James Stuckey, the divisional dean of the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate resigned abruptly this past Friday, the school told The Real Deal, in a situation reminiscent of how he departed four years ago from a top job at the development firm Forest City Ratner Companies. At NYU, Stuckey left behind a mixed legacy in his two-year tenure, forcing through what some described as necessary changes to improve the school, but was criticized with operating with what they saw as an arrogant and biased management style.
Stuckey resigned last Friday “effective immediately,” said Paola Curcio-Kleinman, executive director of strategic marketing and communications for the School of Continuing and Professional studies, of which the Schack Institute is a part.
She said the school would likely make an announcement in the next few days about who would lead the division, but beyond that she would not comment.
School representatives told about two-dozen teachers and staff about the resignation in a meeting Monday morning that Stuckey had left for health reasons and would not be coming back, referring to his resignation Friday as an “incident,” according to someone present at the meeting. No one asked questions about how he left.
Less than one week earlier, on Sept. 27, Stuckey attended the Schack Insititute’s annual real estate Monopoly game. Stuckey left his job as president of the Atlantic Yards Development group at Forest City Ratner suddenly in June 2007 under what sources now describe as a cloud. He had been there for about three years.
Two years later, in September 2009, NYU hired him to lead the Schack Institute.
Sources at the school were critical of what they described as an aggressive management style. Yet one person praised his work to improve the school.
“He stirred the pot and created an atmosphere of tension,” the insider said, for example unexpectedly firing some staff and teachers. But his activist agenda turned around a school that was “starting to operate on auto-pilot.”