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U of M president visits Newport Labs

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Dr. Randy Simonson (right) leads University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler on a tour of the Newport Labs facility Tuesday afternoon in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler visited Worthington for the first time Tuesday as part of a two-day trip to southwest Minnesota, touring Newport Laboratories.

Kaler, who assumed presidency on July 1, said it was fantastic for people to be able to take such fundamental science to practical and important applications.

Following the tour was a discussion between Kaler and several Newport Labs administrative members. Kaler asked for feedback on things the university wasn't "doing so well."

"One of the things I would like to see is getting a better way for the state government, university and private industry (to communicate) for economic development in Minnesota," said Newport's Chief Operating Officer Randy Simonson. "I think it can be done and there are models for it."

The visit further strengthens existing ties between the U of M and Newport Labs.

"We've worked with them for years in areas of research and they help us in diagnostics on an ongoing basis," Simonson said.

Kaler is hopeful for more collaboration on veterinary problems between U of M faculty members and Newport Labs.