UNION (AP) — New Jersey's Kean University has spent $219,000 for a custom-built, circular conference table that was made in China.

NJ101.5 van on the campus of Kean University (Townsquare Media NJ)

The school did not put the project out to bid and picked a company in Shanghai to strength ties with the Chinese government. Kean recently opened a branch campus in China.

The 22-foot table is made of oak with cherry veneer. It features data ports, microphones, an illuminated world map and a motorized, two-tiered glass turntable.

Kean President Dawood Farahi tells The Record it's "small-minded" to focus on the university buying a $200,000 table. Farahi responded, "Why not?"

But Assemblyman Joe Cryan said it's unethical and a waste of taxpayer money.

Paul Downs, who owns a custom conference-table company in Pennsylvania, says he's made very complex tables for a lot less.

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