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Biography of Dr. Eric Kaler

Eric Kaler Head Shot
Credit: NIST: Denease Anderson

(Term expires December 20, 2024)

Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Eric W. Kaler became president of Case Western Reserve University in 2021, having served as president of the University of Minnesota from 2011-2019.  As an academic leader his focus is on core priorities: academic excellence, affordability, diversity and a welcoming and respectful campus climate, a world-class research enterprise, and a deep commitment to public engagement and outreach.

His personal commitment to excellence was rewarded in April 2014 when he was named to the  American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies.  He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2010.

Among other leadership activities, Kaler has served as Chair of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and as a member of the NCAA Board of Governors.  He also served as Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors. He was co-founder of Generation Next, a coalition of Twin Cities-area civic, business and education leaders united to help close the achievement and opportunity gaps in Minneapolis and St. Paul area schools.

In 2012, he was named to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, and in 2013 he was a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Kaler received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1982. He went on to become one of the nation’s foremost experts on “complex fluids,” which have applications in drug delivery, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.  He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the Neutron Scattering Society of America.

Before returning to the University of Minnesota, Kaler served from 2007 to 2011 as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, where he was also the vice president for Brookhaven National Laboratory Affairs. Previously, he was chair of the Chemical Engineering Department and dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Delaware. He also taught at the University of Washington. He received his undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1978.

Created December 21, 2018, Updated June 14, 2022