Task Force Recommendations on Increasing Revenues and Reducing Expenses

July 23, 2014

Cooper Union Stock Photo

Both the Expense Reduction Task Force (ERTF) and the Revenue Task Force (RTF) have presented recommendations to President Jamshed Bharucha. The two groups included alumni, faculty, students and staff, and met from January-May, 2012.

The Cooper Union Expense Reduction Task Force (ERTF) delivered a final report to President Jamshed Bharucha on June 6, 2012.  

As the President said in giving the ERTF its charge, cost reductions alone will not produce a balanced budget, but reductions will help restore the financial health of the institution.  

Expense task force members have concluded that the financial situation of The Cooper Union is a serious one, noted T.C. Westcott, Chairman of the ERTF and Vice President for Finance and Administration & Treasurer.   Expenses are difficult to reduce, according to their report, given already tight operating budgets, restrictions built into collective bargaining agreements and debt-service obligations.

After the President informed the task force that the Fiscal Year 2013 budget would be reduced by $4 million, the group gave the President a formula on March 29 to distribute reductions more equitably throughout the institution.  

In issuing their recommendations on June 6 for more specific reductions, members noted that deans and department heads know their areas best and must do what they can to ensure that the institution as a whole meet the reduction target

The Cooper Union Revenue Task Force (RTF) presented an executive summary of its recommendations in a May 21 letter to President Bharucha.  

The RTF was charged with identifying $16 million in new revenue streams by 2018.

In developing its recommendations, the RTF “was guided by an overriding concern to preserve Cooper Union’s merit-based full-tuition scholarship policy for undergraduates in its three core programs of art, architecture and engineering,” according to Thomas Micchelli (A’75), Convener of the RTF and Chair, Faculty Student Senate. "The initiatives summarized in this report comprise a complex and integrated whole. They are designed to secure the college’s future and to renew its legacy of access and 'education equal to the best.'"

The RTF plans to issue a full report in June detailing its recommendations. This report will include proposals offered by the community.  "The work of both our Revenue Task Force and Expense Reduction Task Force – in the compressed January to May timeframe -- represents an important first step in the process of creating a vibrant future for this institution,” said President Bharucha. “We will be reviewing the final reports and community proposals over the summer. I am grateful to each and every member for participating in this important exercise."

Read the ERTF’s Final Report: https://taskforce.cooper.edu/ERTFFINALREPORT.pdf

Read the RTF’s Letter to the President


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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.