New York Reaches Deal with Cooper Union, Plaintiffs - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

New York Reaches Deal with Cooper Union, Plaintiffs

Email


by Diverse Staff


090315_Cooper_UnionNEW YORK — New York’s attorney general announced an agreement Wednesday that would end a lawsuit against Cooper Union and create an independent monitor into the financial management of the college known for its architecture, arts and engineering programs.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he hopes the deal eventually could lead to the school restoring free tuition.

The Manhattan college began charging tuition in 2014 for the first time in more than a century to avoid financial insolvency. That sparked a lawsuit by the Committee to Save Cooper Union, an alliance of students, alumni and faculty.

The agreement was reached with the school’s board of trustees and the plaintiffs. They filed a consent decree Wednesday that requires court approval.

Adrian Jovanovic, president of the committee, said the settlement “implements significant reforms and creates a path to restoring Peter Cooper’s vision of education ‘open and free to all.’”

It would authorize the attorney general to appoint the monitor. It would add alumni, students and faculty to the board of trustees and establish a standing committee to develop a strategic plan aimed at returning to a tuition-free policy while maintaining academic reputation and enrollment.

Richard Lincer, chairman of The Cooper Union Board of Trustees, said they hope the framework will enable them to build support “to sustain the strengths of this great institution for future generations of students.”

According to the attorney general’s office, an investigation began last year that showed the school’s current financial problems were rooted in the failure of its 2006 plan to finance a new academic building by taking a $175 million mortgage on other property and investing and losing $35 million in stocks.

  Innovative Strategies for HBCUs Proposed at CBC Conference

“My office will ensure all sides work together to put Cooper Union back on a path to fiscal sustainability,” said Schneiderman, whose office has oversight of New York’s nonprofits.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art was founded in 1859 by industrialist Peter Cooper to give talented young people a good education “open and free to all,” and discrimination based on ethnicity, religion or sex was prohibited. Its rich history rivals the traditions of better-known colleges with sprawling campuses and football teams: Abraham Lincoln gave his “right makes might” anti-slavery speech at Cooper in 1860, Thomas Edison took classes there, the NAACP held its first public meeting there in 1909 and President Barack Obama spoke there in 2010.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Colleges Wrestle with Issue of Using Students’ Fees for Controversial Speakers Katherine Kerwin didn’t like to see a portion of the student fees she pays being spent to bring conservative speaker Ben Shapiro to the University of Wisconsin. Kerwin didn’t agree with Shapiro’s criticism of what he said were attempts to chill fr...
Strayer to Acquire Capella Education in $1.9B Deal HERNDON, Va. — Strayer Education is tying up with Capella Education in a deal worth about $1.9 billion under an administration that looks much more favorably at non-profit schools that had come under a harsher spotlight in recent years. The two sc...
Certain For-profit Colleges Leave Veterans in a Bind Terry Jack will be the first one to tell you he has made his share of mistakes. By his own account, the Army veteran from Tucson, Arizona, has been twice convicted of a DUI. He says the second time — which occurred in 2014 — cost him 90 days in ja...
Georgia Appeals Court Rules Against Immigrants Over In-state Tuition ATLANTA — Immigrants who have been granted temporary status to stay in the U.S. will have to keep paying out-of-state tuition after an appeals court ruled against them, saying state colleges and universities in Georgia aren’t required to let them pay...
Semantic Tags: