Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman Makes Major News
It’s hard to imagine Stockton University without Dr. Harvey Kesselman as a direct part of it. However, we have learned and confirmed that this day is approaching in the not-too-distant future.
To date, there has never been a single day of Stockton’s existence without Kesselman as a part of it.
Kesselman was a member of the inaugural class at the then Stockton State College in 1971.
Kesselman, 71, is the first Stockton alumnus to ever become its President.
In more than four-plus decades of honorable service, Kesselman has never left Stockton from his first day as a student to this day, while holding every leadership position in every major division in the school's history, including:
- Acting President
- Executive Vice President
- Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance
- Vice President for Student Affairs
- Dean of the School of Education
When you add all of this up, it makes Kesselman the most recognizable and famous alumnus in Stockton University history.
Kesselman is also undeniably the most accomplished ambassador of Stockton University.
When I entered Stockton at its opening way back in 1971 at the Mayflower Hotel in Atlantic City, the thought that I would eventually become its president was beyond anything I could imagine or even contemplate. Yet, it happened, and I am the luckiest person in the world as a result of that
We will be visiting on-air with Kesselman tomorrow, Thursday, July 21, 2022 in a rare two-hour program interview from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
In this wide-ranging on-air interview, we will discuss the past, present and future of Stockton University and Kesselman.
Kesselman is the 5th President in Stockton University history.
Kesselman has always demonstrated excellent judgment and knows that the time to leave as the full-time President is about a year away.
“I have always said George Washington got it right: eight years as president and then pass the baton to the next generation,” said Kesselman.
I’ve had the privilege to watch Kesselman from close-up. His work ethic is unparalleled. He rises very early each day and he’s one of the most responsive chief executive officer’s that you will ever find in life.
If you text Kesselman, you’ll always hear right back. Write him an email and it’s more of the same. Kesselman embodies my late Father’s doctrine that “If you want something done right … you must give it to a busy person … the other people have no time.”
It’s surreal to write this, however, on June 30, 2023, Kesselman will officially become President Emeritus and Professor of Education at Stockton University.
I’ve been given a head start to process Kesselman’s decision and it still doesn’t seem right. There are a few special people in life that you just don’t want to see go.
Here’s what Kesselman has to say about his time at Stockton University.
“My philosophy has been straight forward: Students first, then vision and mission follow. Bricks and mortar are
incredibly important, but we are here for students,” said Kesselman.
During our (off-air) interview, Kesselman was introspective about his journey of 40-plus years.
“When I became president, I promised to make the Stockton degree more valuable each and every day. I believe the record will show that I kept that promise.”
“There has never been a position that I have served that I did not love. That is what has kept me here since our founding.”
“One of the greatest honors in my career was having been elected to chair all of the college and university presidents in the State of New Jersey.”
“Helping to move Stockton to National University status has been incredibly satisfying,” said Kesselman.
Kesselman possesses supreme skill sets in relationship building and perfecting the art of effective collaboration.
One such relationship is the one that Kesselman has forged with former New Jersey Senator Bill Gormley. The two have worked on many projects that have benefited Stockton University to this day.
About Kesselman, Gormley said:
Harvey has created a campus (Atlantic City), that is the envy of cities around the country.
The current New Jersey Senator Vince Polistina said about Kesselman:
“Since taking the role as Stockton University’s 5th president in 2016, Dr. Kesselman has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of education, to empower his students to be the best versions of themselves, and to transform Stockton into the leading university it is today,” said Polistina.
“Harvey’s vision for Stockton University was not to just improve the college, but to improve the community and Atlantic County overall.”
“Harvey brought Stockton back to Atlantic City and, with it, paved the way for a one-of-a-kind college experience and vision for the future of the city.”
“I want to congratulate Harvey on his planned retirement and thank him for his service to Stockton and Atlantic County,” concluded Polistina.
Kesselman is the kind of person that doesn’t mark time, he makes a difference. You can expect to see Kesselman run through the finish line during his final 11 months as President of Stockton University.
As for what Kesselman would like to accomplish during the next 338 days:
"There is still more to be done. For example, making certain that we complete Atlantic City Phase II by next summer and within budget.”
“We will begin serious discussions concerning Phase III and IV in Atlantic City. Begin the expansion of the Athletic Center (Big Blue) and complete the Multicultural Center in Galloway.”
“Develop a number of new academic programs such as eSports in Atlantic City. Host major sporting events such as a world championship level indoor rowing (erg-a-thon)
and hosting high school championship basketball
“Would love to get at least to the Final Four in NCAA Division III basketball.”
“So, so many more projects I would love to see come to fruition over the next year. Truthfully, the president's job is never done. One thing is for certain, when I pass the baton the next president will have a plate full of initiatives to choose from,” concluded Kesselman.
Don’t be surprised by this ambitious agenda, because in this precious game of life, many times you can get a tremendous amount done because you only have a set amount of time left to accomplish desired goals and tasks.
Exercising a point of personal privilege, I want to add that I don’t see Kesselman leaving his Stockton Presidency before achieving the beginning of a “Block 21” dream.
”Block 21” is a beachfront property in Atlantic City, across from the Stockton dormitories. Kesselman has been a driving force in pursuing this vision.
Stockton University currently has about 10,000 students enrolled, with sprawling campuses in both Galloway Township and the opulent Atlantic City Campus.
KESSELMAN’S EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:
President Kesselman received his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Widener University, his master's degree in Student Personnel Services/Counseling from Rowan University, his bachelor's degree in Political Science from Stockton, and is a tenured Professor in Stockton's School of Education.