American public policy and politics. He has published the Study Guide and Instructor’s Manual for a major American Government textbook. Professor Matzke also has a long-standing interest and experience in African politics. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1985 and his M.A. from West Virginia University in 1975. His BA is from the University of Kansas (1971).


Obviously, you will be greatly missed! - Thank you from the faculty, students and staff at MSU PLS!