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Kaler defends decision to keep Maturi on as special assistant

Posted by: Jenna Ross Updated: February 10, 2012 - 1:29 PM

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler stood by his decision to keep Joel Maturi on for another year after he retires as athletics director.

"I absolutely believe this is the right decision for the institution," Kaler told the U's Board of Regents during a Friday morning meeting.

Kaler said Maturi will teach and raise funds during his year as a "special assistant" to the president. Maturi will receive the same base salary he earns as athletic director -- $351,900 -- plus a standard university benefits package that will push his compensation to more than $468,000.

Kaler said he understands that number appears to be big for a public university but called it "market rate commensurate with his experience."

Kaler said Maturi's "principal duty will be fundraising." He praised Maturi's abilities in that area, saying that he helped raise almost $9 million for scholarships in fiscal year 2011.

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