Julie Christensen, University News Service,, (612) 626-1720

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (4/23/2014) — University of Minnesota President Eric W. Kaler has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious academic honorary societies, Don Randel, chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors, announced today.

Now in his third year as University of Minnesota president, Kaler received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the U in 1982. He went on to become one of the nation’s foremost experts on “complex fluids,” which have applications in drug delivery, food processing, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. He is one of just six members entering in 2014 with inter-class distinction. Kaler’s candidacy was supported by colleagues in the Academy’s Engineering, Science and Technologies Class, as well as the Educational Administration Class.

“An honor of this sort is not an individual recognition, but rather reflects on the people I’ve worked with over the years,” Kaler said. “I’m very pleased to be elected to the AAAS as an engineer, which reflects well on the contributions of my students and colleagues, including my longtime collaborator University of Minnesota professor Joe Zasadzinski. And my election as an academic leader speaks to the terrific leadership team at the U. I am very grateful.”

Kaler joins some of the world’s most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, and the arts and humanities. Current members of the Academy represent today’s leaders in every field and profession, including more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. He is one of just three University of Minnesota presidents to be elected to the Academy, joining O. Meredith Wilson (Class of 1970 from Stanford) and Mark G. Yudof (Class of 2001 from UC-Berkeley).

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th and Margaret Meade and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 20th. The list of new members is located at

In 2010, Kaler was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In 2012, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano named him to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council. In 2013, he was named a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

The newest class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 11, 2014, at the headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Kaler joins 23 additional current active members from the University of Minnesota:

  • Renata M.M. Wentzcovtich ’13
  • Peter B. Reich ’11
  • Frank S. Bates ’10
  • John R. Freeman ’09
  • A. Stephen Polasky ’09
  • Patricia Hampl ’07
  • Geoffrey Paul Hellman ’07
  • John L. Sullivan ’07
  • Kamil Ugurbil ’05 R.
  • Lawrence Edwards ’04
  • Craig Packer ’03
  • Apostolos P. Georgopoulos ’02
  • Kathryn A. Sikkink ’01
  • David L. Kohlstedt ’00
  • Ellen S. Berscheid ’98
  • Martin Dworkin ’97
  • G. David Tilman ’95
  • Eville Gorham ’94
  • Nicolai Vladimirovich Krylov ‘93
  • Margaret Bryan Davis ’91
  • Hans Felix Weinberger ’86
  • John Somerset Chipman ’79
  • Bryce Low Crawford, Jr. ’77