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Dr. Harvey Kesselman Named President of the University of Southern Maine

Opportunity to Lead and Make Student Success a Number One Priority Draws Proven Education Leader to USM

PORTLAND, MAINE — University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page announced today that Dr. Harvey Kesselman will become the new President of the University of Southern Maine. Dr. Kesselman is currently the Provost and Executive Vice President of Stockton University in Pomona, New Jersey, where he is responsible for a $75,000,000 operating budget that includes over 800 employees and 8,600 students. He has served in this capacity since 2010.

Dr. Kesselman’s service to Stockton University spans 35 years and has included positions in academics and administration. He has served as Dean and Professor in the School of Education, Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance, and Vice President for Student Affairs among several other positions. A first generation college graduate who progressed to an Ed.D. as a non-traditional student, Dr. Kesselman has also taught courses in education and mathematics.

“The foundation of our success at Stockton was that we always worked together, not just on the ideas, but on the implementation, review, and refinement of those ideas,” said incoming USM President Harvey Kesselman.   “We always put student success as our number one priority and this will be the cornerstone of my presidency at USM. If students succeed, we all succeed, and that is our goal.

“The very best days of USM are ahead of us and I am beyond inspired that you have asked me to be a part of this promising future,” added Dr. Kesselman

Dr. Kesselman was selected as part of a collaborative eight-month national search that resulted in an applicant pool of 80 candidates and campus visits in February where hundreds of students, staff, faculty and community members engaged in discussions with three presidential finalists.   Dr. Kesselman’s work history and application materials can be found here.[1]

His anticipated start day at USM is July 1, 2015.

“The credit for Dr. Kesselman’s selection to lead this institution belongs to the greater campus community, ably supported by representatives of the Portland and Lewiston-Auburn regions,” said UMS Chancellor James Page. “This national search for a new leader at USM was a model of engagement and collaboration.”

UMS Board of Trustee Member and Search Committee Chair James Erwin thanked the members of the search committee as well as the campus and broader community for their participation.   “We built some bridges that needed building – trustees and faculty, administrators and community members, students with all of the above – bridges that can serve USM and the entire University System very well in these challenging times,” said Trustee Erwin.

A highly qualified and credentialed academic and administrative leader, Dr. Kesselman met a number of key criteria established by USM’s Presidential Search Committee for the university’s new leader including a proven track record of generating enrollment growth, the ability to implement the Metropolitan University vision for USM, and a commitment to shared governance and collaborative leadership.

“Dr. Kesselman has been a leader at Stockton University for thirty-five years, making significant contributions to that institution’s many successes including three decades of sustained enrollment growth,” said Chancellor Page. “We also know Dr. Kesselman is strongly committed to campus and community engagement as confirmed by a 2014 faculty job satisfaction survey for Stockton University that highlighted Dr. Kesselman’s commitment to open and transparent communication, a willingness to work together to set priorities, and acceptance of an enhanced pace for decision-making.”

87% of the faculty is satisfied or very satisfied to be working at the university according to the Stockton University Faculty Survey in 2014.

As part of the transition to a Metropolitan University, USM has set an objective of attaining a Carnegie Classification as an Engaged University by 2020. At Stockton University, Dr. Kesselman contributed to a successful classification.

“Harvey Kesselman has been a regional and national champion of the civic and community engagement that are at the core of outstanding Metropolitan Universities.  He is an absolutely superb choice for President of the University of Southern Maine,” said Ira Harkavy, Founding Director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Five years ago Stockton received its Carnegie Classification,” said Dr. Kesselman. “Since that time, scores on national surveys have shown a more active and engaged student population. This has contributed to an expansion of faculty and student research, an increase in positive media coverage, more internships with businesses and not-for-profits and, most importantly, improved student retention and graduation rates.

“These are the results I know we can, and will, achieve together at USM,” concluded Dr. Kesselman.

Photo of Dr. Kesselman can be found here.

Chancellor Page’s remarks can be found here.

Dr. Kesselman’s remarks can be found here.

[1] Stockton University’s Board of Trustees voted to change the institution’s official designation and name from a college to a university on February 18, 2015