What politicians are thinking about U-Minnesota presidential finalist Eric Kaler

Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, gives the Minnesota Daily an idea of the legislature’s big expectations of Eric Kaler, finalist for the presidency of the University of Minnesota:

“I hope this guy is a super president,” Kahn said. “I hope he meets everybody’s expectations. I hope he’s a whiz at fundraising. I hope he’s a marvel at dealing with the Legislature, with the regents, with all the factions he’s going to have to deal with.”

  • Anonymous

    Some other interesting quotes from the cited article:

    Provost Eric Kaler of Stony Brook University in New York, named the lone finalist for the Minnesota job Friday, told The Associated Press he wants to see the school put on par with institutions like Michigan, Virginia, University of California-Berkley and North Carolina.

    “We have the potential to get there,” he said. “It’s a one word answer: money.”

    “I fully intend, and in short order, to meet all 201 of the representatives and senators,” he said. He said he would tell them how the university “impacts the social and financial well-being of their communities.”

    +++++++++++++++++++

    This is EXACTLY what should be done and is in stark contrast to the behavior of Dr. Bruininks.

    And Dr. K. will learn, especially from the GOP, that the piggy bank is empty right now.

    Two things have to happen. The linkage between educational cost and tuition + state revenue needs to be made crystal clear. Tuition money should NOT be used for other than educational purposes. And it is NOT clear that this is the case right now.

    The second thing that has to happen is that the source of funding for UNREIMBURSED research expenses needs to be revealed. Eventually, we need to make some arrangements with the state to cover these.

    Failing that, less research can be done at the U. This would be a mistake, but so is draining educational resources for research and other non-educational purposes.

    Let us hope that a new president from outside the U heralds major change in Morrill Hall. What has been going on there during the last administration is not acceptable. Let us hope that bringing in an outsider is an acknowledgement of this fact.

    Much success to Dr. Kaler, if he is the next president, in the difficult tasks that lie ahead.