U of M President Eric Kaler gathers input from legislators, students, community members across Minnesota

November 20, 2015

Over the past four months, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and University leaders traveled across Greater Minnesota to meet with and gather input from legislators, alumni and students to foster connections and to learn how the University can better serve their communities. The visits raised awareness for the University’s economic and cultural impact that spans all 87 counties of Minnesota. See a map of the University’s statewide impact here.

“In meeting with students, legislators, alumni and community leaders, I learned first-hand what the most pressing issues of their communities are,” said University President Eric Kaler. “Additionally, I heard that the communities of Greater Minnesota value the University for a variety of reasons, including our commitment to solving the state’s most critical challenges, from clean water to the educational achievement gap to agricultural challenges; the human capital we supply with more than 300,000 alumni across the state; and for our work in educating and preparing Minnesota’s future leaders.”

President Kaler continued, “I want to thank the students, legislators, alumni and community leaders I met with for sharing their valuable time and ideas, the U of M alumni who hosted social gatherings in their homes and businesses, and the communities I visited for their ongoing support of the University of Minnesota.”

“RAAFUM (Rochester Area Alumni and Friends of the University of Minnesota) was delighted to host President Kaler at a reception at the home of Milt Tostrud. The more intimate venue gave us the opportunity to engage him one-on-one, and we found him to be most cordial and interested in learning about our local chapter activities,” said Dick Westerlund ('60).

President Kaler’s visits across Minnesota included stops in Alexandria, Albert Lea, Austin, Clearbrook, Crookston, Duluth, Glencoe, Granite Falls, Hibbing, Maple Lake, Moorhead, Morris, Morton, Red Wing, Redwood Falls, Rochester, Starbuck, St. Cloud, Waseca, Willmar, Winona and the Twin Cities. Throughout his travels, President Kaler met and exchanged ideas with more than 30 members of the Minnesota Legislature.

The visits with legislators helped raise awareness for the University’s 2016 capital request, which, when funded and implemented, will benefit the entire state of Minnesota. From keeping the state at the forefront of emerging knowledge to educating the professionals and leaders of tomorrow, the 2016 capital requests provide students access to state of the art facilities. These 21st century learning tools ensure that students across Minnesota are prepared to solve the complex challenges they’ll face in their future careers.

Find out more about the University’s 2016 capital requests at govrelations.umn.edu/capital-request.html.

The University of Minnesota will continue to raise awareness of its impact across the state. Throughout 2016, the University will host a series of outreach events to bring its faculty—who are tackling the state’s most critical issues—into conversation with the communities of Greater Minnesota. 

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