Student leader would like Kaler to embrace more shared governance with students

President-elect Eric Kaler seems to have impressed a lot of people at the U, including students.

But Dan Garon, a senior who’s the director of strategic communications for the Minnesota Student Association, expressed concern over Kaler’s interpretation of “shared governance.”

Students have long wanted a seat at the table when decisions are made, Garon said. They’ve wanted a voting member on a number of the decision-making committees at the U.

But at a 45-minute student meeting today with Kaler, the president-elect didn’t seem to warm to the idea of making such student representation part of regent’s law.

Garon told me:

“He didn’t offer his full support for it. We’re not asking for the moon. In Wisconsin, it’s state law (to have such representation. But Dr. Kaler didn’t see it as necessary.”

Garon also noted the speed of Kaler’s visit. But he called Kaler “a very qualified guy,” and said the meeting “went very well. I’m very encouraged.”