Stockton University President Herman Saatkamp today announced his intention to resign after 12 years as the leader of the institution.
Dean Pappas, chairman of the board of trustees, stated, “Dr. Saatkamp has been visionary and an impassioned advocate for Stockton on a local, regional, state and national level. On behalf of the board of trustees, we accept his resignation and we respect his decision. President Saatkamp has earned the right to return to his scholarship as well as enjoy time with his wife, Dot, and family, and we respect that. At the same time, we will be losing his visionary and transformational leadership, and we will miss that.”
According to President Saatkamp, at 72 years of age he had been working with the board of trustees to plan for a smooth and transitional resignation and return to his scholarship for some time.
“I had agreed to remain as president this past year in large part to build the Island Campus and to complete the Stockton Aviation Research and Technology Park (SARTP) agreements, said Saatkamp. “I leave the University well-positioned, with an excellent director of SARTP who can complete the agreements and launch the research park. I remain optimistic for the success of the Island Campus in spite of the challenges faced.”
“Few universities have the prospect of building a large campus at low cost in an urban setting that is in great need of stability and economic opportunity,” added Saatkamp. “Stockton’s long-term commitment to the public mission of our university, diversity, and inclusion are part of the reasons for trying to advance higher education in Atlantic City.”
Saatkamp became the fourth president of Stockton in June 2003. Some of the highlights of his tenure include:
Stockton also purchased the Seaview Resort and Golf Club and has since returned the faltering resort to its grandeur and net profitability. Now named Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club, the resort is once again a part of the LPGA tour. During the academic year, parts of the resort house Stockton students and classes for the Hospitality and Tourism Management program, many of whose students have internships and employment with the management company, Dolce. During the summer season, these rooms are used as part of the hotel and have increased its profitability.
Businessman Michael Azeez donated the Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage along with a $5 million endowment for its operating expenses. This was expanded in 2013 with the addition of the Ann Azeez Hall and an additional gift to fund it.
According to Mady Deininger, vice chair of the board of trustees, “Stockton has grown in an amazing multitude of ways since the arrival in 2003 of Herman Saatkamp. I’m a 1980 graduate and find it almost impossible to remember the Stockton then with the Stockton now. President Saatkamp has been an energetic visionary who has brought Stockton University not just to new levels, but to a whole new universe of achievements, as demonstrated by some impressive ‘benchmarks’ along the way.”
Deininger pointed to just a few examples:
Ambassador William J. Hughes, a former congressman from this district and the namesake for the University’s Public Policy Center, said, “Herman Saatkamp has taken Stockton to new plateaus. He has coupled all the benefits of an academic institution with an entrepreneurial spirit and the region has been the beneficiary. We’re going to miss this forward-looking leadership.”
“Stockton has had more than the good fortune of President’s Saatkamp’s leadership all these years,” said Deininger. “We have been equally gifted with the efforts of the First Lady, Dot Saatkamp. She has worked tirelessly for the University and for area community and social organizations. She will be sorely missed.”
The Board of Trustees will now work with President Saatkamp to create an orderly transition and a plan for choosing the next President.Related Articles: