Dr. C. Peter Magrath has served as president of six universities (Binghamton twice; Univ. of Minnesota; Univ. of Missouri System; West Virginia Univ.; and Univ. of Nebraska) over a period of 21 years. He has been an Associate Dean of the Graduate School (Brown), an Arts and Sciences Dean and Provost (Nebraska). He served as President of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (now renamed as Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities) between 1991 and 2005; he was also a Senior Presidential Advisor at the College Board from 2006 to 2011.
His consulting experience is extensive, including presidential evaluations, presidential searches, and reviews and recommendations of university strategic plans. These universities are: University of Arizona; Auburn; University of Guam; University of Houston; University of Massachusetts; New Mexico State University; University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill); Oregon University; Ohio State University; Texas A&M; Utah State University; and West Virginia University.
As past president of six public universities, Magrath has a broad perspective on higher education, including a long history of leadership in international education activities. His many national involvements have included serving in 1992-1993 on the Commission on the Future of the National Science Foundation, a group of scientists, industrialists and academic leaders that made recommendations to help chart future directions for the Foundation. He organized the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities, consisting of 27 present and former presidents of major public universities that promoted an agenda of change and renewal for higher education.
APLU has established the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award in his honor, funded by the Kellogg Foundation, to recognize the outreach and engagement partnership efforts of four-year public universities.
He served on the Board of Directors of the Salzburg Seminar and previously worked on the Southern Education Foundation’s advisory committee dedicated to promoting educational opportunity for African-American and minority students in the Southern states. Between 2002-2003 he chaired the College Board’s National Commission on Writing which issued an acclaimed report, “The Neglected ‘R’,” that called for a writing revolution in America’s schools. In 2007 Magrath was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges.