Union Leaders Respond after Kean University President Quits
UNION, N.J.—Kean Federation of Teachers President James Castiglione, AFT New Jersey President Donna M. Chiera and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statements calling for an open, inclusive national search for next Kean University president after Dawood Farahi resigned:
AFTNJ’s Chiera said, “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. 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 AFT’s Weingarten said, “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. 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. 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.”
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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.