University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler to Step Down in 2019
With about a year’s notice given, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler announced Friday that he will step down from his position on July 1, 2019. The key reason Kaler gave in his statement was plainly the demands of the job.
“[It’s] 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 in a statement. “Quite simply, it is time.”
He notes that his seven-year tenure so far is already longer than the national average time a university president holds the position.
Kaler was named in 2014 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary society, for his work as a chemical engineer and higher education administrator. His various other distinctions include serving as chair of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and co-founder of Generation Next, a Twin Cities coalition of civic, business and education leaders which aims to close opportunity and achievement gaps in area schools.
In recapping his own achievement with the University, Kaler mentioned his administration held tuition increases systemwide to under the rate of inflation while cutting more than $90 million in expenses, birthing 10 new businesses a year out of the University, setting record levels of philanthropy, and more.
“As your President, I am honored and privileged to lead an institution that directly affects the residents of the great State of Minnesota and people around the globe,” said Kaler. “For more than seven years, I have worked to be worthy of our history and to meet the ambitions of this incredible institution. I have been humbled and honored by the trust placed in me as President of the University of Minnesota. “
Kaler plans to serve as President Emeritus for a year following his departure, in order to further facilitate the sniversity’s ongoing $4 billion fundraising campaign, dubbed “Driven.” He said he’ll then take a sabbatical, and afterward, resume his faculty position amid the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.