Three things that stood out about prez finalist Eric Kaler

Here are some quick bits about what was noted (or often mentioned) about Stony Brook University Provost Eric Kaler by a few on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents presidential search committee.

These were more concrete items that went beyond the usual platitudes such as “had passion,” “showed leadership” and “could connect with people.”

  • Kaler was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. The organization bills itself as one of the highest achievements in engineering. Board of Regents Chairman Clyde Allen said it “certainly was key in judging his academic qualifications.”
  • He got his PhD in from the U in 1982. Regent Dean Johnson said that gives him an “antenna to the University of Minnesota.”
  • He’s a scientist. Chairman Allen said, “These days, the lines of demarcation between sciences are becoming blurred. Scientists more than ever need to work more and more together, and a scientist at the head of the operation is definitely a plus. It was not part of the criteria, but ‘s definitely a plus.”  One regent (possibly John Frobenius) said, “We wanted someone with strong research experience. (Kaler) has it directly and (indirectly as head) of a strong research facility (Brookhaven National Laboratory) with budgets like those at the University of Minnesota.”
  • U employee

    Do any of these indicate someone whose passion is revisioning higher education in the 21st century? That’s what this university, and all colleges and universities, need at this time in history. I hope to see some concrete indications that this is a key component of what Dr. Kaler brings to his candidacy.