By Kelly Heyboer and Ted Sherman/The Star-Ledger

UNION — With great fanfare, Kean University and Chinese officials broke ground last March on the first foreign campus of the New Jersey institution, to be built at Wenzhou University in Zhejiang Province.

Kean China
Courtesy of Kean University Kean University President Dawood Farahi, far left, was among the Kean officials who traveled to China for the March 21 groundbreaking of Wenzhou-Kean University in Zhejiang Province.

Amid ceremonial drummers, colorful dragon dancers and yards of bright red bunting, school officials turned over shovels of dirt to mark the start of construction of a massive new campus that will ultimately enroll 5,000 full-time Chinese students who will earn degrees from Kean.

The university, however, never sought accreditation for the high-profile Far East venture from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education — which has already placed Kean on probation for failure to meet academic standards.

Now the accrediting agency wants to know why.

Kean is already on shaky ground with Middle States, a powerful independent agency with the ability to strip a school of its vital accreditation if a campus runs afoul of its rules. New questions about one of its projects does not help matters.


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