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During the 2017-18 academic year two initiatives were launched by President Laura Sparks: the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and the Community Planning Collaborative. Meant to inform the broader institutional strategic planning currently in development by Cooper Union’s administration, in tandem with the plan to return to the full-tuition scholarship model over the next ten years, these efforts seek to engage the greater Cooper community across all disciplines and areas. Membership of each group is comprised of students, staff and faculty, and is open to anyone interested in participating. Collaborative thinking and institutional assessment are at the core of each effort, along with a dynamic approach to identifying opportunities for improvement across the school.


  • 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.