A Report on the Planning for the Future of The Cooper Union

December 13, 2012

To: Members of the Cooper Union Community
From: President Jamshed Bharucha 
Date: December 13, 2012

Dear Faculty, Students, Staff and Alumni:

I am pleased to report on the current stage of our academic and financial planning for the future of The Cooper Union.

The faculties of our three schools deliberated tirelessly through the Fall semester and made presentations to the Board of Trustees at the Board meeting on December 5th. I want to thank the academic deans and the faculty for their enormous effort.

The Faculties of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering and the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture have forwarded their reports to me, and I have forwarded them to the Board for study and analysis. The Faculty of the School of Art, while endorsing the excellence of the programs proposed to the Board, reaffirms the mission and is preparing a statement to be presented at a later date.

The Faculty of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering has adopted the following reports from the following committees: Graduate Tuition Committee, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Communications Committee, Culture and Community Committee, and a cover letter. A report from the Undergraduate Tuition Committee was accepted by The Faculty of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering but was not adopted or rejected and is currently tabled.

The Faculty of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture has accepted and adopted (in scope and substance, subject to copy edit) their report, A Plan of Action.

A committee of trustees will review these reports, the report of the Revenue Task Force, and other proposals received from the community.

In the Spring semester we will also launch a process in which the faculties can discuss new opportunities to better integrate the work of our three schools and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in pursuit of a stronger union. The Department of Continuing Education and Public Programs has initiated new programs and has plans that will also advance the process.

Building on the recommendations of the Revenue Task Force, these discussions might include a still nascent idea for a Graduate Institute for Integrated Design. It is an exciting idea that could draw upon all our academic strengths while engaging with the contemporary challenges of our city, our nation and the world – which is why we are here.

President Jamshed Bharucha

  • 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.