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Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight

Secretary of Higher Education delves into controversy that has alarmed faculty. Union president says professors worry they will be under ‘control of the Chinese government’

Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis
Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis
New Jersey’s Secretary of Higher Education is looking into why the faculty of Kean University’s campus in China will be taken off the New Jersey payroll, making them employees of the Chinese government.

Kean President Dawood Farahi said the change, which would affect 102 faculty at Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU), is logical, was planned and will not affect academic standards, but James Castiglione, president of the Kean Federation of Teachers, said professors were not told when they were hired that one day they would “be handed over to the control of the Chinese government.” Some lawmakers are concerned and the union called for an investigation.

While not being called an investigation, that appears to be what Higher Education Secretary Zakiya Smith Ellis is doing.


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