The NCAA Division I Board of Directors today elected Eric W. Kaler, president of the University of Minnesota, as chair.
Kaler begins his new role after two years representing the Big Ten Conference on the board.
“I look forward to this new role and the opportunity to provide leadership to the division as we navigate the constantly changing landscape,” Kaler said. “As we do, our focus will remain on ensuring the well-being of student-athletes at all institutions.”
The board, which is comprised of 24 members, is the top governing body for Division I and is responsible for the strategy, policy and oversight of legislation, including its relationship to higher education.
The current chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Kaler is well-versed in the issues most pertinent to college athletics.
“President Kaler’s leadership role with the Big Ten Conference gives me great confidence that he has a thorough understanding of the issues facing college sports,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “His priorities are exactly where they need to be – with the student-athletes we serve.”
About Eric W. Kaler
Since taking office in 2011, Kaler has focused on core priorities: academic excellence, access for qualified students, stewardship of tuition and public dollars, diversity and a welcoming and respectful campus climate, a world-class research enterprise, and a deep commitment to public engagement and outreach, locally and globally.
Before coming to Minnesota, Kaler served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Stony Brook University in New York. Previously, he was dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering and a professor at the University of Washington.
He received his undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1978 and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from 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.
In 2010, Kaler was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest honor for a leader of that discipline and profession, and based on distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. In 2012, then Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano named him to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, on which he continues to serve. In 2013, he was named a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and in 2014 was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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