Cooper prez: Fee plan offers ‘most optimistic way forward’
BY ALBERT AMATEAU | Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha gave some details last month on plans to stabilize the financially troubled elite East Village school.
In an open letter to students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, Bharucha said that an interim report by the school’s Revenue Task Force recommended fees for master’s degree programs and other professional, online, continuing education, partnerships and interdisciplinary programs.
The task force recommended that the school’s 110-year-old tradition of free tuition continue for undergraduates entering Cooper Union’s three core programs of architecture, engineering and art in 2012 and 2013.
“Many other entrepreneurial ideas are being discussed by members of our community which hold the promise of both academic and financial benefit,” Bharucha said.
The school’s Expense Reduction Task Force has identified an immediate budget reduction of $4 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
“As is appropriate, reductions will come disproportionately from administrative operations,” Bharucha said, adding that the zero-based budget “is intended to ensure that all spending is in support of our educational priorities.”
He noted that the plan has some detractors, including those opposed to charging tuition of any kind, even for graduate programs.
“Weighing all the alternatives, I am convinced that some fee-based programs area necessary for Cooper Union’s solvency and that this framework gives us the most optimistic way forward,” Bharucha said.