Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Summary and Projections to FY20 Released

POSTED ON: February 18, 2016

Bill Mea, vice president for finance and administration and acting president of The Cooper Union, has released a budget summary for Fiscal Year 2016, along with budget projections into FY 20 for The Cooper Union. An accompanying cover letter is republished below.

To all members of The Cooper Union community:

I am publishing a budget summary for Fiscal Year 2016 and projections through FY 20, together with related analyses. This document represents my analysis of The Cooper Union’s financial condition, both in terms of its liquidity and the gap we must bridge in order to cease reliance on tuition revenue. As such, it is intended to provide a foundation for the work of the Free Education Committee, as well as to inform the community about the dimensions of the challenge ahead.

As I indicate in the summary, these future projections are not meant to be a plan. Rather, they take a conservative view of future revenues and expenses in order to assess our liquidity and cash flows while maintaining the existing level of academic operations.

Based on this analysis, the structural deficit to overcome to ensure future financial sustainability without charging undergraduate tuition will be approximately $15 million. We intend to begin addressing this structural deficit by cutting $3.0 million in expenses on a sustainable basis between FY 17 and FY 18. These cuts will help ensure that we have net positive cash flow in FY 19 and to establish a reduced cost base for FY 20 and beyond.

I look forward to working with the Free Education Committee, as well as with the larger Cooper community, in planning for a sustained condition of fiscal balance that supports Cooper’s academic and social mission.

Bill Mea
Acting President and Vice President for Finance & Administration

  • 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.