SDS disrupts Board of Regents meeting, demands ‘Fire Kaler!’
Minneapolis, MN – “Fire Kaler!” chanted roughly 30 University of Minnesota students led by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at the Dec. 7 board of regents meeting. Continuing the national SDS campaign of education for all, students demanded that University President Eric Kaler be removed for the incompetency and scandals witnessed under his administration.
Interrupting President Kaler’s initial report for the semester’s board meeting, students stood to vote on an emergency resolution to fire Kaler on the grounds of his incapability to lead the university with accountability to students and staff.
Read collectively, the resolution cited 13 counts of Kaler’s failure as a university president, including doubling tuition while he got a tremendous salary increase, participating in a cover-up of gross misconduct within the medical school by suing the victims’ families, hiring known sexual assaulters to roles of authority, and openly approving of racist actions carried out on campus. Rather than hear out these concerns, Eric Kaler immediately fled the scene with half of the 12 regents.
“Eric Kaler should be removed from office immediately. A new leader should be put in place through a process involving genuine input from the campus community and the new president must be accountable to the university community,” reads the resolution from SDS. Under the current system, the University of Minnesota president is elected by the board of regents, who are in turn appointed by the state legislature. SDS cites this core lack of democratic input by the students, staff and faculty who make the university work for the misguided policies of the Kaler administration.
With an immediate vote, students unanimously voted to fire Kaler and followed their resolution with a mock farewell party. Wearing party hats and throwing streamers to the song Celebration, students were escorted outside by a force of nearly 15 police officers threatening arrest, a much larger police presence than at any other board of regents meeting in recent past.
Students for a Democratic Society continues to build for the removal of President Kaler and are planning a student walkout on Jan. 20, the day of the inauguration of President-electTrump. The Jan. 20 protest will compare Kaler to Trump and will march under the slogan “Not Our Presidents.”