Eric Kaler: Principles of a great university

  • Article by: ERIC W. KALER
  • Updated: October 7, 2011 - 6:27 PM

These are the things that I am emphasizing as the new U president.

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venetaOct. 7, 11 8:05 PM

Cool. Dude, fire the Athletic Director, and make tenured professors actually teach, which means giving tenure to professors who CAN teach. Forget about spending zillions of dollars on big-name faculty. Better to hire five teachers than one prima donna. UCLA and Michigan? I'd be happy to be compared to Wisconsin and Iowa. The University of Minnesota, back in the 1970s, was the finest University in the Big Ten (next to Northwestern). Now it is the worst (next to Penn State, and they don't even count). Get to work! Did I mention firing the athletic director?

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pdxtranOct. 8, 1111:56 AM

As a former college professor, let me say that the greatest obstacles to an institution's greatness are its administrators, who nickel and dime the teaching aspect while pouring money into athletics, who tell us that the students are customers to be catered to instead of young minds to be taught, who make the faculty sit through endless boring meetings that accomplish nothing, who earn lavish salaries while insisting that the academic departments hire as many part-timers (lower pay per class than a full-time professor and no benefits) as possible, who count research papers for promotion and tenure instead of observing actual classes.

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ranger78Oct. 8, 11 1:38 PM

Hey President Kaler, I would say it's easier to fix the garbage that passes for football, basketball and hockey. Why not fix the easy stuff before you go an impossible quest to bring MN on par with the likes of Michigan, etc.

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lebaumOct. 8, 11 4:05 PM

As an alumni, I am disappointed that Kaler's first principle wasn't "EDUCATING PEOPLE".

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luther77Oct. 9, 11 8:49 AM

The photograph accompanying this article points to the basis of great research, great scholarship, and great intellectual achievement. Great libraries!

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andyhoweOct. 9, 11 9:49 PM

Having concerns about undergraduate education at the U, I am very happy to see these principles. Collectively, they are comprehensive, forward-thinking, and embedded in a philosophy of public good while grounded in the realities of today. The principles will influence every fiber of the University to enhance access, affordability, student success, teaching and learning, public engagement, accountability, transparency -- and even athletics. I have worked at colleges where leadership principles are known by all and believed by most, which helped create an awesome environment to live, work, and learn while building trust and encouraging discourse for the betterment of all. These particular principles hold the potential to be very transformative because they reflect the desires of many constituents. The principles alone put the U above other flagship universities, so bravo! Proud alumnus

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andyhoweOct. 16, 11 9:07 PM

After I read the "Vision of Enrollment" document presented during the Board of Regents meeting last week, I can no longer trust these principles. The vision of enrollment includes nothing about retaining and recruiting low-income students or the University's commitment to increasing need-based financial aid that has been cut significantly. Access, affordability, and closing the racial gap of achievement as principles -- Not seeing it in action and won't anytime soon with the current vision of enrollment. I retract what I wrote above on Oct 9.

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