Institutional Goals & Strategic Priorities

At the December 19, 2018 meeting of The Cooper Union’s Board of Trustees, the Board approved a set of institutional goals and strategic priorities. These goals and priorities are the culmination of many avenues of exploration, evaluation, and community input.  They draw on internal and external assessments of the academic environment; the insights gleaned from the process that led to the FEC recommendations and ultimate plan to return to full-tuition scholarships; a revised mission and vision statement; completion of and feedback from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Re-Accreditation; and input and feedback on draft goals and priorities this fall from alumni, faculty, staff, students, and other community members.

Institutional Goals

  • Create an institution of excellence that:
    • engages students in an academic program that is rigorous, supportive, and dynamic
    • fosters a culture of curiosity, agency, compassion, and engagement
    • is tuition-free and financially resilient
  • Prepare students to question and lead in a complex world
  • Develop leading-edge models for higher education that consider the ethical, cultural, and environmental contexts and consequences of technical and creative disciplines
  • Lead by example to promote civil discourse and engagement on important civic issues
  • Advance the fields of Architecture, Art, and Engineering and foster intersections of study and practice among them

Strategic Priorities

  • Fortify our rigorous professional schools
  • Return Cooper Union to full-tuition scholarships
  • Create opportunities for experimentation at the intersections of disciplines
  • Increase diversity of thought, background, and experiences
  • Balance budget, build reserves, instill financial discipline
  • Develop programs, activities, and physical space to increase student engagement and improve student life
  • Set a leading-edge standard for the integration of professional, practice-based education with a humanistic and socio-political education
  • Integrate public service orientation into academics and actively contribute to the betterment of NY
  • Position the Great Hall as a premier forum to advance critical issues of our time
  • 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.