Matthew McConaughey Joins University of Texas Faculty As A Professor

Matthew McConaughey, the Oscar-winning actor and producer, has joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin and will teach a class this fall.

Mr. McConaughey has been a visiting instructor in the university’s department of radio, television and film at the Moody College of Communication since 2015.

His new role represents “a mutually beneficial relationship and recognizes the contribution he has made to the university,” Noah Isenberg, the chairman of the department, said in an interview on Thursday. “This formalizes our relationship. His passion for film is boundless.”

Mr. McConaughey has a home in Austin and earned a film degree from the university in 1993. This fall, a class of about 40 students will study two movies Mr. McConaughey has starred in: “The Gentlemen,” due next year, and the 2012 drama “Mud.” Jeff Nichols, the director of “Mud,” is scheduled to visit the class.

“It’s the class I wish I would have had when I was in film school,” Mr. McConaughey said in a statement. “The elements of truth and genuine joy for the process are timeless. That will always be our classroom focus.”

Since 2015, he has taught a film production class called “Script to Screen” with Scott Rice, an associate professor. The actor, who was named a professor of practice, helped develop the course, which explores every stage of a film’s production, from screenwriting to postproduction.

Mr. McConaughey first gained attention in 1993 as a 20-something stoner in “Dazed and Confused.” In the early 2000s, he starred in a series of romantic comedies alongside Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker. He later became known for more serious roles, winning an Oscar for the 2013 movie “Dallas Buyers Club,” in which he played an electrician and rodeo cowboy who imported experimental drugs to combat AIDS after he contracted H.I.V.

Mr. McConaughey’s offscreen antics have occasionally gained as much attention as his onscreen presence. In 1999, he was arrested on charges of marijuana possession after a neighbor complained about noise coming from the actor’s home. The police found Mr. McConaughey naked, playing the bongos. (The charges were later dropped.)

And his fans — and a few friends — have poked fun at how often he is photographed shirtless. In 2006, Matt Damon did an impression of Mr. McConaughey on the “Late Show With David Letterman.”

Actors and directors have long taught college students the craft of filmmaking and the business of Hollywood. Spike Lee, the Oscar-winning director of “Do the Right Thing” and “BlacKkKlansman,” taught a course at Harvard University in 1992 called “Contemporary African-American Cinema,” which explored the history of black cinema in the United States since 1964. He has taught for years at New York University.

In the late 1990s, Oprah Winfrey taught a class in leadership at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. While students were thrilled, she got a cool reception from some of the faculty members. “There was a genuine concern that the sensationalization may not be good for the institution,” Walter D. Scott, a fellow professor, said at the time.

The University of Texas thinks differently.

Dr. Isenberg, the department chairman, said he had discussed the new position with Mr. McConaughey over lunch in June. “Matthew is the cultural ambassador of Austin,” he said.