By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

The president of Kean University recently purchased a $219,000 Chinese conference table to impress his pals, and just to prove he is determined to escort his career into a PR shredder, Dawood Farahi justified this expense with a derisive, “Why not?”

Actually, his response consisted of three “why-nots,” according to The Record’s account.

We can think of a three why-nots: The Union school had the highest tuition increase of any New Jersey public college this year; the $9,179 average debt that full-time freshmen incur is the second-highest in the state; and the Kean debt has exploded from $124 million to $353 million during his 11-year tenure, which was enough for Moody’s to send its bond rating plummeting.

So those are the easy rejoinders to President Thrifty’s rhetorical question.

But clearly it’s time for someone to get Farahi under control, and this 22-foot piece of circular timber stands as a monument to his fidelity to other people’s money. He claims that the furniture was exempt from competitive bidding laws, because it fell into the category of “professional creative services.”


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