About President Kaler

In his third year as President of the University of Minnesota, Eric Kaler continues to be focused on core priorities: academic excellence, access for qualified students, stewardship of tuition and public dollars, a world-class research enterprise that aligns with the needs of the state of Minnesota and its industries, and a deep commitment to public engagement and outreach, locally and globally.

His personal commitment to excellence was rewarded in April, 2014, when he was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies. He was elected in two categories: for his work as a chemical engineer and as a higher education administrator.

This year, Kaler and the University community are engaged in a consultative strategic planning process to set the institution’s course for the next decade.

During the 2012-13 academic year, and in his first biennial budget request to the Minnesota Legislature, Kaler forged a partnership with the State of Minnesota by achieving a tuition freeze for Minnesota resident undergraduates.

He also achieved $35.8 million in research investments from the state. In an initiative called MnDRIVE—the Minnesota Discovery, Research and Innovation Economy program—research emphasis matches some of 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.

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.