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John Marty
State of Minnesota

August 16, 2018

Board of Regents
600 McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Dear Chair McMillan and members of the Board of Regents,

After reading the Pioneer Press article on August 10th regarding the new contract for outgoing
President Kaler, I write to express strong concerns. This letter is not intended as criticism of
Eric Kaler. However, I find the plans to pay him $625,250 for his final year as president plus a
"supplemental" pension contribution of $225,000 – a total of $850,000, on top of the regular
contribution to his pension, shocking.

Then, for his first year after stepping down as president, paying him the full president’s salary
of $625,250 plus another supplemental pension contribution, this time, of $325,000 – that is
outrageous! This $950,000 – almost a million dollars/year – is outside of any rational context –
especially for U of M students struggling with student debt and loans, or for U of M staff,
many of whom barely make a living wage, or for faculty, many of whom can only get a pay
increase when they get an offer from another university.

I believe President Kaler sincerely cares about the University of Minnesota. While I assume he
welcomes all of this additional compensation that you are going to pay him, is there any reason
to believe that he would not work just as hard for the university and be just as caring if you did
not give him the generous bonus for his final year as President, or his full presidential salary as
President Emeritus, or the generous compensation for a six-month transitional leave? What if
you told him that instead of sweetening his compensation, that you were going to dedicate
those funds to more student scholarships, or better pay for some of the lowest paid clerical
workers, or other important U of M needs? Might he, as one who cares about the future of the
U of M see that as a better overall choice?

I would like to echo Regent Rosha’s comments in the Pioneer Press article that the University
of Minnesota should not be trying to compete with other Universities in terms of the
president’s salary, but rather should look for candidates who are excited and passionate about
leading an institution of the U of M’s caliber.

I urge you to reconsider both the amount President Kaler will be paid in his final year as
president, then as president emeritus.

2401 Minnesota Senate Bldg, St. Paul, MN 55155 (651) 296-5645
Furthermore, as you select the next president, it is not unreasonable to ask the candidates how
they see the relationship between their presidential compensation and the other needs of the
University that they would be choosing to lead and nurture.

The university president has a difficult and challenging job, but also a highly rewarding one.
She or he deserves good compensation. However, I cannot picture either President Kaler or his
successor claiming that if the regents did not offer them more than $300,000/year, that they
would not want the position or that they wouldn’t put all their energies into it. There are many
great, highly qualified candidates who would be truly honored to serve as U of M President
and would be taking the position because of the many intrinsic rewards of presiding over the U
of M, not because they can earn far more than ten times what other U of M employees earn.

These inflated salaries send the wrong message to U of M faculty, employees, students, and
parents. I find them outrageous and believe the public and the University community do as


John Marty