Kaler vows not to let U of M's graduate programs slip


University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler said in his State of the University speech that the university needs to make sure it's attracting the nation's top graduate and professional students.

The Minnesota Daily reports Kaler noted that he came to Minnesota as a graduate student and said "I'm not about to let our graduate programs slip in terms of national reputation."

But Kaler also hinted that maintaining the university's reputation may involve narrowing its focus. MPR noticed he referenced tough choices about deciding which programs the university will invest in "and which ones we're going to walk away from."

Kaler also said he wants more contact with U of M students. He plans to hold monthly office hours in the Twin Cities, during which students are encouraged to drop in. He also says he'll travel to the Duluth, Morris and Crookston campuses.

In his first State of the University address a year ago, Kaler made much of the advantages of a year round academic calendar. While still alive, that plan seems to have moved onto a back burner. Kaler tells the Star Tribune "the barriers were perhaps larger than I anticipated them to be."

Two programs in the U of M's College of Design are piloting a 12-month academic calendar that will allow students to graduate in three years instead of four.

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