Showboat deal impacted two presidents of Stockton University

Much more than real estate changed hands as Stockton University bought and sold a former Atlantic City it had hoped would be its long-sought satellite urban campus.

The tortured deal saw a change of leadership at the southern New Jersey university, in which the president who energetically pushed the deal stepped down, and a lower-ranking administrator with one foot out the door took charge instead.

An independent review commissioned by Stockton said former President Herman Saatkamp’s haste to approve the deal led to the board not knowing crucial facts. He stepped down in April on medical leave.

Harvey Kesselman was due to leave for a job as president of a university in Maine but stepped in and inked a deal to sell the Showboat to a Philadelphia developer. Kesselman will take over Stockton’s reigns permanently in December.

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