News and Events

Board of Trustees appoints Dr. Joe Bertolino as next president

Written for The Argo by Zuleika Rodriguez Garcia

Bertolino. Photo courtesy of Zuleika Rodriguez Garcia.

On Friday, March 3, the Board of Trustees met to discuss Stockton affairs, including the next president of Stockton University following the retirement of President Harvey Kesselman. The search concluded with the committee unanimously appointing Dr. Joe Bertolino to the position.

Bertolino, or as he told the audience to address him, “Dr. Joe,’ was chosen from over 80 candidates to serve as university president starting in the 2023-24 school year. He comes to Stockton following his time as president of Southern Connecticut State University, a place he thanked for the experiences it has given him the past seven years. 

Bertolino is no stranger to southern New Jersey or Stockton University; he was raised in Glendora, and his mother received a nursing degree from the institution in 1977. He detailed this experience as a “return home,” stating that “Being here at her alma mater to serve as president is both meaningful and full of love.”

He also called out President Kesselman’s leadership, calling it inspirational and detailing the large shoes that are left to be filled, for which he said he has bought white running shoes to aid in accomplishing. In his time as president, he assured that there will still be the same “student first” narrative, which he admired of the current president. He takes pride in the social justice and equality present in the university’s culture. Making sure to point out how a degree from Stockton University grows in value every day, he described that he is aware of the challenges that higher education faces and said Stockton is “facing [them] head on and will continue to thrive.” He ended his speech with an enthusiastic “as always, go Ospreys!”

President Kesselman welcomed Bertolino to his new role by handing him a baton, signifying the transition in leadership, and welcoming Bertolino to his new home.