Governor should straighten out Kean University mess
It is time for Gov. Christie to pay more attention to the worsening situations at Kean University.
When it came to the attention of the Kean Board of Trustees that Kean President Dawood Farahi’s resume included embellished credentials, Farahi acknowledged mistakes on his resume, blamed the errors on unnamed subordinates and essentially accused members of the Kean teachers union of a witch hunt.
More recently, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education has placed Kean on probation and the university is now in jeopardy of losing its accreditation, which could severely harm students in terms of federal financial aid, transfer credits and even the ability to obtain jobs. Predictably, now Farahi questions the methods and integrity of the Middle States Commission.
Perhaps the Middle States Commission read the report issued by the Kean University Board of Trustees when they voted to retain Farahi, which stated: “… Kean University lacks a comprehensive, university-wide academic integrity policy. The existing policy applies solely to students.”
Kean is the third largest university in New Jersey with 16,000 students, and is largely funded by the taxpayers. For an institution of that magnitude to have no academic integrity policy for faculty and administration represents severe mismanagement on the part of the trustees and Farahi, who has been the president of Kean for almost a decade and reportedly draws a salary close to $300,000.
The fiscal situation of New Jersey simply does not have room for the level of mismanagement currently at Kean. Gov. Christie should take a more active role in straightening out the situation there: the approach could be akin to the manner in which the state oversees under-performing public school districts with similar records of mismanagement.
Bruce Leigh Myers