Eric Kaler

In the process of interviewing before the Board of Regents at the University of Minnesota for the job of president this afternoon, Eric Kaler mentioned that he’d been posturing for the title of university president for years, even while serving as Stony Brook University’s provost these last three years.

That got us thinking. Was Eric Kaler ever a possibility for the job of Stony Brook University’s president when the job opened up in 2009?

Turns out, yes. Richard T. Nasti, a lawyer and Stony Brook University graduate who served as chairman for the Presidential Search Committee at Stony Brook, said on Thursday that Kaler was always a tempting candidate.

“Was he an incredibly attractive well-qualified candidate? Absolutely,” said Nasti.

But while Kaler’s credentials may have been appealing to the search committee, Kaler never entered his name into contention for the job.

“He was not a part of the search committee because at any point he could have been a candidate,” said Nasti.

Kaler still had valuable insight for the search committee, and even spoke before the members on what qualifications a president should have, according to Nasti.

What remains unclear is whether Kaler kept himself out of consideration because he was hoping for a bigger, better offer (many would consider the post at the University of Minnesota a higher profile job), or whether he simply didn’t think he was qualified for the job in 2009, after just two years as provost. Think has not been able to contact Provost Kaler as of this afternoon, but this story will be updated as we learn more.

Related: Eric Kaler is selected as the 16th President of the University of Minnesota.