Welcome week’s over

Once the celebrations die down, Eric Kaler must get to work.

by Daily Editorial Board

First of all, we congratulate President Eric Kaler and welcome him to the University of Minnesota. After being inaugurated today, the new president is now âÄúofficiallyâÄù the new president after nearly three months of introductions and settling in.

Admittedly, the public relations fanfare at the beginning of his term is important. A new president at the stateâÄôs premier institution of higher education should be a big deal. The public should be bombarded with KalerâÄôs name and face because, for better or for worse, he is now synonymous with the University at a time when state support is dwindling.

Both supporters and critics of the University would agree that itâÄôs important for Kaler to make his rounds and establish some rapport with various constituencies.

But this week, the UniversityâÄôs communications office has been trumpeting the president like a celebrity, and itâÄôs lasted long enough. The posse of students it took to tell the world where Kaler and his wife were at each moment was cute, but plenty of university presidents can handle their own Twitter accounts. We sincerely hope Kaler will do some of his own communicating after the fanfare has died down.

Showing that the president is capable of the job and cares about this institution, students and relationship with the state is as simple now as getting to work.

The first task will be to pick a new provost so that he or she has plenty of time to get familiar with the University before current Provost Tom Sullivan leaves.

Kaler has already tackled the job of distributing the extra funding the state allocated. ItâÄôs a great start. Now that the drawn-out festivities are over, we would like to see the beginnings of more action.