Eric Kaler new U of M president: No kidding

Surprise, surprise.

Surprise, surprise.

Here's a shocker: The University of Minnesota's Board of Regents unanimously approved its only finalist as the school's next president.

Yes, Eric Kaler, the last man standing that the U thought warranted serious consideration out of a pool of almost 150, will officially succeed Bob Bruininks -- a.k.a. Executive of the Year -- come next July.


Kaler, a provost at New York's Stony Brook University who has also received unanimous wet kisses from the local media, will come in at a starting salary of $610,000, plus retirement bonuses. That's about $150,000 more than Bruininks' base salary, though the Pioneer Press points out that, after all is said and done with benefits and bonuses, it comes out to about the same.

The Daily notes that Kaler has several "job number ones" -- we assume he does not come from a math background -- though making due with budget cuts is high up on the list.

He has had some experience with this subject at his current job, and already recognizes that the Kaler administration will likely have to make some cuts. More specifically, some of the school's weaker programs could be nuked.

We've got to give him some credit for at least being up front with what could end up making him unpopular with some U of M students and faculty in the future.