University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler today announced his decision to step down as President on July 1, 2019. In a statement, Kaler says it’s “an incredibly demanding job” and “quite simply, it is time” to retire. Governor Dayton says Kaler has “provided dedicated and principled leadership” to the university. Kaler has been president at the university since 2011.
Here is Kaler’s statement in full:
Today I write to inform you of my decision to step down as President on July 1, 2019. My tenure already exceeds the national average. This is an incredibly demanding job, 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. Quite simply, it is time.
The University of Minnesota is a remarkable collection of people, ideas, and impact. It is also a center of deep emotional connection to our more than 580,000 living alumni and the more than 5 million people who call Minnesota home. Every day, we make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of students, patients and their families, businesses, communities, and beyond.
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. Following my departure in July 2019, I plan to work as President Emeritus for one year to continue the momentum on our $4 billion Driven campaign. I look forward then to a sabbatical before assuming my faculty position in our spectacular Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.
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. Our healthcare breakthroughs are historic. Our science and technology, awe inspiring. Our commitment to the arts, breathtaking. And our core mission, teaching the next generation of leaders, absolutely incredible.
All students across our five system campuses receive our support so that they can achieve their own success, their own path to a brighter future. We are, and I am, incredibly proud of them, and of our faculty and staff who support them.
While higher education has been increasingly viewed with a critical eye, this institution remains a visible and important reminder of the success that the University provides for this state. During my presidency we held tuition increases systemwide to under the rate of inflation, all while cutting more than $90 million in expenses. We spun off more than 10 new businesses a year from the University, growing jobs and economic success based on our research and business prowess. Our philanthropic support has set new record levels and our commitment to this state, indeed to every county and city, remains strong with our public service and engagement winning national recognition. From Greater Minnesota to the Twin Cities, we are and remain a visible and constant reminder of the value of higher education in research, in education, and in service.
My wife, Karen, and I both thank you for your kindness, your friendship, and most of all, your contributions to this University. I know that whatever my legacy will be, it will include the proud phrase “The University of Minnesota.”