A seasoned and wise leaderandthe premier authority on higher education in this countryare just a couple of ways colleagues and friends are describing C. Peter Magrath, newly named interim president of West Virginia University.
The WVU Board of Governors confirmed his appointment Tuesday (July 8). Magrath, senior adviser to the College Board and president emeritus of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), will officially become the interim president Aug. 1 and begin the transition July 15.
Dr. Magrath is one of the most knowledgeable people in the country about public higher education,said Peter McPherson, president of the National Association of State University and Land-Grant Colleges and successor to Magrath.He has run two flagship public universities. He worked with all the large public universities around the country for 13 years as president of NASULGC . His knowledge, insights and common sense make him an outstanding person to be the interim president of WVU .
Magrath is a respected national higher education leader who has served as president of the University of Missouri, University of Minnesota, the State University of New York Binghamton and the University of Nebraska (interim), noted Steve Goodwin, outgoing chairman of WVU s Board of Governors.
Molly C. Broad, president of the American Council on Education and former president of the University of North Carolina, said,Magrath brings extraordinary skill, experience and knowledge to West Virginia University during this period of transition.
He will work collaboratively with the board and the faculty to ensure that the University is well positioned, in every way, to receive the next permanent president without any loss of University direction or momentum,she added.Moreover, he has a deep understanding of the values that are the foundation of great universities and will be a positive influence to the campus and the community during this time of healing.
Gene Budigdistinguished professor; senior presidential adviser to the College Board; former WVU president; and co-owner of the Charleston River Dogs (Class A Team of the New York Yankees)said,No one is better prepared to head a major comprehensive land-grant university than C. Peter Magrath, the widely respected and articulate past president of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. He was recognized as a visionary during his nearly 20 years as president of the University of Minnesota and the University of Missouri, two leading research universities. He stood for the right things, and he was an advocate for faculty, long-term academic planning and for students. The land-grant movement is a central part of his being; Dr. Magrath understands that a state is only as strong as its land-grant institution and he knows the long-standing reputation of West Virginia University. WVU has a great story to tellone that Peter and I believe is admirable. He is anxious to reach out to the people of West Virginia.
Meanwhile, Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board and former governor of West Virginia, said,Dr. Peter Magrath has been the president of two land-grant colleges and was head of the Land-Grant College Association. He is a nationally regarded educator and leader. He is an outstanding choice as the interim president for West Virginia University.
Gordon Gee, president of The Ohio State University and former WVU president, called Magrathprobably the premier authority on higher education in this country.
The Board of Governors has chosen brilliantly,he said.To have him serve as the interim president of West Virginia University will set it on steady footing for years to come.
Other comments from state and University leaders are as follows:
West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin
I commend the WVU Board of Governors for their selection of Dr. C. Peter Magrath as interim president of West Virginia University. Dr. Magrath is a well-established higher education leader who will bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to the Universitys campus during this time of transition. I thank him for his commitment to serve WVU , and I look forward to working with him during the months to come.
David C. Hardesty Jr., WVU President Emeritus; Professor, WVU College of Law
Dr. Peter Magrath brings immediate national attention to West Virginia University. He enjoys the national respect of the higher education community.(Note: Magrath was invited to give the inaugural lecture in the Neil S. Bucklew Lectureship in Higher Education Administration in 1999 when Hardesty was president.)
Virginia Franke Kleist, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Management Information Systems; Chair, WVU Faculty Senate
In my role as Faculty Senate chair, I had a delightful meeting with Dr. Magrath yesterday over lunch. His experience is unparalleled and will be a great asset to us at West Virginia University. I believe that Interim President Magrath will be of great support to the faculty of WVU , as well as to the many other constituencies of our University. He is positive about our University, and under his expert leadership, we will continue on a good path at WVU . I will really look forward to our faculty interactions with him. In our enjoyable conversation, Dr. Magrath demonstrated a strong awareness of key issues at WVU and will hit the ground running. Dr. Magrath has a deep understanding of the important role of the faculty in the institution, and asked many good questions of me about external grant funding, the role of sports and education, the tenure process and also about our students.
Paul Martinelli, Classified Staff Representative, WVU Board of Governors
Im most impressed by his vast knowledge of higher education. He knows so many key people in higher education, and thats going to be very beneficial once we start the presidential search. And when you talk to him, its always about students, faculty and classified staffI appreciate that he knows who we are. Hell keep the ship steady.
R. Wayne King, President and CEO , WVU Foundation
Hes a highly respected university administrator who brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, and hes known nationally and internationally in higher education circles. The entire Foundation team looks forward to working with Dr. Magrath during his time at WVU .
Stephen L. Douglas, President and CEO , WVU Alumni Association
We are pleased to welcome Dr. Magrath to West Virginia University. His expertise and passion for land grant institutions will serve us well. We look forward to working with him and supporting his efforts to lead our great university.
Jason Parsons, Student Government Association President
I want to thank Mike Garrison for his great service to West Virginia University. It has been a pleasure working with him. Im also excited to work with Dr. Peter Magrath. Hes a seasoned and wise leader. He cares about students. Hell provide great leadership to the university we know and love.