Posted on July 15, 2019 by Wendy Frost

Matthew McCarter, associate professor of management at the UTSA College of Business, passed away last week at the age of 39.
Matthew McCarter in front of Sombrilla Fountain McCarter will be remembered by his friends and colleagues for his effervescent personality, his dedication to his students and research, his kind soul and positive attitude.

“Matthew was a rising star in the College of Business,” said Wm. Gerard Sanders, dean and Bodenstedt Chair at the College of Business. “I had the privilege of knowing him since he was an undergraduate at Brigham Young University.  He was one of the rare faculty that excelled in both teaching and his research. He was not only a talented scholar, but his work was also having a significant impact in his field.”

Since joining the College of Business in 2013, McCarter was a student favorite teaching courses at the undergraduate, master’s and executive levels in management and organizational behavior, effective negotiation and organizational leadership. He also was the Ph.D. advisor for the management and organization studies doctoral program.

McCarter’s teaching method was rooted in experiential learning.  He was known for assigning in-class exercises and semester-long projects that allowed his students to apply management theory and internalize the practical value of the course material.

His most popular exercise was the Paper Clip Project which allowed students to experience the functions of management and negotiation.  Students were given a paper clip and made a series of trades that resulted in a final item of considerable more value. The final item was then donated to charity.

“Matthew was an All-Star who taught in our Executive MBA and executive leadership programs,” said Bruce Rudy, senior executive director of the Center for Professional Excellence.  “He had an uncanny ability to teach in a way that resonated with executives.  His passing leaves a void that will be impossible to fill.”

Recognized for his innovative teaching style, he received the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award bestowed by the UT System in 2016 and the UTSA Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2017.  He was a member of the UTSA Academy of Distinguished Teachers.  

A leading scholar in organizational behavior, McCarter’s research focused on decision-making, cooperation and social dilemmas.  He published high-quality papers in top-tier management journals including the Academy of Management Review, Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, Journal of Operations Management and Human Resource Management Journal.

Praised by top management scholars from Northwestern and Columbia during external reviews, McCarter was lauded for enriching scholarship in the field of social dilemma, his clear and creative identity as a researcher and his potential to shape the field in important ways.

Prior to joining the UTSA faculty, McCarter was the Wang-Fradkin Assistant Professor at Chapman University.  He also served as a research associate and affiliate at the Economic Science Institute.  In 2017, he was awarded the Visiting John Angus Erskine Fellowship at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.  McCarter received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana.

“He was a wonderful colleague–providing support and friendship to many,” said Jonathan Clark, chair of the Department of Management.  “He was known to offer a kind word and a helping hand to those in need.  He will be sorely missed.”

He is survived by his wife, Miriam, and four children. Friends and colleagues have established a Go Fund Me account to help the McCarter family.

— Wendy Frost