Split Board Backs Kean University’s Leader, Under Fire for Résumé

Ann McClure's picture
Friday, February 17, 2012

Resisting mounting pressure from professors to fire the president of Kean University, Dawood Farahi, the deeply divided board of trustees voted on Wednesday night to keep him, dismissing allegations that he had falsified his academic credentials as no more than evidence of “carelessness.”

After hearing the results of an inquiry by an outside lawyer, grim-faced Kean trustees voted 7 to 4, with one abstention, in favor of a statement acknowledging errors in Dr. Farahi’s résumé, saying, “We deplore them,” but adding that “none of the investigator’s findings is material” to his ability to do his job. A spokesman said the board had not decided whether to release the lawyer’s report.

A standing-room crowd of some 300 students and faculty members repeatedly shouted down the board with chants of “shame on you” and “the board must go.” The board had deliberated for four hours, the second time in a week it had gone late into the night pondering a controversy that has consumed the university’s attention for months.

Afterward, Dr. Farahi released a statement saying, “I take full responsibility for the errors I have made, and I apologize for the negative attention that I have brought to the university.”

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