Governor Chris Christie must act in resolving the ongoing Kean University scandal, without delay.
The state university has been rocked with public embarrassment and derision for more than a year, and the turmoil must end now. First, it was found that university president, Darwood Farahi, had falsified his personal documents and academic achievements when applying for his current position. In addition, the Kean University Federation of Teachers and groups of students protested what they believed to be unethical practices at the university. Now, the university is faced with losing its academic accreditation, and has been placed on probation by the Middle States Association.
The university has been cited for violating standards of “integrity, institutional assessment, general education and assessment of student learning”.
The scandal has continued and reached almost comical proportions. Since Farahi became the university’s chief executive, the school has deteriorated from having a major financial surplus to now being hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. The scandal projects the reality that students, taxpayers, and the public at large are becoming helpless victims. It had been reported by several news sources that if Kean University loses its accreditation, “Students at schools without accreditation may not be able to get financial aid, transfer their credits to other colleges or use their degrees to attend graduate school.”
The Middle States Association has cited numerous academic and institutional failures that have resulted in the university’s probationary status. Rather than promise to make the necessary interventions that will attain a positive accreditation, President Farahi has “lashed out” at the Middle States Association in defiance. Clearly, enough is enough.
Governor Christie must recognize that the academic integrity of New Jersey is at stake. Millions of dollars have been wasted on a scandal-ridden university administration and an obviously careless Board of Trustees. President Farahi and the Trustees must be dismissed at once, with the state taking control and working to restore the university to a status that New Jersey and the nation can be proud of once again.
Yes, Governor Chris Christie must act in resolving the ongoing Kean University scandal without delay!
Dr. Salvatore Pizzuro, a disability policy specialist, holds a doctorate in Developmental Disabilities from Columbia University and an advanced degree in Disability Law from New York Law.
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