Press Release

Plagiarism Found at Highest Level of Kean University Administration

For Release: 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Culture of academic fraud continues to plague administration of Kean President Farahi

UNION, N.J.—The removal of Katerina Andriotis, Ph.D., Kean University associate vice president for academic affairs, following revelations of plagiarism, is the latest in a troubling string of academic fraud incidents by university officials, the Kean Federation of Teachers—the union for faculty, professional staff and librarians—said today.

The initial complaint that brought down Andriotis was filed by James Castiglione, Ph.D., associate professor of physics and the KFT president. In a Nov. 13 letter to Kean University President Dawood Farahi, Castiglione cited multiple examples of plagiarism in Andriotis' "Report and Recommendations of the Kean University Enrollment Management Committee." He found extensive uncited passages lifted directly from websites of the University of Tennessee and the Center for the Study of College Student Retention. Andriotis' employment was terminated on Nov. 14.

The KFT is being forced to act as guardian of the university's board of trustees-mandated ethical standards, according to Castiglione. "We teach our students to be ethical and scrupulous, and we expect our university officials to be held to the same high standards. It is unconscionable that a culture of academic fraud persists among Kean's highest administrators," Castiglione said.

In addition to the latest plagiarism violations, Castiglione cited the scandal involving inaccurate academic credentials on Farahi's resumes. Farahi blamed clerical errors for multiple instances of nonexistent publications appearing on his resumes, but his presidency was reaffirmed in a split vote of the board of trustees last year.

"A university's reputation stands or falls on the integrity of its administrators and faculty. The persistent unethical conduct of high-level university officials must be addressed by Kean's board of trustees without equivocation," Castiglione said, "or else Kean University will lose what remains of its reputation as a fine university."

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Established in 1978, the Kean Federation of Teachers (KFT) is a union of approximately 500 professors, professional staff and librarians. KFT Local 2187 is a member of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey (AFTNJ) and of the AFL-CIO. The KFT is one of the locals under the Council of New Jersey State College/University Locals (CNJSCL), the statewide bargaining agent for more than 8,000 professional employees in 11 state college locals in New Jersey.

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.