Academic Leadership

July 12, 2012

Cooper Union Stock Photo

Dean Anthony Vidler will be taking a nine month sabbatical which will begin on August 1, 2012 and continue until April 30, 2013.  During his sabbatical leave, Dean Vidler will continue to serve as dean.  Associate Dean Elizabeth O’Donnell will oversee the day-to-day operations within the Irwin S. School of Architecture during this critical period. Dean Vidler’s sabbatical will be a period of renewal and academic focus which will provide the dean with the opportunity to complete his book entitled Contemporary Architecture. A History 1965-2005.  During his sabbatical Dean Vidler will also serve as a member of the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study.

Simon Ben-Avi has been named Founding Dean of Engineering at Hofstra University and will begin on August 1.  Dean Ben-Avi had served as Acting Dean for the Albert Nerken School of Engineering for the past three years.  With 30 years of service as a faculty member and administrator at The Cooper Union, “Dean Ben-Avi has served with distinction,” President Bharucha wrote in a memo to the community last month.  For the move from 51 Astor Place to 41 Cooper Square in 2009, Ben-Avi worked to establish academic and administrative programming needs and reconfigure laboratories and classrooms.  Dean Ben-Avi helped to initiate many programs on behalf of The Cooper Union, including relationships with research laboratories such as AT&T Bell Labs, St. Vincent’s Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital (where he serves as a consultant on biomedical engineering applications).  President Bharucha plans to name a new acting dean in the next several weeks.

  • 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.