UNION, NJ – Kean University teacher’s union representatives responded to the announcement Thursday of President Dawood Farahi’s resignation after the 2020 academic year with hopeful anticipation of a future of “collaborative and inclusive higher education leadership”.
In a press release titled, “Dawood Farahi Saw Writing on the Wall after Faculty, Students Highlighted Pitiful Record, Rampant Corruption,” American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, Kean Federation of Teachers (KFT) President James Castiglione, and AFT New Jersey President Donna M. Chiera called for an open, inclusive national search for next Kean University president.
“For years, we have organized to expose Dawood Farahi’s incompetence and cronyism that has hurt Kean’s vital mission and reputation, as well as its students and faculty,” said Weingarten. “Finally, with Farahi’s exit, the Kean community can begin to heal and realize their school’s potential as the premier New Jersey institution it is destined to be.”
“Dawood Fahari’s announced retirement presents us with the question of how we should move forward in the best interests of the students of New Jersey,” said Chiera. “Are we going to forge a new collaborative working relationship by including direct union representation in the selection of the next president? While we have had many differences with management at Kean over the years, this is an opportunity to listen to all voices and rebuild the Kean community with a focus on academics and student success."
The KFT’s Castiglione said, “The KFT looks forward to partnering with all stakeholders, including trustees, faculty, students, staff and community, in a comprehensive, open, national search for the next president of Kean University. With the university at a critical crossroads, it is imperative the next president have a proven track record of respectful, collaborative and inclusive higher education leadership.”
“The path to rehabilitation is long, but it begins with a legitimate search process for a new leader so Kean can be the economic and educational engine that Union County needs,” added Weingarten.
Farahi began his career at Kean more than 30 years ago in the classroom and was appointed President in 2003.