16 responses

  1. I_love_CU
    August 21, 2014

    Mostly misguided art students… The engineering students, most of the engineering faculty, are not on board with this nonsense.

    • No you don't
      August 22, 2014

      As an engineering school graduate (EE'11), I personally know very very few engineers who are against the lawsuit. Those who research more only become more enraged by the complete lack of regard for the well-being of the school that has been consistently demonstrated by the trustees and top administrators

  2. Scott Lerman
    August 22, 2014

    There's nothing misguided about requiring the Board of Trustees to follow the Trust agreement that formed the school (as well as the Board itself.) Thousands of alums, students, and faculty have donated to the legal fund and signed petitions of no confidence in the school's president and Trustees. Read the petition to the Court and you'll understand how serious the issues are and how important it is to fight for Peter Cooper's vision

    There are many, many engineers involved and one of the petitioners to the Court is a professor at Cooper Union's School of Engineering.

    • BBMW
      August 22, 2014

      Is there anything in the bylaws (or whatever the governing document is) that requires the school to be tuition free? If there is, is there a specified way of amending the bylaw? If necessary have the trustees done so? The devil will be in the details in court.

      From the bigger picture, even if it's a non-profit, it's a private organization, and it can decide how to run it's affairs as it see's fit. Most of the major universities that charge tuition are non-profits.

      • Scott Lerman
        August 22, 2014

        Yes, the Trust document says the school must be free. That's what is being reviewed by the NY State Supreme Court. The Trustees tried to have the case moved to Commercial Court but Justice Bannon ruled it was a Trust, not commercial matter. Trust cases are judged on the intent of the benefactor that set up the Trust.

      • Roger Bartons
        August 23, 2014

        The Trust does not say this, neither does the Charter. Both are available online. Cooper was smart enough to ensure that important points were clear, not vague. Homework assignment: Imagine you are Peter Cooper and want to ensure that Cooper Union never charge anyone for any aspect of education forever. What do you write?
        Is it possible that Cooper felt that the rich should pay something? Would he feel that way today?

      • slerman
        August 28, 2014

        The Trust says that regular courses of instruction must be free. Roger, if you need more evidence, read Cooper's letter that introduced the Charter and Trust, his speech to the first graduates, and the board meeting notes from the founding years. It is clear that Cooper Union was meant to be "free as air and water."

      • Roger Bartons
        September 1, 2014

        I have read these and find them inspiring. But these documents do not contain clear statements as you claim. You appear to have layered lots of personal bias on their interpretation. I suspect that is why very short excerpts, such as "free as air and water," are cited next to what you are hoping to show. NOTE that what is at issue is not simply what was intended at the outset of the college, but whether or not instructional fees may now be charged. I do believe Cooper meant Cooper Union to be free, as you say, perhaps for as long as possible. But he was smart and forward-looking enough to NOT fix this as a permanent requirement. You have, I'm afraid, not performed so well on your homework assignment.

  3. try this out
    August 22, 2014

    when the massive loan was taken in '06 to force the "financial necessity", the documents indicated that "Students are admitted to The Cooper Union on the basis of merit alone … not receive any revenues in the form of tuition", as an essential part of the school.
    https://www.cooper.edu/sites/default/files/upload… should be enough to nix tuition. Given that the press is siding with the wealthy, however, I'm concerned the courts might be biased against free cooper as well. But the document is pretty clear.

    • Roger Bartons
      August 23, 2014

      I just read the document you linked to and felt that both it and your quotation support the Trustees' position more.

      • slerman
        August 28, 2014

        Roger Barton, are you the Roger Barton who is listed as a lobbyist for Cooper Union?
        http://www.nyc.gov/lobbyistsearch/search;jsession

      • Roger Bartons
        August 31, 2014

        No, I am Bartons (note the terminal 's'). I am sorry but I do not have twitter or facebook, and do not recognize the other login types.

      • Roger Bartons
        August 31, 2014

        but thanks for the brief amusement … I am a mathematician :)

  4. Steven Squire
    August 23, 2014

    The historical registry plaque on the side of the building says the school is free.

  5. Susan
    August 31, 2014

    Regular courses of instructions, at night, free to all… Are they charging for evening classes? That is the restriction.

    To regular courses of instructions, at night, free to all who shall attend the same, under the general regulations of the trustees, on the application of science to the useful occupations of life, on social and political science, meaning thereby not merely the science of political economy, but the science and philosophy of a just and equitable form of government, based upon the great fundamental law that nations and men should do unto each other as they would be done by, and on such other branches of knowledge as in the opinion of the Board of Trustees will tend to improve and elevate the working classes of the City of New York.

  6. Guest
    August 31, 2014

    There is no specification as to night. It was/is intended to be free, school of art, school of science. The "Institute" was a primary focus of Cooper's life. At its inception it had about 20 instructors, Cooper had spent $50,000 to provide free education in the industrial area that was at the crossroads of their lives. There were free lectures to the public in the evening, but the school was intended by Cooper to be free. Peter Cooper wrote many things, you need to do more research to cover all his writings.

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