Provost of Stockton University in New Jersey is new president of University of Southern Maine

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PORTLAND, Maine — Harvey Kesselman, the provost and executive vice president at Stockton University, was named new president of the University of Southern Maine on Wednesday.

Kesselman, who starts his new position July 1, has held many positions at the New Jersey university over the last 35 years, including vice president for student affairs and dean and professor in its school of education. The appointment was announced by system chancellor James Page.

The system is hiring Kesselman for a six-year term at $235,000 per year, university officials said. His salary can be reduced by 33 percent if he is reassigned to another position by the chancellor, officials said.

Kesselman said his administration "always put student success as our number one priority" at Stockton and that will be the "cornerstone" of his presidency at USM, which has nearly 10,000 students.

Kesselman will inherit a university that has been mired in budget cuts, deficits, and turnover in leadership. The current president, David Flanagan, said recently that USM will likely continue to face difficulties.

Flanagan oversaw cuts at the university aimed at closing a $16 million budget gap, including the elimination of 51 faculty positions and five academic programs. He told trustees this week those efforts bought a reprieve of only one year before problems resurface.

University of Maine at Augusta president Glen Cummings was also a finalist for the spot. Zito Sartarelli, dean of the business school at West Virginia University, previously withdrew his name.

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