Vol. XXXII, Issue 6 | Thursday, November 18, 2010
There will be an opening in theStony Brook Provost’s office come thisJuly.Stony Brook Provost Eric Kaler hasbeen selected as the 16th President of the University of Minnesota.“I’m ready,” said Kaler to the boardafter being appointed, according tomedia reports.The U of M is substantially largerthan Stony Brook, serving more than67,000 students at five campuses spreadout over the state, making it the secondlargest university system in the Mid-west. Founded in 1851, the university employs more than 4,000 faculty mem-bers.“It’s a big job, but I’ve been prepar-ing for a long time to take on such a job,” Kaler said, citing a long career inhigher education including his work asa professor, chair, dean and provost. “Iget it,” he said before a public interviewprior to being selected.Kaler has been a top administratorat the university since 2007, beforeStony Brook President Samuel Stanley was inaugurated. Stanley said in a state-ment he had mixed emotions about los-ing one of his top guys, but noted, “Itwould be difficult for anyone of his cal-iber to pass up such a remarkable op-portunity.”Kaler visited the U of M’s flagshipTwin Cities school November 18 and 19for a whirlwind of meetings with uni- versity leaders, who termed his visit a“final checkup” before formally an-nouncing him as the next president.On November 17, the university held a public question-and-answerforum with Kaler, where a moderatorgrilled him for over an hour withlengthy policy questions submitted by community members. The session washeld before a large crowd of campuscommunity members, and was airedlive on local TV and webcast on theuniversity’s website.Kaler appeared at ease during thesession, confidently tackling toughquestions on budget cuts, tuition hikesand employee unionization, and he fre-quently spoke as though he were al-ready confirmed as president. He saidhe hopes to be at Minnesota for the nextten years or more.Kaler, who sported a tie with the Uof M’s maroon and gold colors for theforum, acknowledged the importanceof athletics at the school, right from his very first statement. “Let me tell youwhat I am not,” he said. “I cannot coachfootball. I’m here for the other job.”On the flipside: “Athletics are very important because they’re a windowthrough which a lot of people see theuniversity and a door through which alot of people walk through,” he said, in anod to the football fans watching, as theschool is in the Big Ten Conference.Several Minnesotans questionedKaler’s commitment to liberal arts,seemingly taking issue with his re-search-based history in chemical engi-neering. But Kaler brushed off thesequestions, proclaiming he “remainscommitted” to liberal arts because itplays a central role in our society.The sole stumbling point for Kalerseemed to be when he was asked toname a piece of art, music or dance thathad moved him personally. Kalerpaused in thought for a moment andseemed to rack his brain for the nameof any work of art before respondingthat he found it hard not to be movedwhen walking through any big mu-seum. He eventually mentioned theStatue of David.There were also a couple softballquestions, like who is Kaler’s hero (hisfather), and Mac or PC (Mac, because“it’s a higher life form.”).The U of M has confirmed Kaler,who was the sole finalist in the searchfor its new president.Sweetening the deal for Kaler: Min-nesota’s current president ranks as oneof the highest paid public university presidents in the country, reportedly taking home a compensation package of $650,000 per year.
Provost Is The New Minnesota Host
By Colleen Harrington
Hope you like lakes, Provost Kaler
It’s official. The drink nicknamed“blackout in a can” is now officially banned in the United States. That’s rightno more Four Loko.On Wednesday, the FDA mailedwarning letters to the manufacturers of alcoholic energy drinks including theinfamous Four Loko, which read thatthe caffeine added to their beverages isan “unsafe food additive.” Other popu-lar drinks such as Joose are also beingtargeted.In response, Phusion Projects, theparent company of Four Loko, said in apress release that they will be removingthe caffeine, taurine and guarana fromtheir beverages. It is expected that FourLoko will still be available on shelves inthe future—just without the caffeine.Four Loko has been targeted in re-cent weeks because the beverage hasbeen blamed for a number of blackouts,hospitalizations and even deaths. Somehealth experts contend that the mix of caffeine and alcohol creates a state inwhich the drinker is too hyper to realizethey are drunk. The result is that con-sumers drink toxic levels of alcohol andblack out.At least one death has been linkedto the beverage. Courtney Spurry, 21 of Maryland, drank two cans of Four Lokobefore she crashed her vehicle in a sin-gle-car accident and died. Her parentsblamed her death on the beverage, say-ing that the caffeine in the drink pre- vented her from realizing how impairedshe was.One 23.5 ounce can of Four Lokohas the alcohol content of drinkingabout 5 cans of beer, plus a strong caf-feine kick. The drink only costs $2.50each, making it possibly the cheapestway to get intoxicated. The cans are col-orful and resemble alcohol-free energy drinks, a fact which has led many par-ents to believe it could end up in thehands of minors accidentally. FourLoko also contains the ingredientsguarana, taurine and caffeine, the sameingredients found in Redbull, whichsome health experts believe to be dan-gerous. Just one can of the drink can in-toxicate the average consumer, and apopular myth among college students isthat if you drink four cans of Four Loko,you die.Given its high alcohol content, lowprice and wide availability, many stateshave banned the drink including Michi-gan, Washington and Connecticut. Sev-eral other states are considering similarmeasures. In New York, Governor-ElectAndrew Cuomo got Phusion Projects tostop shipping Four Loko to the state.Colleges are banning Four Loko,too. New Jersey’s Ramapo College wasamong the first to ban Four Loko. PeterMercer, President of Ramapo College,made the decision after 23 Ramapo stu-dents required medical attention afterblacking out drinking Four Loko. Oneof those students reportedly had an al-cohol level of 0.4, which is five times thelegal limit in the state of New Jersey.“Students who consume it become very intoxicated very quickly,” Mercer
Cuckoo 4 Loko Puffs? The FDA Isn’t
By Raina Bedford