Update from President Kaler — Faculty and staff at Twin Cities

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

As spring has sprung, a lot has happened on and off campus that I want to address.


I want to amplify my idea for a full term during the summer months. Hockey fans can call this the "three-period plan," and I think it moves towards the goal of facilitating student success.


Last month, our graduate assistants on the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses voted to reject joining a union. As you know, I was a graduate student here, and I want today's students to have the same good experience I did. During the organizing activity, it was challenging for me and others in the administration to have a productive and ongoing conversation with our grad assistants, but their work and contributions to the University are very much valued. I will ask deans and department chairs to work with our students to improve working conditions where needed. Here's the email I recently sent to our graduate assistants.


I continue to work with the Board of Regents on ensuring that we strictly follow Board policy when campus leaders step down and return to the faculty. I wrote a Star Tribune op-ed piece about this last month, but I want to reiterate my deep concern for this issue.


After I reached out to you on Support The U Day last week, almost 600 messages were sent by faculty and staff to state lawmakers. Thank you for advocating for funding fairness for the U. As our capital request moves closer to a final vote by the Legislature, I urge the rest of you to contact your legislators and the governor, and ask them to Support the U.

All of our voices matter.


Let's take time to embrace so much good news and the spectacular work we produce in our classrooms and labs, in our public engagement, and, of course, in a host of athletic venues.

Thank you for all the great work you do every day.


Eric W. Kaler