On July 13, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler announced that he would step down as of July 1, 2019. Noting that he’s been in the job longer than the average university president, he said in a statement that, “Quite simply, it is time.
“This is an incredibly demanding job, essentially seven days a week, evenings and nights included, and as proud and confident of my contributions and ability as I am, I also know that the University will benefit from a fresh perspective,” said Kaler (Ph.D. ’82), who plans to assume a faculty position in the U’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.
Asked during a press conference to list the biggest challenge facing the U going forward, Kaler cited a growing strain of anti-intellectualism. “I think probably the single biggest obstacle . . . is the public attitude toward higher education, toward seeing the value of public higher education—being willing to invest in it,” he said. “And a growing sense of anti-intellectualism or the idea that you don’t really need to go to college to be successful. Those are worrisome trends in our nation.”
Board of Regents Chair David McMillan said, “I want to thank Eric for his remarkable and extraordinary leadership of this institution over the past seven years. Under his presidency, this institution has grown in academic stature and it is a better place today than when he arrived.”
Now, the hunt for a successor begins. To keep up with the search and add your input, visit: president-search.umn.edu.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Send letters and comments to UMNAlumnimag@umn.edu.