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Eric Kaler to give 2012 UMM commencement address

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler

MORRIS, Minn. - Eric Kaler, President of the University of Minnesota, will serve as the 2012 Commencement speaker at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

Only the second alumnus to have the position, Kaler became he 16th president of the University of Minnesota on July 1, 2011.

Kaler received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in 1982. He went on to become one of the nation's foremost experts on "complex fluids," which are used in many applications, including drug delivery, the biotech industry, food processing, and the manufacturing of coatings and paints.

From 2007-2011, Kaler served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York. He was also Stony Brook's vice president for Brookhaven National Laboratory affairs.

Previous to his time at Stony Brook, Kaler was a member of the faculty at the University of Delaware from 1989-2007. He served there as chair of the Chemical Engineering Department from 1996-2000 and then as dean of the College of Engineering from 2000-2007. He was named the Elizabeth Inez Kelley Professor of Chemical Engineering in 1998.

Kaler has received many awards and recognitions for his research, including election to the National Academy of Engineering in 2010. He is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society. He authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers, been a consultant to numerous companies, and served in a variety of positions in several professional societies. In 2006, he was chair of the American Chemical Society's Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry. In 2012 he was named a fellow of the Neutron Scattering Society of America.

Commencement will be held on the campus mall at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, 2012. The public is invited to attend to hear Kaler's speech or watch the streamed event online at or listen to the address on KKOK radio, which will broadcast the event.