The University of Minnesota Board of Regents announced Friday that the twelve month search for a new president had moved out from behind closed doors to a public phase when they announced Eric Kaler as the sole finalist.
Kaler, currently a provost of Stony Brook University in New York, has beaten out 148 other candidates in contention for the position, the Star Tribune said. Though there were originally four semi-finalists, the Tribune reports that two of them pulled out of competition before being submitted to a public pool.
The Minnesota Daily emphasized that though he was the only one selected as a finalist, this does not mean that Kaler is a shoe-in for the position. "This is not a done deal yet," Regent Dean Johnson told the Daily. Kaler has a whole gamut of people to meet and hands to shake while he is evaluated on a more personal level on his fitness for the position on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
If he is chosen, Kaler would be the second of only two presidents of the University to have walked its halls as a student, the Tribune said. The first was Malcolm Moos, president from '64 to '75.
Regents told the Daily that Kaler was a solid candidate with a solid resume, calling him a "proven change agent". At this time of decreasing state funding and steadily increasing tuition, said the Tribune, an agent of change could be just what the University needs.