Statement by Stockton University President Herman Saatkamp

Regarding an agreement with Glenn Straub’s Polo North Inc. that will deposit $26 million in escrow for the Stockton-Island Campus property formerly known as the Showboat Casino Hotel, President Herman Saatkamp of Stockton University, said, “I believe that this arrangement with Mr. Straub is in the best interests of both Stockton University and the city.”

“It is my responsibility as president of this university to make decisions in the best interests of Stockton’s students, faculty and staff. I do not take that responsibility lightly and believe I have explored the reasonable avenues available, their risks, and their ramifications,” President Saatkamp said.

“In so doing I have consulted with our Board of Trustees, members of the Stockton family, appropriate attorneys, business leaders and elected officials.”

“We expect to be able to move forward together under a plan that will revitalize Atlantic City, including transforming Revel , which Mr. Straub’s firm purchased Thursday for $82 million, as well as Showboat, from casinos into next generation universities and resorts,” said President Saatkamp.

Under the agreement with Straub, Stockton has an 18-month first right to purchase or lease all or part of the property for educational purposes.

A major contingency allows Stockton a 90-day period within which Stockton can terminate the contract. This enables Stockton to continue with its plans to open a residential campus in Atlantic City beginning in the fall of 2015 while evaluating any possible legal challenges from Trump Entertainment.

“We believe that the Redevelopment Zone plan approved by the Atlantic City Planning Board and subject to a second reading of an Ordinance by Atlantic City Council will resolve the problem,” stated President Saatkamp. “I am assured by counsel and others that we are on very firm ground should there be any legal challenges by any casinos regarding the 1988 covenant. I have worked with closely with Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, City Council President Frank Gilliam, Jr., and City Council as well as the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to take the necessary actions that will insulate us from any successful legal challenges.”

“Stockton is pleased to have so many strong partners in the common goal of leveraging the economic and social development of Atlantic City and the region,” President Saatkamp concluded.

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