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Middle States asks for report on integrity

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 13:03

 

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education filed a new request against Kean University on March 1 for a possible violation of Standard 6 which includes the assessment of integrity within the institution.

Middle States requested that the monitoring report be turned in by Sept. 1, 2012 and show evidence of three different criteria.

The first requirement for Standard 6, as listed on the Middle States website requires the university to show the unbiased and consistent treatment of all parties within the university and to assure that all parties are treated fairly.

The second part of the monitoring report must address the existence of an atmosphere within the university that fosters respect among students, faculty, staff and administration.

The final piece asks for proof of “the periodic assessment of integrity evidenced in institutional policies, processes, practices and the manner in which these are implemented (Standard 6).”

This new action against the university comes after an independent law firm found that there were some inaccuracies on various resumes from President Dawood Farahi.

The Board of Trustees announced on Feb. 15, in a seven to four vote that they expressed full confidence in Farahi’s leadership at Kean. There was one abstention.

In an informative email sent out to faculty and staff, Vice President of Academic Affairs Jeff Toney shed light on to how this new warning came about.

“More recently, we  [Kean] have been discussing with Middle States the media coverage of accusations leveled by the Kean Federation of Teachers against President Farahi,” said Toney in the email dated March 5. “The commission closely follows the media and also receives third-party comments. In these discussions, our Middle States representatives made it clear that the commission wants to reaffirm its visiting team’s finding of last year related to Standard 6, Integrity.”

This report comes on the heels of another monitoring report that Kean submitted to assure compliance with both Standard 7 (Institutional Assessment) and 14 (Assessment of Student Learning). If Middle States finds that Kean has not taken the necessary steps to fix the lack of sufficient evidence for fulfillment of these standards, the commission warns that the institution’s accreditation may be in jeopardy.

Accreditation is needed to transfer credits, go to graduate school and receive federal aid.

Last year, the commission found that Kean operates with “a high level of integrity,” and Toney is sure this will be the case once more.

“Once again, it is important to emphasize that the university remains a strong, vibrant and accredited institution. Working together, we will emerge as an even stronger university dedicated to further improving student learning.”

Both the University and Middle States did not return emails sent for a request for comment.

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