A Letter from Teri Cannon, Minerva University Founding President

Apr 20, 2022

Dear Friends of Minerva University,

As we look to build on our remarkable progress and expand access to our innovative education model to help more thinkers, leaders, and innovators drive positive change in our world, I am delighted to share the news that the Board has named Mike Magee, an inspiring leader who has devoted his life’s work to social change through education, as Minerva University’s next President.

Helping to build Minerva these last 10 years and serving as Minerva University’s Founding President has been an honor of a lifetime for me — to have had a front row seat to introducing a new model for learning that views education as a crucial factor in addressing myriad complex challenges, and to see our students grow, thrive and enter the world empowered to be difference makers. I have accomplished what I set out to do for Minerva and am confident the time is right to pass the baton to new leadership at this important stage of the University’s growth. To ensure a smooth transition as Mike steps into this role, I will continue to be part of this amazing community, at least until next summer, serving in an advisory capacity.

It is rare that precisely the right individual appears at precisely the right time. But, of course, Minerva thrives in rare air and by embracing, and, indeed celebrating the unconventional.

It was immediately apparent to me and the many others involved in this selection process that Mike shares our core values and will be an enthusiastic champion of Minerva’s essential mission. His personal and professional journeys have been guided by a clear sense of purpose, a passion for breaking barriers and erasing boundaries and solving seemingly intractable problems through bold and creative approaches. To say he is uniquely qualified for this role is an understatement.

Mike most recently served as CEO of Chiefs for Change, where he led a trailblazing effort to create the nation’s premier leadership development program for aspiring K-12 leaders — an effort that has had a monumental impact on leadership diversity in public education. Prior to that, he served as the Co-founder and CEO of the Rhode Island Mayoral Academies where he created a statewide network of regional, racially, and economically integrated public schools. A graduate of Holy Cross University with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania, Mike began his distinguished career in education as a university professor.

As you know, Minerva was founded with an innate sense of optimism and hope inspired by an expansive horizon of possibility. Never has our optimism been as great as today, even as the challenges facing society become increasingly daunting and the urgency for change correspondingly grows. Now as an independent, accredited university, with new leadership in place, we are extremely well-positioned to accelerate our vital mission, strengthen our financial foundation, enter our next chapter of growth and development, and, most importantly, expand our life-changing impact.

Please join me in extending a heartfelt welcome to our new President as he joins our extraordinary Minerva family.


Teri Cannon