Longtime Kean president to step down. Dawood Farahi clashed with unions and oversaw massive campus expansion.

Rebecca Panico, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Kean University President Dawood Farahi announced he will step down next year, leading to calls for an open and transparent selection for his successor from faculty union leaders.

[…]

Although Farahi started out as a professor, he’s often clashed with the faculty union on campus, the Kean Federation of Teachers.…

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N.J. college wants to go to war over a bad review. The faculty say it’s a big mistake.

Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A New Jersey college’s threat to sue an accrediting group that criticized one of its master’s degree programs amounts to an ill-conceived waste of time and money, its faculty union says.

A week after Kean University said it’s “standing up for what is right,” union leaders lashed out at the university for its reaction to losing an accreditation for its master’s of public affairs program.…

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Kean University Should Quit Costly Legal Attacks and Fix Failing Department

Beleaguered president of New Jersey public college would rather waste taxpayers’ money fighting accreditors than working with them to clean up his mess

UNION, N.J.—Kean Federation of Teachers President James Castiglione, AFT New Jersey President Donna M. Chiera and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statements after embattled Kean University President Dawood Farahi threatened to sue evaluators that de-accredited his master’s program in public affairs:

The KFT’s Castiglione said: “Instead of wasting money on legal challenges, Kean University management should address glaring deficiencies by hiring full-time faculty and staff to teach, counsel and eventually help public administration students find employment.…

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Kean Trustees Lock Out Students Calling For Reversals of Retaliatory Firings

Students, faculty, and staff calling for the reappointment of skilled lecturers and professional staff were illegally locked out of Monday night’s Kean Board of Trustees meeting, according to Kean Federation of Teachers president James Castiglione. While hundreds of students, faculty and staff were joined by a State Senator and the Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair rallying outside against the firings, Kean managers filled all the seats and security refused to allow students into the meeting.…

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Kean faculty union alleges retaliation after lecturers’ contracts aren’t renewed

Linh Tat, Politico


A decision by Kean University not to renew the contracts of more than a dozen full-time lecturers — the majority of whom spoke out earlier this school year after losing their private office spaces — has the faculty union accusing the school’s administration of retaliation.


Also an issue for the union is the fact that the majority of the affected employees are women or people of color — a concern highlighted by Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, the chair of her chamber’s higher education committee, in a letter to university officials, a copy of which POLITICO obtained.…

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N.J. college lecturers griped about losing offices, then lost their jobs, union claims

Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Ten lecturers at a New Jersey college are being let go without explanation, fueling accusations the college retaliated because they complained about losing their private offices, union leaders say.

Kean University recently told the 10 lecturers from its general education school that they would not have their one-year contracts renewed, said James Castiglione, president of Kean’s faculty union.…

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They Complained About Their Office. Then Kean U. Took Their Jobs Away.

Emma Pettit, Chronicle


Heather E. Connors got good news in December. Because Kean University values its general-education faculty, a letter from the provost said, any lecturer who returned in the fall would get a pay bump, including her.


But in March another letter arrived, this time bearing bad news. The provost would not be recommending Connors, who teaches writing, for reappointment.…

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13 Lecturers Fired At Kean University Including Nearly Half Of The General Education School

Joshua Rosario, Kean Tower


Ten of Kean University’s 21 General Education lecturers who advise and oversee about half of the freshmen class as well as teach will be let go this summer and were not given a reason.


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The KFT is trying to overturn the layoffs and will hold a walkout and rally on May 6 outside Kean Hall in advance of the university’s Board of Trustees meeting.…

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Op-Ed: Kean University’s China Fiasco Illustrates Need For State Oversight

Donna M. Chiera

Plan to give management control of campus outpost in Wenzhou to the Chinese government has security and ethical risks

New Jersey’s Legislature has many pressing education issues to deal with this session, but few are more urgent than the oversight of a dangerous and ill-conceived deal to hand management of Kean University’s branch campus in China over to the Chinese government.…

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Teachers union critical of Kean ceding control of China campus

Joanna Gagis, Producer/Correspondent, NJTVNews

American teachers at the Wenzhou-Kean campus will be transferred to the control of the Chinese government, and union leaders say this puts them at risk.

“China really does not have a very good record on human rights and on workers’ rights,” said Eric Richard, New Jersey AFL-CIO director of legislation. “The ITUC, International Trade Union Conference, issued their most recent report and China literally received the worst grade possible.”…

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National Labor Leader Irate Over Kean University’s New China Strategy

Carly Sitrin, NJ Spotlight

‘How dare we let it happen right under our eyes,’ says AFT president Randi Weingarten, referring to transfer of faculty at Kean’s Wenzhou outpost to Chinese government employment

University labor leaders are irate over Kean University’s plan to transfer its China-based faculty to the employment of the Chinese government. But despite loud objections from national American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten and other labor leaders, Kean has announced the deal is done.…

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The battle over an N.J. college’s China campus just got really ugly — and personal

By Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Kean University already had a fight on its hands after local union officials complained about treatment of faculty members at a satellite campus in China.

And that was before the president of America’s largest teachers union got involved.

In a blistering criticism of the public university on Thursday, Randi Weingarten accused Kean of violating “American values” and stripping “American rights from American workers,” escalating what had been a labor and academic debate and reframing it as an unchecked college president operating in un-American way.…

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Are these college profs beholden to China? N.J. wants to find out

Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

New Jersey’s top higher education official is reviewing claims that professors at Kean University’s satellite campus in China are now employees of the nation’s communist government.

Zakiya Smith-Ellis, the state’s Secretary of Higher Education, sent a letter to the public university last month asking for detailed information on the rights and protections of faculty at Wenzhou-Kean University, according to the state.…

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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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