Comments on: Why Cooper Union can’t be trusted A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: buy facebook fans Sat, 04 Oct 2014 18:42:13 +0000 Heya. I have been previously questioning if spam comments frustrate authors like they anger me? I whole-heartedly hope that this listing is without spam indefinitely. Thanks for your time. I appreciate your opinion.

By: traduceri daneza Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:04:37 +0000 continuously i used to read smaller posts which also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this paragraph which I am reading at this time.

By: jlj212 Thu, 07 Nov 2013 21:32:47 +0000 My son is a serious artist who chose to go to Cooper Union because he wanted a rigorous environment that valued art as highly as engineering, architecture and outside of the this school as high as our society values medicine, business and/or finance.His first year of 2011 was fantastic and then the politics began. The art department seemed to lead the protests sacrificing the value of its mission which was to guide young serious artists into serious careers. My son was first very active in the protests because of his love for Cooper Union, but later he began to see what really was happening. The Cooper administration/educators did not seem to value art education and allowed the art students to destroy their own program. My son said how his critiques changed. If you were not involved with the politics your art was irrelevant. Exhibitions were no longer that important. He watched the tragic demise of a once strong art department all in the disgusting name of politics. No one seems to realize the true tragedy of Cooper Union. It is what all this has done to the current students who chose this school above others because they believed in its intense process and pure values. My son refused many scholarship offers to other schools to accept the promise of Cooper Union. I am sure he is not alone in his frustration and disillusionment.

By: OceanDrive Thu, 19 Jul 2012 14:23:07 +0000 Kind of reminds me of NYU’s massive $6 billion expansion a few blocks away. No transparency and an Board of Trustees that just wants to build, build, build.

By: JamesHicks Wed, 02 May 2012 19:45:37 +0000 FWIW, if the Cooper charges tuition, it will lose its elite status; its no-tuition status makes it a great school, attracts the great students, which in turn attracts the great professors. Once it starts to charge tuition, it becomes just like Parsons, Pratt, SVA, etc; those are okay schools, but in no-way elite. And the quality of the students that come out of those schools is – on average – middling at best.

By: AlumniPioneer Sun, 29 Apr 2012 21:24:31 +0000 Felix, thank you for your clear expression of the issues and facts and allow me to provide some additional information to your readers.
1. Transparency of previous administrations – Throughout the early 80’s, when I was a reporter on the student newspaper, we were provided with the financial statements of the school. All we had to do was ask for them. For all of those years, Cooper had a surplus – the “decades of deficit spending” story is a total lie. In December 2011, the board admitted that Cooper had a surplus for 6 of the past 12 years, in agreement with an analysis I had published on Thanksgiving.
2. Jonathan Rose story – Although it may be true that Jonathan’s mother was not on the board until after their selection, William Sandholm, COO of Rose Associates, was on the board and was CEO of the Astor Place Holding Corporation, the not-for-profit arm of Cooper in charge of its real estate holdings. The Alumni Pioneer asked Cooper public relations to clarify the selection process and declined to comment. Over Christmas break, Sandholm was removed from the Cooper board (his name was removed from the Cooper website, no formal announcement was made).
3. The Cooper Union got $97 million as a payment in lieu of rent for the vacated Engineering Building. This money, in addition to capital campaign fundraising, was supposed to replenish the hole left by funding the creation of the new academic building and the retirement of DASNY bonds from construction of student housing. Unfortunately, the huge cost overruns from Jonathan Rose’s management of the construction, and huge losses in hedge funds in the 2008 crash, resulted in a non-real estate endowment in 2011 equal to its value in 2000, adjusted for inflation (using CPI). Three quarters of the “$600 million endowment” figure cited everywhere are the “fair value of the Chrysler Building,” an income source whose rent you have already accounted for (there is also a significant “payment in lieu of [property] taxes.” or PILOT, bringing in over $17 million a year, at present. You are correct that there was a rush to build the new academic building, accompanied by a false story that to not do so would threaten the engineering school’s accreditation (in fact, it was lack of individual studio space for artists and architects that had been criticized by the accreditors).
4. The largest source of mistrust of the administration is that the alumni were told that austerity measures would be instituted after the 2008 crash, but instead Cooper expenses increased by 10% PER YEAR. The new president told the students that Cooper could run out of operating cash in two years, then instituted no layoffs or salary cuts until the following year. He announced a hiring freeze, hired people anyway, and deleted reference to the hiring freeze from the Cooper website (this is becoming a repeated Cooper tactic). He announced the graduate tuition plan one day before an OWS protest featuring Cooper and two days before release of the Friends of Cooper Union publication of “The Way Forward,” a community consensus document created by all stakeholders over a five month period. At this writing, the strategy worked – every news outlet has covered the President announcement, and none have read “The Way Forward” and described the co-opting of the community process by the administration. With classes ending on May 9, many in the Cooper Community are working to stay focused on the real story, which you have so eloquently expressed. Thank you,
Barry Drogin Cooper EE ’83
Publisher, The Alumni Pioneer

By: JayCM Thu, 26 Apr 2012 15:19:33 +0000 I can’t help but think this building exists for the same reason as the war in Iraq or Netflix streaming. Somebody with clout got enamoured with the idea, and pointing out its flaws became career-limiting. Like most boondoggles, the idea was grand, inspiring, and financially unrealistic.

It’s just a guess, but that’s a pattern I’ve seen over and over.

By: So-crates Thu, 26 Apr 2012 15:06:55 +0000 By the way, I’m glad that I’m not the only one who was bothered by the inconsistencies between President Barucha’s letter and the subsequent WSJ and NYT articles. It was kind of jarring to read his email, which seemed to imply that charging for certain programs (like the masters program) was simply something that was being considered, and then to hear from someone else that it was pretty much a done deal mere hours later.

By: So-crates Thu, 26 Apr 2012 13:58:48 +0000 “Trustees at colleges are always big on pushing their schools into “elite” status, and they might have seen making the institution pricier would make it more prestigious.”

Matthew, my fear is that if Cooper starts to charge tuition, it will have exactly the opposite effect. Most Cooper students are smart enough to get into pretty much any school they choose, including schools with much greater “name recognition” than Cooper. While the quality of the education undoubtedly draws many of them to Cooper, the full tuition scholarship is also a hell of a selling point. For instance, many of my friends at Cooper were accepted to Ivy League schools, but chose to attend Cooper instead because it was “free.” Take away the scholarship, and Cooper will suddenly have much more competition to attract the quality of students that it has in the past.

By: SanfordMD Thu, 26 Apr 2012 10:34:10 +0000 After watching this unfold since 2005 (from my point-of-view), it was blindingly obvious the schol was having issues with cash — dating back to the 2001 crash and even further back during the 1970s with the loss of the green space that CU once owned.

The finances have never been visible to the public – and the activities/actions that were necessary were often hidden under the guise of “not important”, “all is fine”, “the new real estate will generate the revenue”.

There are some sources of revenue that have not been discussed at all. Cooper Union has (supposedly):

1. The Piano Building – does it make any revenue from that building?
2. The commercial spaces on the ground floor of the Academic Building – any revenue figures? The head of that effort on the Administrative side always suggested that would be a terrific source of revenue.
3. The parking garage by the Bowery Club (end of Cooper Square)?
4. The new building going up where the old Engineering Building was (51 Astor Place)? Any revenue there? Recurring revenue?
5. Reality of the Chrysler Building revenue – at one point, it was discussed that the “mortgage” on the tax revenue from the Chrysler Building curtailed the increasing revenue since they needed a large sum to handle the $160M build. So, even if the Chrysler revenues are increasing, Cooper Union may not benefit.

So – where is the info? Where is the revenue? Why doesn’t these sources of revenue help keep Cooper Union in the black? And, why was it so important to sell off our future to have a building now?

Yes – the Engineering Building was in disrepair – and sick. The maintenance cost was quite sizeable. But was it on the order of $160M + $10M per year? And the loss of additional space for artists in regards to the Hewlett Building was also a serious impact.

For some reason, the past decisions do not give confidence to the future direction. But the people who were part of it – former President George Campbell Jr., former VP Robert Hawks – what happened? Why are they not part of this discussion explaining the choices and how, by their direction, we can move forward? They architected this plan – where is the ownership of the outcome?