Coverage of Control of Kean Wenzhou Campus

Chinese Government To Control Kean U Faculty In Wenzhou? Union Up In Arms (Colleen O’Dea, NJSpotlight, Nov. 16)

Wenzhou

Kean University president downplays change as Kean’s faculty union and some legislators question its financial and political implications

The union representing faculty at Kean University is calling for a state investigation into news that professors at the state college’s campus in China will soon move from the state payroll to that of the Chinese government.

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N.J. college’s professors must now report to the Chinese government, union charges (Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, Nov. 15)

Professors hired to work for a New Jersey college at its satellite campus in China have been told they are now effectively employees of the communist Chinese government, union leaders say.

The professors, including more than 50 American citizens, were hired at Wenzhou-Kean University, a satellite campus Kean University launched in 2012 amid a trend of colleges partnering with the Chinese government in search of big profits.

The faculty have always been employees of Kean University, paid in U.S. dollars and been members of a local chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, according to the union.

Now, they will be employees of Wenzhou-Kean University, paid in Chinese currency and have been told they can no longer be in an American union.

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Is Kean Giving Control of Its Overseas Faculty to Chinese Government? (Elizabeth Redden, InsideHigherEd.com, Nov. 16)

Faculty at Kean University’s campus in China, currently employed by Kean, will soon be employed by the Chinese campus. Kean says it is retaining control over academics, but the faculty union says the change raises academic freedom concerns.

Wenzhou

The Kean Federation of Teachers is raising alarms about a plan to change the fundamental terms of employment for faculty members teaching at Kean University’s campus in China. Currently, faculty who teach at the Wenzhou-Kean University campus are employees of Kean, a public university in New Jersey. Starting July 1 they will be employees of Wenzhou-Kean.

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AFT wants state to monitor Kean’s management of overseas campus, (Linh Tat, Politico, Nov. 16)

Union leaders are calling on state elected officials to investigate Kean University’s management of its satellite campus in Wenzhou, China, amid plans by the school to recognize overseas workers as employees, separate from the faculty at its New Jersey campus. The change, effective July 1, 2019, would mean a loss of faculty members represented by the local chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, whose leaders claim the university is handing employees over to the Chinese government. Wenzhou-Kean University is governed by a 15-member board of directors, with eight members appointed by the Chinese government, according to the union. Moreover, according to the union, professors at WKU have been told they’ll no longer belong to the AFT, but may join the Chinese government’s official labor union, which is run by the Chinese Communist Party. Union leaders are concerned the changes will compromise academic freedom and integrity at the campus.

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