Kean in compliance with Middle States standards, sources say

Friday morning, Sept. 14, a visiting team from Middle States Commission on Higher Education said Kean University complied with the four standards they violated. However, there still are problems to be worked out and the university is still on probation.

At a meeting held Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. in the auditorium of the new

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Sources at Kean University report that the visiting team from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education will be deciding the school, which is home to more than 16,000 students, will not be losing its accreditation. The University, however, is still on probation through at least November, when an official decision is handed down by Middle States.

multi-million dollar New Jersey Center  for Science, Technology and Mathematics building, known as STEM, the visiting team went through each of the five standards Kean was found to be in violation, reporting that the university was now “in compliance.”

Although LocalSource was barred from attending the meeting announced as an “open session” for the Kean “campus community,” sources confirmed representatives from Middle States found the university had “met all the standards” required to keep accreditation. The visiting team, though, has no power to take Kean off probation.

According to information obtained from university staff, the visiting team was also on campus Thursday, Sept. 13, to meet with representatives of various small groups from the university, including staff and members of the faculty.

Sources also indicated that Steven Sweeny, Chair of the Middle States visiting team, specified the team was interested in small, targeted interviews with representatives from as many constituencies as possible.

Multiple small groups were “randomly selected,” but the visiting team also made requests to meet with certain individuals, according to email correspondence  obtained by LocalSource.

In additon, the Kean Board of Trustees is expected to approve a resolution that involves Farahi’s contract on Monday, Sept. 17.

According to sources, the resolution is for a four-year contract extension. Farahi is  expected to receive a nearly $200,000 bonus in June 2013 when his current contract runs out.

Kean was placed on probation by Middle States July 2 because there was evidence  the university was not in compliance with standards, 6, relating to integrity, 7, institutional assessment, 12, general education and 14, assessment of student learning. this put the university’s accreditation, which they have held since 1960, in jeopardy.

Every ten years all accredited institutions undergo an 18- to 24-month period of self-study intended to demonstrate compliance with accreditation standards as well as promote improvement. Middle States requires that every university and college comply with 14 standards, which involve how a university is performing educationally and with students.

If a state university loses accreditation students can no longer receive federal financial aid through Pell grants, guaranteed student loans or the College Work Program. In addition Kean, would no longer be able to obtain federal grants of any kind and students with partial degrees would have to transfer to another university.