About President Kaler
When Eric Kaler took office on July 1, 2011, he became only the second alumnus to rise to the position of University of Minnesota president.
In his first year on the job, President Kaler emphasized his commitment to academic excellence and rigor by investing in new faculty positions. He stressed the importance of the University’s groundbreaking research enterprise. He led a campaign to contain costs and operate the U more efficiently and effectively, with the goal of freeing up resources for the University’s core teaching, research, and public engagement and service mission.
He acted on a pledge to keep the University accessible to students of all economic backgrounds by increasing financial aid and limiting the University’s 2012 tuition increase to the smallest this century.
In his second academic year, in his first biennial budget request to the Minnesota Legislature, President Kaler forged a new partnership with the State of Minnesota by achieving a tuition freeze for Minnesota resident undergraduates.
He also proposed and achieved $36 million in research investments from the state. Called MnDRIVE—the Minnesota Discovery, Research and Innovation Economy program—it aligns the University’s research and discovery strengths with the state’s most pressing needs and key industries.
In 2010, President Kaler was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano named him to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council. In 2013, he was named a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
President Kaler received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University in 1982. He went on to become one of the nation’s foremost experts on “complex fluids,” which have applications in drug delivery, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.
Before coming to the “U,” Kaler served from 2007 to 2011 as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y. Previously he was dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering. He also taught at the University of Washington. He received his undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1978.
Eric Kaler and his wife, Karen, have two adult sons.