Kean Shows Changes Needed In Higher Education (Opinion)

Ann McClure's picture

While the focus of higher education turmoil has been on South Jersey with the plan to merge Rowan University with Rutgers-Camden, the other end of the state has its own growing crisis.

Kean University, the state’s third largest with 16,000 students, has suffered a few setbacks. It became a national laughing stock when it hired former Gov. Jim McGreevey to teach ethics.

The NCAA placed Kean’s 13 athletic teams on probation until April of 2016. The women’s basketball team was banned for the 2012-’13 season after it was found that student grades were changed and cash payments were made to some students. Former Athletic Director Glenn Hedden, who exposed the situation, was fired and filed an unlawful termination suit against the institution.

School President Dawood Farahi was pushed into the spotlight when Dr. James Castiglione, associate professor and head of the Kean Federation of Teachers, wrote the board of trustees saying Farahi lied on his resume. Farahi acknowledged mistakes — like saying he had published more than 50 technical articles in major publications — but blamed the errors on unnamed subordinates who prepared the document. He also said certain union members were out to get him. In the end, the trustees backed Farahi, 7-4 with one abstention. The trustees got a 94 percent no-confidence vote from the faculty.

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