About the President
A Biography of Harvey Kesselman, Ed.D., President
Leading under the guiding principle of “students first,” Dr. Harvey Kesselman presides over Stockton University as its fifth President. With beginnings as unique as the university itself, Dr. Kesselman is the only sitting university president to have been in the inaugural class of the very institution he serves.
Throughout Kesselman’s nearly four decades long tenure, he has successfully held leadership positions within virtually every major division of the university, to include Provost and Executive Vice President, Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dean of the School of Education, making him the best versed ambassador of Stockton University. Devoted to the success of the university, Kesselman oversees a $228 million budget which serves 1,200 faculty and staff and supports more than 9,200 students enrolled in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
At the onset of his presidency, Dr. Kesselman took immediate strides to strengthen the value of a Stockton degree. Under his leadership, the University achieved record-breaking growth in enrollment. Kesselman spearheaded the revamp of student enrollment and recruitment efforts; and as a result, in the fall 2017, Stockton enrolled 1,569 new matriculated freshmen (an increase of 32% above our previous record high) and 988 transfers, making this the largest number of new students in the University’s history.
Committed to advancing the University’s mission, Dr. Kesselman has also successfully advocated for increased state appropriations, improved campus capacity, advanced University recognition and reputation, increased institutional giving, rededicated institutional commitment to shared governance and transparency, and developed stronger community and regional relationships.
To improve campus capacity, Kesselman has enhanced and expanded facilities in Manahawkin, and has completed construction for the new academic quad expansion on the Galloway campus, which includes a $33.2 million Unified Science Center 2 and a $15.2 million Health Sciences Center.
In keeping with Stockton’s firm commitment to Atlantic City and the surrounding community, President Kesselman has secured a firm footing in the area, negotiating a monumental public-private partnership to build a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art residential campus and parking garage in Atlantic City. In what may prove to be one of the most distinctive accomplishments in the history of the university, Kesselman’s visionary prowess and collaborative nature has positioned Stockton University’s Atlantic City Campus to be, not only a solid anchor institution, but a major economic driver for the region, and the educational capital of southern New Jersey. The campus is scheduled to open in Fall 2018.
As one of New Jersey’s most prominent and highly regarded educational leaders, Dr. Kesselman’s sphere of influence reaches well beyond the local community. Currently, he serves as chair of the Presidents of the NJ Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU); and was recently elected by 57 counterparts from New Jersey public and private colleges/universities to serve as vice-chair of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council (NJPC). Known as a leading authority in public policy on higher education, President Kesselman was appointed by the American Council on Education (ACE) to serve as a member of the Commission on Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE). In addition, Dr. Kesselman is frequently called upon by state and local officials to provide specialized expertise, which proved to be invaluable as a distinguished member of the transitional teams for newly elected NJ Governor Phillip Murphy and Atlantic City’s Mayor Frank Gilliam.
Dr. Kesselman’s efforts in diversity and inclusion has earned Stockton national recognition, receiving the INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s 2016 and 2017 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, and the 2018 Inclusive Excellence Awards from the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE). Stockton has also received national recognition as a front-runner in civic learning and community engagement, receiving the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), Excellence in Innovation Award for Civic Learning and Community Engagement Inaugural Award, in 2017. With a host of awards and many special recognitions, Kesselman’s efforts have advanced the reputation of Stockton University and catapulted the institution’s brand into the national arena.
A former member of the Executive Committee of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), Dr. Kesselman helped oversee New Jersey's $1 billion student financial aid program. He also provided his expertise on the Governor's Task Force to improve the NJ STARS program, and helped develop the NJ Student Unit Record Enrollment (SURE) statewide data and monitoring system.
He has advised the New Jersey College and University Presidents' Council regarding accountability and assessment, and represented the senior public colleges and universities in the NJ Committee of Experts on Campus Sexual Assault Issues. In addition, he founded and chaired the SRI & ETTC Consortium, which includes more than 90 school districts throughout New Jersey.
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, making him the most recognizable alumnus in Stockton’s history.