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The Alumni Pioneer

Fighting For a Fair Risk-Free Austerity Budget From November 2011 to January 2014

April 12, 2015, 11am

Cooper Pioneer




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News Archive

Libeskind Tried to Censor Slavin in Violation of Charter

Kevin Slavin, elected by the Cooper Union Alumni Association as an Alumni Trustee in a dramatic write-in campaign led by Friends of Cooper Union and other members of the Free Cooper Union movement, is under threat from Daniel Libeskind, prominent architect, fellow Cooper alumnus, and newly appointed to the Cooper Union Board of Trustees. Kevin Slavin was elected to the board on a platform of transparency, following his dramatic speech in The Great Hall at the First Community Summit, in which he memorably stated, "Transparency is not a promise. Itís not an idea. Itís action. The answer to whether Cooper Union should be more transparent is not the word ďyes.Ē The answer is to be more transparent."

The Charter of the Cooper Union explicitly allows for such transparency, stating that every trustee "shall be at all times at liberty, in his discretion, freely to publish any matter within his knowledge relating to the institution herein contemplated, or to its management in any respect, including any discussions in the Board of Trustees."

In an October 9, 2014, e-mail to the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Libeskind called for Mr. Slavin's ouster for following the Charter:

Dear Chairman Lincer,

I appreciate that you wish to bring the "point-counterpoint" to an end between Board Member Slavin and others. However, even though I am new to the Board, I wish to make the following point:

Executive sessions of the Board, with or without the presence of the President, surely have to be confidential. This is to ensure a frank and meaningful discussion. To have Kevin Slavin report on social media the contents of certain parts of our last Board Meeting was, frankly, something I find shocking and unacceptable.

Obviously, Mr. Slavin has every right to express any opinion that he wishes to express during the Executive session and he did. He made very clear his displeasure. But I believe that whatever his disagreements with the direction of the school, as a Board Member, once he leaves the Board Meeting, Mr. Slavin has to speak with a voice that echoes the decisions taken by the Board.

No one is trying to curb his right to freedom of speech - least of all, me. If Mr. Slavin feels that he wants to "broadcast" his disagreements about the direction of the School and with the Board, then he should be asked to leave the Board, so that he will then have an opportunity to voice whatever opinions he may have. That's free speech and good governance.

With best regards,

Daniel Libeskind
In a display of hypocrisy, on April 9, 2015, Mr. Libeskind himself revealed to the Wall Street Journal the contents of confidential executive session discussions about the renewal of President Jamshed Bharucha's contract, in which he disagreed with the Board's majority decision.

Justin Harmon, who, as new Vice President of Communication (and new Chief of Propaganda, replacing Diana Pearson, a consultant), has written to the trustees clarifying to them that, indeed, "the charter does state that trustees who wish to speak up about any given issue that concerns the school may do so." Kevin Slavin has expressed concern that Mr. Libeskind's disclosures to the press were not of a conventional board meeting but of a closed door vote and negotiation with Cooper Union's legal counsel about conversations with the Attorney General during an active lawsuit.

Many in the Cooper Union Community have expressed concern that the Board of Trustees requires trustees and members of trustee committees to sign Confidentiality Agreements that violate the Charter.

An election to replace Ray Falci, whose term ends in September 2015, is currently in progress. The Chair of the Board has cast aspersions on the CUAA election process, claiming that the few hundred who vote are not representative of the six thousand contactable alumni (it is believed that a total of twelve thousand are alive but not contactable). In a rare if not unprecedented move, all Council positions, including Executive Board positions and the Alumni Trustee position, are competitive this year. There are also three referendums on the ballot.

CUAA Council, Frozen Out of Alumni Website, Mailing List, Goes Independent

As of April 2014, all work of the Cooper Union Alumni Association Council, including election results, executive committee and council minutes, resolutions, events, and all committee reports, had been frozen out of, the Cooper Union alumni association website. Recent firings in the alumni office itself were not reflected in the website, nor was the new membership of the executive committee and the Council 2017 listed. In response, following a meeting with administration representatives, the President of the CUAA announced that the Council had formed its own website,, and mailing list, and would become a separate charitable organization, nullifying portions of a 1974 Memorandum of Agreement that had merged the independent CUAA with the college.

The announcement, made jointly with the administration, revealed that the college will close down and establish its own website. The announcement of events recently organized by the Alumni Office without the participation of the CUAA Council, in violation of the 1974 MOA and its 2000 revision, have been posted to, not to After a brief period when the Council and its committees were denied meeting space on campus, the college will return to allowing the CUAA to meet on campus, as it has since at least 1890, before it was incorporated in 1896, and thereafter. The CUAA will continue to control Founder's Day, as it has since at least 1925. The wreathe laying on Peter Cooper's statue may continue as a joint CUAA/Cooper event.

A full description of the origins of the CUAA and the events that led to the secession can be found in the Alumni Pioneer document, "CUAA Secedes from Union".

A list of anti-tuition resolutions has been e-mailed to the CUAA membership and posted to the new website, as has a long-overdue report on the Founder's Day Street Fair in April 2014 and the results of the CUAA election.

Rock the Vote

As part of the 2015 CUAA "Rock the Vote" effort, The Alumni Pioneer News Archive has asked the candidates a couple of questions and provided them with an updateable space to supplement their bios. This Special Edition can be found by clicking here.

Cooper Pioneer




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News Archive

Board of Trustees Reject Cooper Union Community Bailout

According to a letter dated January 10, 2014 from Richard Lincer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the Cooper Union "cannot now restore the full tuition scholarship." The letter continues to use the "access" language, promising only to increase "need-based financial aid and ultimately perhaps even restoring the full tuition scholarship... to the extent our resources allow."

Desparate for revenue, the Board rejected the Working Group Plan, which proposed cost reduction measures to close the budget deficit resulting from four decades of investments in the physical plant of the college, including interior and exterior renovations to the Foundation Building, construction of a Residence Hall (to promote "geographic diversity," usually used against New York City residents by non-NY colleges), and a New Academic Building designed by starchitect Thom Mayne. It was unclear how full-tuition scholarships for undergraduates would fit into the "hybrid framework," in which high school students, other undergraduates, and graduates would join new "for-pay" academic programs. Lincer's statement vows to form a group of trustees to work with the Cooper Union Community to "clarify the mission for the 21st century and to develop a strategic plan for implementing the mission" - the first acknowledgement by the Board that both the hybrid framework and the Tuition Plan constitute changes to Cooper Union's historic mission.

Prior to the Board decision, Alumni Trustee Kevin Slavin pleaded, "Most anyone who experienced it knows that the tuition-free education was the source of academic excellence, not the threat to it," echoing the eloquent words of Professor David Gersten from two years ago, "It is not that The Cooper Union holds up free education but that free education holds up The Cooper Union."

Several legal challenges to the Board's pending decision have been in development. On May 27, 2014, the Committee to Save Cooper Union filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Working Group Comes Up With Tuition-Free Plan

By the end of the final meeting of the Working Group on November 26, 2013, an alternative to the Tuition Plan approved by the Cooper Union Board of Trustees on April 23, 2013, was approved by a majority of the Working Group. This plan is being referred to as the Working Group Plan. The process set up by Chair Mike Borkowsky, whereby a majority of ten members out of eighteen were needed for passage, effectively approved the plan.

The charge of the Working Group was to submit by December 1 "ways in which Cooper Union may revert to providing full-tuition scholarships for all enrolled students while establishing a sustainable financial model and continuing to invest in academic excellence." On December 3, four members of the Working Group changed their votes from abstensions to rejections, although the four have not provided an alternative plan that meets the charge. The three administrative representatives and a trustee appointed by Mark Epstein (former Chairman of the Board of Trustees) changed their votes.

The Working Group made a presentation to the Board of Trustee Finance Committee and Executive Committee on December 4, 2013, which then held a second meeting on December 6, 2013, to discuss the Working Group Plan. On December 11, 2013, Mike Borkowsky and five other members of the Working Group made a presentation to the full Board.

The Working Group Report was posted to the Cooper Union website the next day at New Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Lincer has promised a decision on whether to reverse the April 2013 board decision and adopt the Working Group Plan in mid-January 2014. Application deadlines are January 6, 2014, for the Schools of Art and Architecture and February 3, 2014, for the School of Engineering. Early decision applications due on December 2, 2013, were down 75%.

An initial presentation to the Alumni Council by the alumni representatives to the Working Group was held on December 17, 2013.

December 4, 2013 meeting December 4, 2013 meeting

Photos by Barry Drogin, click to enlarge, released to public domain with credit, tagged on Facebook

Working Group Plan Endorsements

CUAA Resolution, 12/17/2013
Alumni Council Unanimous Resolution

Resolved, on this the 17th day of December, 2013, the Council of the Cooper Union Alumni Association hereby endorses the Working Group proposal presented to the Cooper Union Board on December 11, 2013, to replace the imposition of tuition on the entering class in 2014 and subsequent undergraduate classes. We pledge to support efforts of the Cooper Union Administration to refine the Working Group Plan as needed to insure that a sustainable financial plan is maintained and we will assist in every effort to implement that plan and insure that it achieves its objectives.

HSS Resolution, 12/18/2013
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Endorsement

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences supports full-scholarship education at the Cooper Union and endorses the spirit of the Working Group Report and the intent to preserve the full-scholarship model and the mission of the College. While we do not endorse all elements of the Report, we firmly believe it should give the Board reason to re-consider its earlier decision to reduce the scholarship for each student by half.

Architecture Student Statement
Architecture Student Statement

The undersigned students, as members of the Student Body of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, support the Working Group Report as it was presented to the Board of Trustees on the 11th of December, 2013. The undersigned students reject the Tuition Model. - Class of 2018 (25), Class of 2017 (22), Class of 2016 (22), Class of 2015 (29), Class of 2014 (20), Masters Class of 2014 (9)

CUOP Affirmation
Part-Time Faculty Union Executive Board Affirmation
The Working Group has presented its report to the Board of Trustees and we urge all members to read it at:

CUOPís executive board affirms the framework and concepts of the Working Group proposal as a viable plan to preserve the full-scholarship model which is the mission of the College and to uphold academic excellence.

We appreciate the intensive work done by the Working Group to produce a credible plan that makes hard proposals with sensitivity. Should the Board move forward on the basis of the Working Group plan, as we hope it will, we will work with the Cooper Union administration and all other constituencies to minimize any loss of part-time faculty positions while refining and implementing the plan. We expect and are prepared to share in all efforts to implement the Working Group plan to achieve financial sustainability, maintain academic excellence, and preserve the mission.

Who is "Cooper Union"?

Legally, The Cooper Union has three components: The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (the college), the CV Starr Research Foundation, and the Astor Place Holding Corporation. Outside of these entities, other entities have "Cooper Union" in their names: Free Cooper Union and its tumblr blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and a public salon that traveled to London, Friends of Cooper Union, the Cooper Union Task Force wiki, Cooper Union's three unions, and, of course, the Cooper Union Alumni Association (CUAA).

The last of these, during the last financial crisis, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the college, establishing elected representatives to the Board of Trustees and representation on faculty committees. The Memorandum, signed by the President of the college and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees in February 1974 and taking effect on July 1, 1974, also subject all employees of the Alumni Office (merging the Alumni Association office and the Office of Alumni Relations) to approval by the Council of the Alumni Association (replacing the Alumni Association Board of Governors), and gave the Alumni Association "full responsibility for the Alumni Fund and all alumni activities" and empowered it to "direct the operation of the Alumni Office."

With the most recent financial crisis, the Alumni Association has pushed to restore its powers. Back in November 2011, a staff member of the Alumni Office quelched an e-mail to the CUAA membership announcing the December 2011 Community Summit; recently, the CUAA Council voted to sponsor a Great Hall event on surveillance and a booth at the Fourth Street Arts Block FAB! Festival. The recent slate of CUAA Council representatives, as well as its new President and a write-in alumni trustee to start serving in December 2013, are leading actions to reverse or delay the April 2013 tuition announcement, and the Council has established an ad hoc committee to establish the Associates of The Cooper Union, an organization described in the college's Charter which never came into being and, amongst its various powers, has the right to remove trustees.

Assuming ignorance of the Memorandum, Cooper administrators are seeking to establish new policies and procedures that dilute the powers of alumni. The Alumni Office has established "affinity groups" which operate outside of the Council and its events committee, held "regional" events outside of the Council's core New York City constituency (with limited propaganda success), and is now trying to stop all outside organizations from fundraising activities without the Alumni Office's approval. CUAA ID cards are no longer being issued, and access to the Cooper Union library is now by appointment only.

As with other recent Cooper "policies," many of these are simply being ignored, as were disciplinary actions and access issues during the Spring 2013 Sit-In. Saying that relations between the Council and the Alumni Office are strained would be putting it mildly.

Alumni Giving Part II: The "Regular Contributor" and Other Myths

% Years Give

It's not that alumni don't give, it's that, some years, alumni can't give. How often? On average, half of the time.

Why a moving three-year average is a better indicator of alumni giving rates than any single year statistic - how generous Cooper alumni really are. Click on the graph for the full report.

Cost-Cutting to be Focus of Anti-Tuition Working Group

Trustee Mike Borkowsky, who with Trustee Jeffrey Gural will co-chair a new Working Group to "leave no stone unturned" to restore the full scholarship policy at Cooper, listed three major focuses: space utilization (vacating 30 Cooper Square), academic structure, and compensation (including headcount reduction). He pledged to attempt "a united effort to get the school back on track," and said the Working Group would put on the table "a much more extensive set of cost reductions [so] we will know once and for all if the community has the willingness to fight for [restoring the full scholarship] and make the sacrifices that they have to make or to help us accomplish it." In recorded comments and responses at the July CUAA Council Meeting that were livestreamed, Mr. Borkowsky admitted that the trustees had previously taken a lot of measures "off the table" as unlikely.

Cooper Pioneer




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PDF version

PDF version

Customizable PPT version

This content has been moved to a news archive: New CUAA President and Executive Committee Hit the Ground Running, Administration Embarks on Summer Hiring Spree, June 2013 State of the Union, Free Saturday Program Wins Reprieve with $1,000,000 Trustee Donation, Statement from adjunct faculty, Short-term "Solution" Used to Force Long-Term "Solution," Half-Decades of Non-Income Assets (construction loans), New Anti-Tuition Alumni Trustee/New President Salary/Free 154 Years/40% Alumni Giving: "Oh shit.", Bharucha Calls for Healing, but Epstein Threatens Extinction, Joint Statement from the Leadership of CUFCT, CUOP, and U@CU, Cooper Undergraduate Education: Eighty Thousand Dollars, Is Peter Cooper History?, Clueless Students Obscure Friends of Cooper Union Message, Pearson Molds Propaganda Campaign

Inspired Writing

Why Cooper Union Matters
Litia Perta
The Brooklyn Rail

The Way Forward
Cooper Union Community
Friends of Cooper Union

Open Letter to the Trustees
Sean Cusack
Cooper Union Task Force

Save Cooper Union and
You Can't Just End an Era
Sangamithra Iyer

When the financial crisis was first announced, Litia Perta wrote an articulate, contextualizing article for The Brooklyn Rail that lucidly expressed for all the various underpinnings of the situation. Soon thereafter, Sangu Iyer started writing a series of articles in her blog, Literary Animal, about The Cooper Union, including original research in the Cooper archives about the "amateur class." As the Board of Trustees delayed their final announcement, Sangu penned a great summary of the entire crisis, from the early days of the college up through the clocktower occupation and its aftermath. She provided an update after the Sit-In ended. These articles serve as must-read bookends to the crisis, from two of its most knowledgable writers.

These have been paired with two other Cooper Union documents: the community-authored "The Way Forward" from the Friends of Cooper Union, and an Open Letter to the Trustees by Sean Cusack of Cooper Union Task Force.

Student's Guide to The Cooper Union Financial Crisis playlist:

What Happened?Current Status?
Last Year?Trust?
Cooper Union Task Force

"It's one thing to be stuck at the helm as the ship hits an iceberg,
it's another to say it deserved to hit the iceberg because buoyancy is unsustainable."
- Sean Cusack, 5/30/13

Required Reading

Fixing College Through Lower Costs and Better Technology
The Lost Decade
New York Times/Chronicle of Higher Education

Behind the Three-Decade Scheme to Raise Tuition, Bankrupt Generations, and Hypnotize the Media
Administrative Bloat and Income Inequality

Stop Misusing Higher Education-Specific Price Indices
Center for College Affordability and Productivity

Beware Higher Edís Newest Budget Twist
Responsibility Centered Management
NEA Higher Education Journal

Conventional Wisdom is Killing Us
Ignore Reformers and Reinforce Relationships
Inside Higher Ed

Just in case you think The Alumni Pioneer is written by a bunch of disgruntled alumni hanging on desperately to the "cherished aspect" of free education at The Cooper Union, we highly recommend you "get educated" by reading what others think.

Favorite Abraham Lincoln Quote #1:
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

Favorite Abraham Lincoln Quote #2:
Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Cooper Pioneer




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Original Analyses, Research, and Reporting (click here for abstracts)

  • Cooper
  • 2007 Strategy
  • Deficit Spending
  • Timeline
  • HEPI
  • Inauguration 10/18/11
  • Bharucha
  • Payroll
  • Trustees
  • Halloween 10/31/11
  • Bharucha Q&A
  • Narratives
  • Reinvention
  • Open Forum 11/8/11
  • Epstein Q&A
  • Fee vs. Tuition
  • WNYC 11/23/11
  • Cooper Voices
  • PR Questions
  • Summit 12/5/11
  • Summary
  • PPS1, PPS2, PDF
  • FLV1,FLV2,FLV3
  • Selected Slides
  • Address 12/13/11
  • Urtak Poll
  • Fantasy Address
  • Summary 12/16/11
  • Board Summary
  • PR Questions 2
  • Administrators
  • Summit II 4/26/12
  • Austerity
  • Philanthropy
  • Chess
  • Year Two 9/4/12
  • Guide
  • AQAF
  • RCM
  • Solutions
  • Lock-in 12/3/12
  • Rising Costs
  • Epstein
  • Two Coopers
  • Sit-in 5/8/13
  • Alumni Trustees
  • Alumni Giving
  • New Cooper
  • No Vision
  • Future
  • Real Narrative
  • The Deadline
  • Scenarios
  • Exit
  • Infographics - click on pic for second draft (2/21/12) of infographics by Matt Arnold AR '82 depicting Real Estate, Investments, Revenues, Annual Giving, Expenses, and Staff Changes
    03-21-2015 Good Faith Reliance - Blow-by-blow response to the President's "The State of Cooper Union"
    12-06-2014 "Ivory Tower" Errata - Minor corrections and clarifications to the Andrew Rossi CNN documentary
    11-22-2014 CUAA Secedes from Union (rev 1) - Council fed up with censorship
    01-12-2014 Exit Through the Gift Shop - Post-Mortem
    08-11-2013 The "Regular Contributor" and Other Myths - alumni giving, part two
    07-28-2013 And the No Confidence Vote Goes to... - the next Chairman of the Board of Trustees
    06-23-2013 The Real Narrative - the history of The Cooper Union up to June 2013
    06-23-2013 Ask Mr. Misinformation - answers to more false narratives from the administration
    06-01-2013 Coffee, Donut, and a Dorm - kicking the vision down the road
    05-31-2013 Drinking the Kool-Aid: The New Cooper Union - full-tuition programs
    05-26-2013 Michael Borkowsky and Alumni Giving (rev 1) - the 20% lie
    05-19-2013 Unasked Questions for the Alumni Trustees
    05-07-2013 Fee vs. Tuition (rev 4) - why words matter
    02-15-2013 A Tale of Two Coopers - Before the March 1, 2013 Face-Off
    12-31-2012 The Education of Mark Epstein - in his own words
    12-29-2012 Solutions - alternatives to tuition
    12-20-2012 The Cooper Institute - short version
    12-18-2012 Facebook Policy - plus some good ramblings
    12-16-2012 The Real Cooper (rev 1) - 1883 documents
    12-08-2012 Yes, Alexander, There Is A Santa Claus (rev 1) - on exponential costs
    12-05-2012 New York Magazine-style article - for non-Cooper folk
    12-02-2012 RCM@CU - Bringing Responsibility Centered Management to the Non-Academic Units
    09-08-2012 Actual Questions Asked Frequently - Latest response to "the new transparency"
    08-29-2012 Endow a President - Financing the other half of the budget
    05-06-2012 See the Whole Board (rev 2) - Bharucha's Pre-emptive Surrender
    04-08-2012 Envisioning Austerity - layoffs and program reductions
    02-04-2012 A Fiduciary Timeline (rev 2) - Cooper's march to bankruptcy
    01-31-2012 The Deadline (rev 1) - would a five-year plan be sufficient?
    01-28-2012 Counter-Narratives to the Administration Narrative (rev 5) - a baker's dozen
    01-28-2012 Scenarios for End Times (rev 4) - don't say you weren't warned
    01-27-2012 Hide the Salami (rev 1) - Board Statement and Summary
    01-23-2012 Don't Worry, Be HEPI - how to portray an increase as a reduction
    01-15-2012 Becoming the Story - administrators who draw attention to themselves
    01-15-2012 The New Colossus - on reinventing The Cooper Union
    01-12-2012 Further questions the Office of Public Relations refused to answer
    12-28-2011 Summary of the Summary - of the December 5 Summit
    12-10-2011 Urtak Poll - what you think
    12-10-2011 (spreadsheet)
    12-09-2011 My Fantasy Presidential Address - if it were only so
    12-09-2011 Selected Community Summit Slides - the short version
    12-07-2011 Great Hall Financial presentation (silent, PDF, video1,2,3) - socko multi-media show
    12-02-2011 Questions the Office of Public Relations refused to answer - past, present, and future
    11-28-2011 Cooper Voices - eloquence, passion, and moving anecdotes
    11-27-2011 The Real Bharucha - what you'd rather not know
    11-26-2011 Do You Want Deficit With That? (rev 2) - inside the financial statements
    11-26-2011 (spreadsheet)
    11-20-2011 The Halloween Massacre (rev 5) - the opening salvo
    11-19-2011 Cooper Payroll - The Monkey on Their Back (rev 2) - non-academic bloat
    11-19-2011 (spreadsheet)
    11-18-2011 Questions answered by Chair Epstein - all 6 AP questions asked and answered
    11-17-2011 Trustees Mainly Board Junkies - just another not-for-profit to them
    11-17-2011 (spreadsheet.)
    11-14-2011 Cooper's Strategy through 2007 - Alum Pres observes Board before the crash

    We make mistakes, and we're continuously trying to make this better. If you read or see something that you know is wrong or that you think could be better, don't write us off - write to the Publisher.

    Everything started with The Halloween Massacre. Then came Counter-Narratives to the Administration Narrative, followed by Questions answered by Chair Epstein. By this time, The Alumni Pioneer was born.

    The first version of Scenarios for End Times followed next, then Fee vs. Tuition, along with Cooper's Strategy through 2007, written by Don Toman, former Alumni Association President. Finally, the first analyses, Cooper Payroll - The Monkey on Their Back (and its spreadsheet) and Trustees Mainly Board Junkies (and its spreadsheet), were published.

    The Thanksgiving break was a major time for The Alumni Pioneer, with the initial publication of Do You Want Deficit With That? (and its spreadsheet). At the end of the long weekend, The Real Bharucha was published. Within a week the two had garnered over 400 downloads each.

    On Monday we changed tack with the inspiring Cooper Voices and published questions the Office of Public Relations refused to answer when, given three days to respond, well, the Office of Public Relations refused to respond to our questions.

    We posted The Deadline on the morning of the Great Hall Financial presentation on December 5, 2011. (Silent and PDF versions were posted two days later, and Selected Community Summit Slides two days after that).

    Dr. Bharucha enjoyed reading our publisher's Fantasy Presidential Address, but laughed it off. We took a snapshot of the Urtak Poll. The Board stayed on schedule and published their December 16 report on the financial crisis. This led the Cooper Union Community to the 2006 cy pres petition to the NYS Supreme Court. The false optimism of the fantasy presidential address has been replaced with the stark realities of the administration's Fiduciary Timeline and an attempt to analyze the Board Statement and Summary while they continue to play Hide the Salami.

    Just before the holiday break, the Gang of Six posted their summary of the Community Summit and announced a second set of breakout sessions, so we published a Summary of the Summary for those with really short attention spans - although we certainly encourage our readers to read the original summary, read the full transcripts, and watch the videos, if you are so inclined. Over that break we didn't sit still: we created a a new set of questions that the Office of Public Relations also refused to answer, we wrote about administrators who, through their actions, end up Becoming the Story, and we created a song and slideshow based on Bharucha's "reinvention strategy" called The New Colossus.

    We explain the Higher Education Price Index in Don't Worry, Be HEPI, and created some fantastic infographics in time for the third Breakout Session. We've changed our masthead slogan twice: now it's "Fighting For a Fair Risk-Free Austerity Budget Since November 2011." Prior to publication of "The Way Forward," we called for layoffs and program reductions in Envisioning Austerity. We all know what happened on April 24, 2012 - the pre-emptive surrender called the "hybrid framework" is analyzed in See the Whole Board. And to wrap up the first academic year of the crisis, we offered Endow a President, our slightly tongue-in-cheek guide to how the New Philanthropy can actually benefit The Cooper Union.

    The second year of the crisis, TC Westcott responded to our Student's Guide to the Cooper Union Financial Crisis with her FAQ, so we created a list of Actual Questions Asked Frequently. We had just written a critique of Responsibility Centered Management when the first lock-in on December 3, 2012, made everything get very busy. For the general public, we published our New York Magazine-style article for non-Cooper folk. We responded to clueless engineering students with Yes, Alexander, There Is A Santa Claus and discovered historical documents that revealed some inconvenient truths about The Real Cooper. The clueless engineering students took offense on-line, so we set up a Facebook Policy that we occasionally ease up on when the offending parties take a break to attend to classes and exams. In response to the constant refrain to offer alternatives to tuition, we posted a summary of Solutions from The Alumni Pioneer and Friends of Cooper Union.

    Over winter break, we decided to go musical again with The Education of Mark Epstein (also available as a PDF). Prior to a March 1, 2013, stand-off, The Alumni Pioneer offered A Tale of Two Coopers.

    We thought it would be over, but then came the tuition announcement and the May 8, 2013 sit-in. Mike Bokowsky kicked off that March 1 event, and was the first trustee to visit the sit-in, so we looked in our archives and published "the Borkowsky letter" and a critique of the 20% alumni giving lie in Michael Borkowsky and Alumni Giving. This has been followed by a more in-depth statistical analysis based on the FY 2009 Donor Report, The "Regular Contributor" and Other Myths. The tuition announcement, horrible as it is, is a distraction from the total abandonment of the merit scholarships, as described in Drinking the Kool-Aid and Coffee, Donut, and a Dorm.

    In response to more false narratives posted on the Cooper Union website, The Alumni Pioneer has created two YouTube videos, Ask Mr. Misinformation and The Politics of Distraction, as well as The Real Narrative. Also, selection of a new Chairman of the Board of Trustees was scheduled for September 2013.

    Our Publisher was elected to serve on the Working Group and signed a Confidentiality Agreement that shut him up for a few months (except for monthly reports to the Cooper Union Community published on the CU Alumni website). After the trustees voted to reject the Working Group Plan, our publisher wrote this port-mortem, Exit Through the Gift Shop.

    If this is too much, check out the lighter fare on Page 2 and a serial webcomic, Peter Cooper & The Demons of Debt. We've even added a couple of interactive games to amuse you.

    Cooper Pioneer




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    Ten One Action Item for the Cooper Union Community:
    Remove Jamshed Bharucha
    The June 2012 Deadline Has Passed: Watch Out! Here It Comes!

    We are forced to conclude that the administrative action items demanded below will never be realized while Jamshed Bharucha is in office - that the "new transparency" is a sham. The demands are:

  • President lift all gag orders on administration staff, elected Alumni Trustees, and Alumni Association representatives
  • President endorse the Community Summit process involving all stakeholders, not just those "invited" by the administration
  • President state publicly and unequivocally that The Cooper Union will remain completely tuition free
  • Finance Office release the student 10.31.2011 presentation PowerPoint
  • Finance Office release FY 2011 unconsolidated financial information
  • Office of Public Relations answer 11-28-2011 and 01-09-2012 Alumni Pioneer questions
  • More criticism of Bharucha from Casey Gollan A'13 of the Cooper 11.

    Other Resources and Links

  • 2006 New York Supreme Court petition for cy pres relief
  • Audited consolidated financial statements, FY 2000 to 2010
  • FY 2010 Form 990 and spreadsheet of expenses from FY 2009 and 2010
  • Guidestar website Form 990s - full FY 2009, 2008, 2007, more available for subscription, more complete than ERI
  • Economic Research Institute website Form 990s
  • Complete transcript of first half of Open Forum with Mark Epstein
  • Youtube videos of both halves - click on Uploads to view in reverse chronological order
  • Historian Buckley Clarifies the Legend of Free Education

    Since site statistics indicate that readers are wandering all over the Not Nice Music website trying to figure out who the hell Barry Drogin is, here's a Cooper-focused page about the Publisher of The Alumni Pioneer.

  • Money On The Table

    Cooper Pioneer




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