Spring 2019
Eric Hanson

A look back at the University of Minnesota president’s accomplishments

Proud president
The U is among the top 8 public research universities—Center for Measuring University Performance
Illustration by Eric Hanson

The U’s 16th president steps down at the end of June, with plans to spend the next year promoting the U’s $4 billion Driven campaign, then joining the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science faculty. We celebrate who he is and what he’s done. 

U of M alum

  • U of M graduate ’82 Ph.D., chemical engineering
  • 10 patents to his name
  • Owner of at least 105 maroon and gold ties

Chief fundraiser

Launched Driven: The University of Minnesota campaign
225,044 donors, including 107,203 new ones, have contributed as of March 31, 2019

Generous giver

Started Kaler Family Scholarship 18 recipients and counting

Student supporter

  • 71 percent four-year graduation rate, up from 54 percent in 2011
  • 1,595 new scholarship and fellowship funds created

Scientist’s scientist

  • U sees $1.2 billion annual impact from research 

Cost container

  • Moved $91 million from administration to key priorities
  • Kept resident undergraduate tuition hikes to 1 percent or less

Medical matchmaker

  • Promoted M Health-Fairview Health Services partnership—a significant new relationship with great benefits for all

Business booster

  • 130+ new start-ups
  • Nearly 300 new business and industry partnerships
  • $407 million in revenue generated by U of M inventions

Road warrior

  • Visited all 87 Minnesota counties
  • Farthest destination traveled:      
  • Hong Kong  7,502 miles

Job generator

  • 15,000 U of M grads join the workforce each year
  • The U produces 80 percent of the state’s new medical school graduate, and all of Minnesota’s new dental, pharmacy, and veterinary school graduates

Ag advocate

  • Planned family vacations around Farmfest

Illustration by Eric Hanson

Powerful partner

Together, Eric and Karen Kaler have

  • Helped the U raise $3.3 billion for the Driven campaign so far
  • Had their likenesses sculpted in butter 
  • “Thrown rocks” with UMD med school curlers
  • Hosted hundreds of faculty, staff, and children at Eastcliff for Halloween each year