Kesselman will continue serving as acting president of Stockton University, a post he’s had since April, when he took over for President Herman Saatkamp, who resigned citing medical reasons.

Shortly after the resignation the Stockton faculty nevertheless took a no-confidence vote against Saatkaamp, according to the publication Press of Atlantic City. There was unrest and legal controversy surrounding plans to use a former casino, purchased for $18 million by the college in December, as an island campus and private hotel.

A conflict with the Trump Taj Mahal also has been holding up the plans for the casino redevelopment project, according to local media.

Earlier this week, Madeleine Deininger, chairwoman of the Stockton University board, wrote to UMS Chancellor James Page, asking that Kesselman be allowed to withdraw from his contract with UMS, citing the issues at Stockton and the need for an experienced leader. Page granted the request, according to the system.

“Harvey Kesselman’s long, capable service and dedication to Stockton University were among the qualities that made him such an appealing choice to join our leadership team in Maine,” Page said in a statement issued Wednesday. “While we sincerely enjoyed getting to know Dr. Kesselman and looked forward to working together, we respect his decision and admire his devotion to Stockton.”

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