A message to parents, Fall 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dear Parents,

Our spectacular University of Minnesota students returned to campus this week, and that wonderful new semester energy is upon us. It’s time for the students to get down to serious business. But I want you to know that, in preparation for the start of the academic year, University leaders have been hard at work for months on many important matters.

First and foremost among them is holding down tuition increases. Minnesota’s legislative session is four months away, but I have been meeting with elected leaders to begin to craft a legislative request aimed squarely at reforming the way state leaders think about investing in the U. Maintaining affordability and accessibility, despite historic reductions in state support over the past five years, is among our top priorities. I will keep you informed regularly about our plans and their progress. I welcome your feedback.

Second, I, along with our advisers, urge your student to access the career services that are available across campus. There is great value to a University of Minnesota degree. We develop the high-level talent force for the jobs of tomorrow, and we are committed to helping students connect with the region’s and the nation’s best employers. But, we need your student to be an active and engaged partner to help make those connections.

When it comes to residential life, our Office for Student Affairs is committed to ensuring a healthy, safe environment for students who live on campus, and for those who visit. If your student lives near campus, we hope you will remind him or her to be a good neighbor and to be aware of how their actions, and those of their friends, can impact those who live nearby, many of whom may be families. We work closely with the neighborhoods that border our campus to keep them vital and safe.

As a parent, you are an important stakeholder in the academic outcomes for your student. You, better than just about anyone else, understand the profound impact the U has on your student’s life. As the parent of two recent college graduates, I know the pride a parent feels, too, watching as a child develops into a responsible, articulate adult. I urge you to communicate that pride to your student, whose life is being transformed here at the U.

If you can, please visit our lovely campus. Visit your student and while you are here take in a concert, an art exhibit, a lecture, an athletic event, or just a cup of coffee. Please consider joining us for Parents Weekend, Friday, Sept. 28 to Sunday, Sept. 30. And while you are on our website, take a look at a fun video we used as part of our first-year student Convocation.

Thank you for your support of this University, and thank you for sharing your student with us. It’s an honor and responsibility I cherish.  

Eric W. Kaler